Inside: Quail are going to get injured no matter what you do. But it is easy to treat them and get them healed up quickly and back out in their cage.
Injured quail happen, and can happen easily, usually from one another. Too many males or too few females and you are going to see head and neck injuries in your quail. It can happen quickly no matter how hard you try to be a good quail owner. But it is easy to treat them and get them healed up quickly and back out in their cage.
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Caring for Injured Quail
Injuries happen. It could be from having:
- too many quails in a cage
- too many male quail in a cage
- not enough females for a male that is breeding them – some males need more females
- putting a new quail into a coop with other quail
- predator attack
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All but the first of those above have happened to me, and the first is prevented by having a lot of cages available to prevent that.
The first step is to separate the injured quail. I have a medical kit for chickens that I keep stored in a plastic tote, this doubles as a place to keep a bird that I need to separate, especially a small quail.
What You Need
- triple antibiotic cream (without pain killer)
- cayenne pepper
- Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol – a vitamin boost for chicks (or adults) that need a boost
- eye drops – a chick hatched with a slightly puffy, runny eye
Are you looking at the cayenne pepper like I lost my mind? It is seriously like the most magical seasoning in the kitchen.
Cayenne contains a variety of antioxidants and vitamins. It is a pain reliever as well as an anti-inflammatory.
When a quail has been scalped (or any skin is missing) I mix up some cayenne pepper and water to make a paste. I use a small clean paintbrush that I keep just for this use and apply the paste to the areas.
This acts as a painkiller. I have seen quail go from looking dead to bouncing around, eating, and drinking very quickly. It is like a magical seasoning.
I usually only apply the cayenne pepper paste once unless I think the quail is still in pain. Then I switch over to applying triple antibiotic cream.
Returning Your Quail to the Cage
Do not return your quail to a cage with other birds until it is healed. Other birds will see blood and peck at it until they kill the bird. This isn't just the case for quail, chickens are the same way. This is why we don't use chicken aprons with red.
Fix the Problem First
How did your quail get injured? Did you fix the problem? That's the next thing, whether it is a crowded cage, a predator attack, or an overactive male. Sometimes it can be as “stupid” as moving a quail into an established cage without doing it correctly.
I say “stupid” because even after years of owning them I have done this because I wasn't thinking, and then I had a very injured quail. I felt horrible!
Adding a Quail to an Established Cage
You really shouldn't add a quail into an established cage, even if that quail had been in with them before. I remove all the birds from the cage. Then I add the new bird in along with the established birds to confuse them.
I don't know why this works so well, but I have never had a problem doing it this way.
If you raise birds long enough you are going to get injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do for a bleeding quail? Apply a paste of cayenne and water to the area.
Why is my quail not moving? Quail that are weak or ill will conserve their energy and huddle into the corner of the pen. This is known as lethargy and is a common symptom for a variety of health issues.
Why is my quail laying on its side? Quail look dead when they sleep. It starts from the moment they hatch and they continue it throughout their life.