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Quail Diseases Symptoms and Treatments

quail diseases

Small but mighty quail are hardy little birds most of the time, but if you are new to raising quail, there are a few things you should watch for when it comes to their health.

The following diseases, illnesses, and ailments are all reasonably common in quail breeds, keep a watchful eye on your birds and act quickly when symptoms show their ugly faces.

Quail Disease

Of course, the first on the list is the deadly quail disease, otherwise known as Ulcerative Enteritis.

While chickens, turkeys, and other birds can contract quail disease, this disease is nicknamed after the quail. 

A name like a quail disease demonstrates that it is a common affliction for these tiny birds. 

Bacteria that enter the bird’s system through droppings from other birds can cause Ulcerative Enteritis. Transmission can come from flies that have been in contact with other sick birds.

Quail disease bacteria causes lesions inside the digestive tract of the quail, and in most cases, infected quail will perish.

Chickens, on the other hand, can be treated for the disease. However, infected chickens will always be carriers and can pass the infection on to other healthy birds.

Quail Diseases

Symptoms of Quail Disease

  • Dropped Wings
  • Fluffed Appearance
  • Lethargy
  • Watery Droppings
  • Paleness

How to Treat Quail Disease

If you believe your flock has contracted quail disease, you should consult with a veterinarian for treatment methods and do so quickly.

Once the disease has taken hold, it moves fast. Most quail will not survive the disease, but if caught quickly, you may be able to prevent the spread and treat birds in the early stages. 

Prevention of Quail Disease

It can be challenging to prevent quail disease from infiltrating a healthy flock because it is often spread by wild birds.

If you raise both chickens and quail and are free-range, you will have very little control over your birds’ contact with wild birds and their droppings. 

One way to ensure that your quail do not get quail disease is by keeping them confined in an area away from other birds.

Coryza in Quail

Coryza is another nasty bacterial infection that can be transmitted from bird to bird, often from chickens to quail or at poultry shows.

Coryza is similar to that of a cold or flu bug, for quail, except it can be much deadlier for quail than other birds. 

This bacteria causes somewhat of a respiratory infection that can be treated if caught early.
Quail Diseases Symptoms and Treatments

Symptoms of Coryza

  • Snotty Beaks and Eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen Face
  • Smelly
  • Difficulty Breathing

Treatment of Coryza

Consult a veterinarian to obtain antibiotics for treatment. The sooner you get and diagnosis and can treat your birds, the better. 

Prevention of Coryza

The best way to prevent the spread of coryza is to keep your quail separate from other birds.

  • Never enter quail pens when you have been in contact with sick birds. 
  • Make sure to change your clothes and wash up before entering your quails’ pen.

Most who keep both chickens and quail keep them separated because chickens can be silent carriers of the disease.

Respiratory Infections in Quail

Quail tend to contract respiratory infections much more accessible than other types of poultry. Respiratory infections can happen depending on how quail are raised.

Since quail are often kept in confinement, in small cages, with many other quail, they can become sick with respiratory issues if their pens are not cleaned regularly.

Other types of respiratory infections can be spread from wild birds to quail. Bronchitis, for example, is often transferred to bobwhite quail from wild birds. 

Quails’ droppings have a high ph level, so if their pens are kept in disarray, they are more susceptible to respiratory infections due to ammonia. 

Symptoms of Respiratory Infections in Quail

  • Snotty
  • Rales, or rattling when breathing
  • Listlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Slowed egg production

Treatment for Respiratory Infections in Quail

To determine the type of treatment needed for your birds, you must be able to pinpoint the type of infection. Your best bet, if you notice any respiratory infection symptoms, is to consult a veterinarian to get an accurate diagnosis. 

Prevention of Respiratory Infections in Quail

Once again, keeping quail confined and away from other types of poultry or wild birds goes a long way when preventing respiratory infections. 
Additionally, keeping pens and shelters clean will also help to keep quail in small spaces from getting sick due to ammonia in the air. 

Coccidiosis in Quail

If you’ve been around poultry and game birds long enough, you know that coccidiosis is a common problem, especially for young birds. 

Coccidiosis is a teeny tiny protozoan that enters through ingestion. Young birds have weak immune systems, and often it takes time to develop an immunity to coccidiosis.

Symptoms of Coccidiosis in Quail

  • Weight Loss
  • Ruffled Feathers
  • Closed Sleepy Eyes
  • Loss of Appetite

Treatment of Coccidiosis in Quail

If you feel your quail has coccidiosis, there are remedies you can find at your local ag store. Corid is a standard treatment and can be quite successful if the condition has been caught early on.

If the affected quail has been ill for a few days, chances are she is also dehydrated. Corid also addressed this problem, but again, only if caught early. 

Prevention of Coccidiosis in Quail

It is vital to keep your quails’ living quarters clean. To ensure they are not spending their time on soiled bedding, keep your quail in wire-bottom cages. 

Since coccidiosis is transmitted through feces, ensure that your quails’ feeders and waterers are cleaned regularly. Do not allow your quail to sit on or in their feeders or founts.

Medicated feed is also an option, especially for chicks in the brooder. However, make sure the feed you are giving your chicks, has enough protein to sustain their growing bodies.

