• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Steve Thorn

Head Boink, time to cull?

 
Posts: 14
Location: Northern Michigan (zone 5a)
5
cat forest garden foraging
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just got a dozen quail chicks (about 3 weeks old) and one of them has a swollen head. I'm almost certain it's due to an injury rather than illness; there don't seem to be any of the other signs of coryza in the breeder's flock or mine, and the chick seems very confused and shaky. Quail are infamously prone to hitting their heads when startled, so I'm going to pad their roof with something to prevent any future accidents, but now I need to decide what to do with the injured bird.

I expected to have to cull some of them, but I'd really hoped they would be older than this. This will be my first time slaughtering a bird, and I hate the thought of wasting it, but there's so little meat on this one. I don't have high hopes for recovery, but if this is a hen I might be willing to put in the extra effort to try. On the other hand, if it dies before I can sex it then I'm out a bird AND a meal... and again, I hate to let an animal go to waste.

Does anyone with more quail experience have any advice? Do you always cull head boinks, or take it case by case? (Any recipes to make the most of a really little quail, or should I just plan on making a stew?)
 
pollinator
Posts: 1897
Location: Bendigo , Australia
124
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maddy, if you had a head injury, what would you want others to do to you?
 
pollinator
Posts: 579
Location: South-central Wisconsin
219
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd be inclined to separate it, give it electrolytes in water, and keep an eye out for any changes for at least 24 hours. Then decide based on how it's doing after that.
 
Maddy Youngson
Posts: 14
Location: Northern Michigan (zone 5a)
5
cat forest garden foraging
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the advice. I should have mentioned it had already been several days and the chick seemed to be having a hard time eating and drinking. It's been a hot week and I couldn't be there to make sure it was getting enough water, but I decided to wait a few more days anyway. Poor thing is still really confused and makes distressed peeping, but I just checked and the swelling  is starting to go down. Still a really nasty lump and I'm not sure if the eye is functional (the fact that it misses the feeder half the time makes me think not...) but it's a little better. More active today, if still stumbling into the side of the cage.
20210612_080550.jpg
left eye
left eye
20210612_080617.jpg
swollen right eye
swollen right eye
 
pollinator
Posts: 1818
Location: Denmark 57N
470
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We had a couple of ducklings that got attacked by rats (well lots were but these two survived) the rats bite the base of the skull to kill them so they were both very wobbly, had poor balance and couldn't get their beaks into the feeder/waterer. I hand fed and watered them for about a week until they could stand up and eat themselves and then they stayed in the chicken tractor alone until they got to a good slaughter weight, the boy recovered 100% but the girl would still sometimes fall over. Both made it to meal size though, so if eating is the plan I would make sure it gets food and water, isn't picked on and let it grow, I probably wouldn't keep it for breeding or eggs.
 
Maddy Youngson
Posts: 14
Location: Northern Michigan (zone 5a)
5
cat forest garden foraging
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Skandi Rogers wrote:We had a couple of ducklings that got attacked by rats (well lots were but these two survived) the rats bite the base of the skull to kill them so they were both very wobbly, had poor balance and couldn't get their beaks into the feeder/waterer. I hand fed and watered them for about a week until they could stand up and eat themselves and then they stayed in the chicken tractor alone until they got to a good slaughter weight, the boy recovered 100% but the girl would still sometimes fall over. Both made it to meal size though, so if eating is the plan I would make sure it gets food and water, isn't picked on and let it grow, I probably wouldn't keep it for breeding or eggs.



I have a few others that I want to keep regardless of sex so I don't need another male, although if it recovers well and is a healthy hen I might keep it for eggs. Wouldn't hatch any out of this one, just eating eggs. Coturnix quail are fully grown in about 6-10 weeks depending on type. I think this one is an A&M jumbo, so probably on the upper end of that range. Before today I wasn't sure if it would make it that far, but I have a corner of their pen blocked off so the others can see but not pick at it in case it does and I want to reintroduce.
 
Note to self: don't get into a fist fight with a cactus. Command this tiny ad to do it:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic