Baby quails are among the smallest and most defenseless animals when born. They appear to be quite agile because they run and jump around shortly after hatching, but despite this appearance, they are quite vulnerable.
Some of the most common reasons for your baby quail to die are:
- bad genetics,
- they don’t know how to eat and drink,
- lack of protein-rich nutrition,
- the feed pellet is too big for them to eat,
- lack of cleanliness and hygiene,
- are stressed out,
- the temperature is too high or low in the brooder.
There are various possible reasons for it but the good news is, there are also plenty of ways to reduce the instances. This article will present you with all the possible causes and how you can increase their survival rate even if you are a beginner.
Let’s dive right in!Learn how to raise your own quail and have an unlimited supply of eggs and meat.
First, do not get easily discouraged as baby quail death is inevitable. However, if it occurs frequently and the death toll increases, then there are problems that you need to address right away.
The early stage of a quail’s life is crucial as this is the time where they are more susceptible to diseases, injury, predation, and most especially, death.
However, if you do the necessary preventive measures and allot enough time to observe them and maintain their environment, then you can help them pass through this stage with flying colors.
If you spent a lot of time and effort preparing their brooder, feeds, lighting, food, and water, then you should also provide the same to constantly check how they thrive on them. Since young quails do not yet have the skills to feed themselves nor move around to escape predators, they still need your assistance.
Here are the most probable causes of your baby quails dying:
Many types of diseases may cause harm, even death, in quails. But for the young ones, the most common is Coccidiosis.
Coccidiosis is caused by protozoa entering the young through ingestion. The protozoa cling to the intestines and then cause a lot of harm to the young quail like weight loss, diarrhea, reduced appetite, messy feathers, and a drop in their energy. And even if you spot the symptoms early on, the young quail’s lack of immunity to the disease can still cause its death.
Other diseases that quails may catch in their lifetime include Coryza (a bacterial infection), respiratory infections, worms, parasites, and mites.
Water is an essential part of a young quail’s diet and it can teach itself to take water from the container sooner. However, because of their limited mobility and small bodies, they may find themselves falling into their water containers and then drowning in death.
Funny as it may seem, some young quails may even fall asleep while drinking, and you guess what – drowning in the process.
Baby quails do not need as much food at first because they are still tiny, but, it does not mean you should also scrimp on nutrients. They are growing fast and a protein-rich diet can sustain their development.
Baby quails may eventually die if they do not have access to adequate feeds that are specially formulated for their age. They can die from starvation or nutrient deficiency. Poor quality feeds also come with so many fillers that aren’t contributing to your young quails’ dietary needs.
Baby quails need an environment that is clean and nurturing for their growth and development. While you cannot teach them proper hygiene as humans do, you can clean their place for them.
Baby quails tend to poop anywhere, even on their food, water, and beddings. With that, you have to include a routine of cleaning these essential areas daily. If not, bacteria and worms can grow and be ingested, causing them to get sick and eventually die.
Too Low/High Temperature
The shell of the egg that surrounds a baby quail helps regulate the temperature inside. However, once the egg cracks and you welcome a baby quail into the world, it loses that safe place. It has now become your responsibility to help them thrive in temperature variations outside.
Too high or too low temperature can distress baby quails to their deaths. Thus, you have to be mindful of providing the correct temperature in the brooder consistently. You also have to know the correct temperature setting of the brooder depending on their age.
Baby quail are pretty fragile animals with their size and still-developing bodies. Their tiny bodies can fit your palm, but you have to be extra careful in carrying them.
Some even may jump out of your hands and get dropped on the floor – stressing or injuring them. With that, holding them means being gentle in closing your palms around your bodies. Carrying them with your palms open will cause them to jump.
How to Keep My Baby Quails Alive and Healthy?
As with raising other animals, especially poultry, keeping your quails alive, healthy, and happy is not a walk in the park – but definitely doable. And the whole journey is also rewarding, providing you with meat and eggs that you can consume or even sell.
Quails are generally hardy animals and easy to raise without the need for sophisticated equipment or technical knowledge. Quails can even be raised in the backyard for personal consumption or small-scale business.
Keeping your baby quails alive can increase your rewards, including your confidence in raising poultry animals with success. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:
Prevention is better than cure
If you want to prevent the growth and spread of diseases, first separate the baby quails from the adult ones. Often, the adult quails are the carriers of either bacteria or viruses. Allowing them to mingle with the young can spread the harmful elements, and their underdeveloped immune system may not be strong enough to battle them, leading to death.
If you suspect that Coccidiosis is the reason for your other baby quails dying, make sure to remove the infected right away to control the spread.
Always clear your baby quails’ sources of food and water from poop and other dirt. Proper hygiene can significantly drop the growth of bacteria. Change the beddings at least three times a week, but changing them more frequently is better.
Stabilize the temperature
If you are hatching quail eggs naturally; that is, the mother hen is there to embrace her young and keep them warm, then you have no problem. However, many who are hatching and raising baby quails artificially will need a brooder or a space that has adequate heat.
A heat lamp can provide artificial yet consistent heat to your baby quail depending on their growing age. Make sure that you install it within a considerable distance from the brooder’s flooring so it can emit the correct temperature throughout the space.
However, your baby quails can still benefit from natural daylight, so make sure that the brooder’s cover is made of breathable material to let natural light and air pass through.
Having soft and comfortable bedding can also help regulate the temperature inside the brooder. You can use wood shavings, shredded paper, or paper towels. Just make sure to use absorbent material to keep the baby quails dry. Change them accordingly to avoid poop and bacteria contamination.
Providing too much heat can also be an issue for the baby quail so make sure that you don’t overheat the brooder. The heat you provide to the newly hatched shouldn’t be more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). By the 4th week, the temperature should drop by 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, try to leave some cooler space in the brooder, that is not heated by the lamp. Thus if the heat might be a bit too much for some quail babies they can cool off in that area.
Keep them from drowning
Sometimes, beginner quail hatchers use deep water containers for their baby quails without realizing that these may cause them to drown.
If you already purchased deep containers, you can still use them. Just place clean pebbles to keep the water elevated and from the falling baby quails from drowning.
Feed your baby quails with protein and nutrient-rich diet with a variety of food types
Specially-formulated baby quail feeds may contain enough of their needed dietary requirements. However, varying their food types can broaden their diet sources and even save you a bit from feeding costs.
You can alternatively offer finely-grated soft carrots, chopped nettles, finely-chopped apples, and vitamin C-rich fruits.
If you use to feed other than a starter feed for quail make sure that the pellets are not too big for the babies to eat. Check the pellets and if you find that they are too big then crush them up so that the baby quail can eat.
As odd as it may seem some baby quail don’t know how to eat and drink. They survive the first couple of days on the yolk that’s inside their stomach after hatching. If you see some of them not eating and drinking you need to teach them how to eat and drink.
Quail hatching and raising is a rewarding experience and journey, provided that you do your share in keeping them alive and healthy. Quails are essentially hardy animals that do not require technical expertise and expensive equipment to grow and sell for their meat and eggs.
However, just as with both humans and animals, giving your baby quails proper care and attention can make the experience both enriching and satisfying.
As you apply all you have learned from this article, you will no longer ask the question “Why are my baby quails dying?” anymore.