Game birds, like quail, often have different nutritional requirements than chickens and other poultry.

Worms in Quail

Yuck, parasitic worms always tend to be a concern among pet owners and animal caretakers. Unfortunately, quails are no exception when it comes to parasites.

Symptoms of Internal Parasites

  • Weight Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic

Treatment of Worms in Quail

Depending upon the type of worm, you can usually purchase a dewormer that will rid your quail of their tag-along intruders.

Don’t wait too long to deworm your quail, or they may die. 

Prevention of Parasites in Quail

You can consider putting your quail on a deworming routine if you’d like. Some quail owners give their birds pumpkins in the fall and call it good, but if you want to be absolutely certain your quail are free of worms, use a dewormer.

Pumpkin is considered a natural dewormer, but using it as a preventative measure may give you better results.

Remember, if you’re raising your quail for meat and eggs, but you’re going to treat your quail with any chemical medication, be sure not to consume anything they produce until the withdrawal period is over.

Check out our article on Chicken Wormers for what products are good for deworming that can be used for quail as well.

Mites Infestations of Quail

Mites are sneaky little buggers that hitch a ride on your quail either 24/7 or under cover of darkness.

They can cause more than just itchiness, they suck the blood from their hosts and cause anemia, weakness, and in extreme cases, death.

Dermanyssus gallinae mite Quail Diseases Symptoms and Treatments

Symptoms of Mite Infestations of Quail

  • Irritated Skin
  • Feather Loss
  • Itching
  • Pecking
  • Paleness

Treatment for Mite Infestations of Quail

Like worms, these parasites can be eradicated with ivermectin or for a more natural remedy, diatomaceous earth.

To rid your poor quail of these relentless pests, pens should be vacated and cleaned thoroughly. Birds should be treated before returning to their permanent home. 

You can dust diatomaceous earth on your quail to help rid them of the mites. 

Quail, like most barnyard birds, have plenty of diseases to keep an eye out for, but with proper prevention, and quick treatment options, your quail can survive most ailments.

READ NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Quail

Quail Diseases

35 thoughts on “Quail Diseases Symptoms and Treatments

  1. Hi, A couple of my recently acquired Coturnix quail have taken to crouching low to the ground and creeping when they walk. The also fall over when they stand. They are fed medicated food and eat and drink readily. Any ideas?

        1. hi I also had this problem with one of my quails and after giving it an examination we figured out it was yeast ear infection I don’t know how she got it but after about a week of medication she was running around no problem

  2. Hi I have three quail. They all developed an eye disease which I treated with salin and antibiotic drops, the one that recovered first is now showing strange behaviour, it has its neck cranked to the side so it’s head is almost up side down causing it to loose its balance. Other than that they all are eating well.
    Does anyone have any idea what’s going on or seen this before. Any feedback would be great.

    1. For the eye diseases plz kindly use eye drops into their eye. Within a week they will be ok. Thank You.

    2. Ian, did you figure out what was wrong with your quail? I have 2 quail going through the same thing and one didn’t make it. The other has a vet appointment in a few days but I don’t know if he’ll make it.

  3. Hi there, one of my quails has come down with something similar to what you’re all describing. Has anyone worked out what the problem is? And how to treat it? My silkie bantam rooster has also started drooping his head and I am worried it is going to spread to the rest of the quails. The male quail first got ill about five days ago. At first I thought he was just being picked on by the others because he looked tired, had his head drooping and sleepy eyes. By the next day his head was twisted to the side he kept falling over sideways and now he can barely stand his stopped eating and the silky is displaying similar symptoms. I can’t find anything that helps online until I saw that all three of you had birds with the same sort of symptoms. Please help.

    1. I’m having the same issues. Quail falling over, look drunk, neck twisted, almost like they broke their necks. Have lost at least 25. We put them out of their misery bc it looks so horrible. I cant figure out why they are dying this way. I havent read anywhere of any quail diseases that have these symptoms. I find about 3 per day for last week. If anyone has any info on how to help please do.

        1. If its Newcastle disease just use tangiri ( Christmas melon ) its a strong antiviral disease. But always remember to introduce herbal to your poultry farm

      1. You can use bitterleaf extract, scent leaf, neem leaf, garlic, ginger, Cinnamon and turmeric. It helps as a strong antibiotics

  4. I’ve had three quail in the past year that all of a sudden cant walk. They will eat and drink if I put them near food but can’t stand up and then eventually die. They have a well balanced diet and live in a good sized aviary. I have nine all together so they are not crowded. Any ideas?

    1. Did you get a reply? I have a quail that is doing the same thing. I have been feeding and watering with vitamin and probiotic water for 5 days. Also for the last 4 days it has been opening its mouth slightly to breathe. Has gotten perky and feisty but no other improvements.

