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, illness, and ailments are all fairly common in quail breeds, keep a watchful eye on your birds and act quickly when symptoms show their ugly faces.
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 quail disease demonstrates that is is a common affliction for these tiny birds.
Ulcerative Enteritis is caused by bacteria that enters the bird’s system through droppings from other birds. It can also be transmitted by 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.
Symptoms of Quail Disease
- Dropped Wings
- Fluffed Appearance
- Watery Droppings
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 they are free-range, you will have very little control over the contact your birds have 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.
Symptoms of Coryza
- Snotty Beaks and Eyes
- Swollen Face
- Difficulty Breathing
Treatment of Coryza
Consult a veterinarian to obtain antibiotics for treatment. The sooner you obtain 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 easier than other types of poultry, and this is due to how they 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
- Rales, or rattling when breathing
- 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 protozoa 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.
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
Treatment of Worms in Quail
Depending upon the type of worm, you can usually purchase 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. Mites can cause more than just itchiness, they suck the blood from their hosts and cause anemia, weakness, and in extreme cases, death.
Symptoms of Mite Infestations of Quail
- Irritated Skin
- Feather Loss
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.