How to Keep Baby Quails Alive?
Baby quails are more fragile than baby chicks, and therefore they require plenty of care. From housing to feeding, baby quails need specialized maintenance to keep them alive. Baby quails need to stay warm throughout the day to survive.
In their first days, quail chicks should live in housing conditions with approximately 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They also need a high-protein feed and fresh water. Moreover, you need to handle your baby quails with care because mishandling them can make them die early.
Are Baby Quails Hard to Keep Alive?
Yes, quail chicks are hard to keep alive because they are delicate. Most newly hatched quail chicks die in their first weeks if they don’t get the proper care. They easily succumb to the cold within a few hours from hatching if they don’t get enough warmth.
As difficult as keeping baby quails alive is, you can successfully keep your chicks alive by raising them in the right conditions. Simply put, the chances of your baby quails surviving depend on how well you take care of your newly hatched quail chicks.
5 Essential Things for Keeping Baby Quails Alive
Although keeping baby quails can be challenging, particularly for quail keepers who haven’t handled newly hatched quail chicks before, you can keep your baby quails alive if you provide them with the essentials. Here are the five most essential things you need to keep your baby quails alive.
Keep Baby Quails Warm
Cold is among the leading killers of quail chicks. Your baby quails won’t survive a few days if they are susceptible to cold. Hence, quail keepers need to keep their baby quails warm throughout their first days.
Unlike adult quails that can withstand cold because of their feathers, quail chicks can’t maintain their body temperature when it is freezing. That means the chicks are at a huge disadvantage, so you have to get some alternatives to keep them warm.
First, raise your quail chicks in a brooder and away from adult quails. A good brooder will help the quail chicks regulate their temperature when it is cold. The brooder should have four solid walls and a solid floor to ensure it traps heat effectively.
Keep the brooder in a warm place to give your chicks additional protection from the cold. Line the brooder with a soft and warm material, preferably wood shavings, to ensure the brooder’s floor retains warmth.
The thicker the bedding material, the better because it will provide the baby quails with extra warmth. You can install heated pads in the brooder when the baby quails are about a month old. Attach the brooder’s walls with pads to warm the brooder from the sides.
One of the best alternatives to keeping your quail chicks warm is mounting a heat lamp above their brooder. A good heat lamp for keeping the baby quails warm has at least 250 Watts. Ensure the heat lamp can warm the entire brooder.
However, please don’t put the heat lamp too close to the chicks because they will crowd around the heat lamp to keep warm, raising their possibility of injuring themselves.
Keep the baby quails together with their mother if possible. Like chickens, mother quails keep their chicks warm before growing feathers. You can separate the chicks from their mother when they start growing feathers, although you will need to find other ways to keep the chicks warm until they are mature enough.
Using water bottles can also help keep your baby quails warm, especially when you can’t wake up in the middle of the night to keep your chicks warm. Keep a couple of water bottles inside the brooder, although you should use towels to insulate the hot water bottles. You can remove the water bottles in the morning since the water inside will be cold; therefore, it can’t help warm your baby quails.
Consider keeping many baby quails together. Keeping a large group of quail chicks warmer is easier because they will easily warm up each other as they cluster together. However, ensure there aren’t too many chicks in the brooder because over congestion can make the chicks injure each other.
Provide Baby Quails with Food
Giving your baby quails quality food will help them survive their infancy years. Like all newborns, quail chicks need good nutrition to navigate the journey from baby quails to full-feathered quails. Your quail chicks won’t survive if they don’t get adequate nutrition.
Ideally, baby chicks should start with a high-quality quail feed. This feed has all the vital nutrients a quail chick needs to grow and live to adulthood. Some key nutrients in quail starter feed include vitamins, proteins, minerals, and a decent amount of healthy fats.
Continue feeding your quail chicks with the starter feed until they are at least eight weeks old. Change the diet and introduce high-quality grower feed to your quail chick after this duration. Grower feed will help accelerate your chicks’ growth rate, making them stronger and hardy enough to live for long.
Nonetheless, many commercial feed brands are nowadays selling chick starter feed as quail starter feed. Be careful of the feed you are introducing to your baby quails since introducing the wrong feed to your birds can be hazardous. A good alternative to commercial starter feed is a combination of ingredients such as oatmeal, eggs, and scratch feed.
Boil some chicken eggs and mash them thoroughly before mixing them with fine oatmeal. However, this alternative is only effective for quail raisers with a few quail chicks. Otherwise, those with a large flock will continue depending on commercial feed to ensure their quail chicks get accurate nutrition.
No matter the type of foods you choose to give your baby quails, ensure they are rich in protein and calcium. Your baby quails won’t grow to adulthood if they suffer from a protein deficiency in their infancy days.
Calcium-rich foods are crucial for baby quails because your quail chicks will suffer from bone deformities if they fail to get enough calcium in their diet.
Give Baby Quails Water
Baby quails may be tiny but require fresh water like other birds. Quail chicks risk dehydration if they lack fresh water, particularly when the weather is extremely hot. Keep changing the water for your chicks to ensure the water doesn’t have any contaminants that will affect your chicks in the long run. However, baby chicks can’t drink enough water alone, particularly in their first days.
Furthermore, these chicks can easily fall and drown in the water. It’s important to teach your baby quails how to drink water in their first weeks. For instance, gently hold each baby chick and place its tiny beak into the water.
Wait for the bird to drink a few drops of water and then lift the head to ensure the bird swallows water. Alternatively, use a dropper to help your quail chicks drink water. Gently open the chick’s mouth and put a couple of drops into the mouth using a dropper.
Wait for the chick to swallow the water and put more water drops in the month until the birds get enough water. Your quail chicks will learn to drink water from the water dish as they grow old.
Keep Their Enclosure Clean
Keeping baby quails in a dirty environment can subject them to illnesses. Deadly bacteria like salmonella thrives in dirty conditions. This bacteria can kill dozens of baby quails and adult quails within days.
Besides making your baby quails ill, dirt can also encourage parasites to thrive in the enclosure. Fleas, mites, and lice also burrow under dirt, waiting to attack your chicks. These parasites can make your quail chicks sick and also drain their blood.
Make sure the quail chicks are living in a clean enclosure throughout. Clean the enclosure at least twice weekly to eliminate the dirt that exposes them to diseases and parasites. The cleaner the enclosure is, the more unlikely your chicks will suffer from illnesses.
Also, keep changing the bedding material in the enclosure regularly. Worn-out bedding will attract droppings and harbor parasites in the enclosure. Besides keeping the enclosure clean, also disinfect it to prevent harmful bacteria from accumulating in the enclosure.
Don’t Handle Baby Quails Too Much
Baby quails are quite fragile and can die easily due to mishandling. Always handle your baby quails when it is necessary. Mishandling can leave your baby quails with serious injuries. Ensure you handle gently, lest you break some fragile body parts, such as legs and wings, or damage their organs.
Newly hatched quail chicks are the most delicate, and you should avoid handling them, especially when they don’t have feathers. Quail chicks require plenty of care, more than baby chicks. Thus, don’t handle your chicks too much if you want to keep them alive.
Baby quails are awesome and cute tiny birds. Although these chicks are fragile, you can keep your chicks alive if you attend to them properly. Luckily, it would be best if you did a few things to keep your quail chicks alive.
Giving your baby quails accurate nutrition and ensuring they live in good conditions will help keep these delicate birds alive. Furthermore, protecting your chicks from diseases can also help extend their lives past their infancy days.