    2. Hi i had this with my quails and didn’t know what to do but i bulit a off ground enclosure for them because of cats getting into my ground enclosure but after being off the ground they eventuy came back to full health

  5. Hi. I have a Chinese painted quail male who has lived with my parrot for over 2 years with no issues. It’s been presenting with a VERY snotty nose, laboured breathing and is lethargic. I’ve given acv and have been cleaning it’s nose. When cleaning today I noticed the inside of the mouth is swollen. At first it looked like canker but is actually the roof of its mouth although there are 2 tiny lesions on its tongue. It’s eating and drinking but just sits unless I go near it. It doesn’t feel underweight. I’m trying to figure out if it has Coryza? If it does will my parrot be infected? I do have chickens and have a couple of chicks sat in a plastic box on top of the parrot cage with a cover between them. Is this Coryza? Can my parrot catch it? Neither bird are tame so difficult to handle. I’ll take my parrot to the vet but he’s a stress plucker so will only take if absolutely needed which it sounds like it is. The cpq doesn’t have any swelling at all around it’s eyes though so I’m a bit confused. I practice good bio cleanliness and always wash my hands before doing anything with the indoor birds (they are in my living room) but wonder if the chicks could have infected it as I’ve started to acclimatise them to go outside. I was going to cull the quail but don’t want to if I don’t need to. Any help would be appreciated as this is urgent! Thank you

  6. Hi. I have pair of quail in which male quail have head injury have groove on head and now it become reddish and swollen further area and effect eye. Tell me about that something how to care it and prevent from doing itching hardly.

  7. I have a quail that seems fluffed, tips over to the left side when walking like if its drunk, and twisted neck. What would this disease be and how can I treat it? Is this highly contagious?

    1. sounds like he needs more protein, when mine started doing that it was beacause they didnt have enough, are you feeding game bird feed?

  8. Very helpful article…thank you for putting this together. Quick question…Is it ever safe to eat quail who have died of any of the issues listed in this article? Or is it safest to never eat a quail who has “issues” or symptoms?

    1. Never eat a bird that has died of an infection .That is how specie to specie transmission occurs. Dispose of the corpse by either burial of cremation but I repeat do not eat an infected bird!

  9. Hello i had 13 quail now only 9 left.
    I want my quails as ground dwellers not to eat them..
    Last week my husband noticed a few of them had there’s wings dropped and there fluffed up he asked me what where they doing?
    I said never had quails before so do not know..
    4 days later 2 died then another that afternoon.
    I took a faeces of the forth one that wasn’t looking good and took that to a VET.
    The VET tested the faeces and said couldn’t see a dieses nor worms.. VET then said he’d need then next quail that dies to be investigated further..
    Anyone have any ideas…
    I’ve purchased exotic birds and pigeons antibiotics to try if this works..

  10. My Quails have literally no feather on their body for some reason for past few months. This is hot summer here in my place. Last two days I am seeing black dots in their body almost like a chicken pox. I have the image. can you please let me know how can I share it with you and also guide me on how to treat this.

    1. I had some birds that had this, it is mites I believe. Your quail will eventually lose it’s feathers and die. That is what happened to some of mine until I got diamataceaus earth. I mixed it in there bedding and over time they dusted themselves with it which killed the mites. Then my birds got better.

  11. Female quail started limping. Upon examination, I found her right leg seems to have a green fungus. Any idea what this could be?
    Many thanks!

  12. Occasionally I find very dense fatty stuff in the guy when we slaughter 7 to 10 week old quail. Sometimes you find similar stuff attached or kind of trapped under the skin around the thigh muscle close to the knee. Please what could this be?

  13. My Button Quail became very sleepy all of a sudden, she had fluffed up her feathers for long periods of time and had trouble walking around without becoming dizzy. I am not sure what it could have been as I am new to looking after button quail.

  14. Hi I’m Yaretzi I have a bottom up quail and he eats normally he also walks and sings normally but the one issue is that my other bottom up quail pokes him. His head is all messed up, and I he’s always down and his a little less wieight than the other one, he just want to sleep and I’m worried about it ? Any help

  15. The only symptom of quail disease will quickly disappear as soon as the breeder makes the necessary changes in the diet of the birds, as well as arranges comfortable conditions for their keeping. A veterinarian consultation is rarely required, quail diseases and their treatment depend on the diagnosis. Another common problem that farmers may encounter is egg shell deformation. Such a quail disease is caused by nutritional errors. Especially important are calcium and vitamin D. It is necessary to saturate the food with vitamins and minerals. The best remedies for such an illness are chalk, shell rock and chopped shells.

  16. One of my beloved quails (le plumb)died
    It seems she had something to do with the cold the was curls up in the nest her legs were red and she had a high temperature it all happens so quickly,in the morning she was out eating nuts and flying and then back in the nest dying .it soon spread and my popularity of quails was falling my quails now I have to separate them and keep them in dark cages untill I find a cure 😔please help my quails are verry sad .

  17. Some of the male quails are killing the females. Please help.
    Also hatched two more quail, one of them seems to have been harassed with a disability I guess is what he would call it. He/she can not really walk and can barely stand. What should I do? And the other quail has recently start packing at the hurt leg. Really really scared and sad.

  18. I had no idea quails could get so many different diseases! It’s great that you’re sharing this information to help us keep our feathered friends healthy. I’ll definitely be more vigilant about monitoring my quail’s health now. Thank you for the valuable post!

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