Leg Problems In Japanese Quail

I was wondering if anyone could help me. One of my japanese quail is having trouble standing up. She is feeding and drinking well but she cannot stand and support her body. She cannot seem to easily get her legs underneath her and will shuffle along.
I wondered what was causing this could it be the feed?
I am providing my quail with pellets that has 18% protein. Do they need more greens?
Could it be due to male activity?
It has only happened to one of the females.
They are on a concrete floor with wood shavings in an avairy. Could the joints be affected because of the concrete. The quail in question does not like to be placed on the bricks that I have the feeder and drinker on but she is happy sitting on the wood shavings.
Any advice about leg problems in japanese quail would be great.

  1. as promised
    i had five quails one died. not the one that had splayed legs its doing fine.
    they are nearly three weeks old on friday & are growing well;
    it took about 8 days with the plaster on the legs but it walks as good as any now

    thanks again for the website help

    peter upshaw

    Comment by PETER UPSHAW – August 26, 2008 @ 3:37 am

  2. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for dropping by the farmingfriends website again and letting me know how your quail are getting on.
    I am pleased to hear that the one with the splayed leg is doing well.
    I am sorry to hear about the one that didn’t make it.
    Watch out for toe balling (when droppings and litter attach themselves to the quail’s toe and build up into a ball) as this is a very common occurrence and the ball on the foot can quickly build up.
    I am glad that you have found the website useful. It is always satisfying to know that it has been of use.
    Thanks again for your comment.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – August 26, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

  3. Can anyone help? I have an Italian quail who has just developed a problem of balled feet – a friend has suggested a cream remedy for crow feet, due to damp bedding. Any other suggestions? Many thanks, Joan

    Comment by Joan Roberts – October 2, 2008 @ 7:54 am

  4. Hi Joan,
    Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and leaving your question. Can I just clarify if you mean toe balling or bumble foot.

    Toe balling is where droppings and mud gather on the foot or claws of the bird and harden up into a ball. This is not un-common. You can pick off the toe balls. I tend to pick up the quail and soak the foot in water to dampen the toe ball. Then I usually get someone to help carefully pick at the toe ball. You need to pick carefully otherwise you could pull the nail off the claw. Sometimes the toe ball is very hard so I use pliers to carefully pick at the ball.

    Bumblefoot is a hard lump that forms underneath the foot usually where a small wound has been. The lump is formed when the infection is still there. Usually the quail will be limping. If the infection is still active the foot will feel hot and swollen and can be treated with an antibiotic treatment. If the lump is near the surface then you may want to lance the bump and squeeze out the pus and then treat with a veterinary spray. if you do lance the lump then you may wish to keep the bird away from the other birds as the others will sometimes pick at the wound.
    I hope this information helps.
    Let us know how you get on with your quail.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends.com

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – October 2, 2008 @ 11:02 am

  5. please help!! i have now 3 Japanese quial. one is not holding his head correctly – more to one side. a similar thing happened to another quail but died a few days later. i am feeding them on crumb and a special egg shell food. what else can i do. what am i doing wrong??

    Comment by zoe – October 2, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

  6. sorry forgot to add that they are nearly 4 weeks old.

    Comment by zoe – October 2, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  7. Hi Zoe,
    I am sorry to hear that your quail are not well. They could have coccidiosis or enteritis, both of which can be treated with veterinary help. I would definately contact the vets and ask for advice. If any of them die (which I hope that they don’t) then I would take this one to the vets for a post mortem so that you know what it is and can get the others treated. I did this recently and I was surprised that it was not too expensive. it cost about £17 to have a pm for two quail.
    I am sure that you are changing the water regularly and making sure that the ground is not littered with crumbs and droppings. Putting fresh straw or saw dust down will help prevent illness but I am sure that you are already doing this. Is the crumbs medicated as you can get medicated chick crumbs that will help against coccidiosis.
    Let me know how the quail progress.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – October 2, 2008 @ 6:46 pm

14 thoughts on “Leg Problems In Japanese Quail”

  1. I recently got a little quail chick and he got a tiny bit of droppings on one of his feet, I watched to make sure that more didn’t accumulate, and it didn’t and after a few days soaked the foot and got the dropping off because it hadn’t fallen off yet, which I thought it would.

    The problem is his poor little toe seems to be dead, it’s stunted and black. I feel terrible, he doesn’t seem to be in any pain though, walks and scratches just fine. I just added a little vitamin mix to his food to give him a boost but is there anything else I can do? I’m worried it will get infected.

  2. Hi,
    i have a female japanese quail, she seems ok in appearance and everything but she cant seem to stand up, ive checked for any injuries but i cant locate any, help?!

  3. Hi Sammy,
    Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear about your quail. Can you move the legs at the joints or are the joints seized up? If the quail can’t straighten their legs then could be fused joints. Is it possible to splint the legs to help the quail to walk?
    There is something called perosis http://farmingfriends.com/perosis-in-poultry/
    This is caused by a nutritional deficiency of manganese.
    Adding a manganese supplement to the feed for 3 to 5 days will help to prevent any new cases developing.
    I added your comment to my quail forum and Sallie gave a reply as well. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=925
    Hi Sammy, They can suffer from the achilles tendon slipping off the hock. Only problem is it is very hard to replace so you may need to consult a vet for this one. sallie
    Hope this helps.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

  4. Hi Charley,
    Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about the quail chicks, it could be splayed legs.
    I added your comment to my quail forum and Sallie gave a reply as well. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=925
    Hi Charley, Sounds like your quail have splay legs. Take a strip of elastoplast (finger size) cut a thin strip lengthwise retaining the lint, shorten the length slightly and then place round the quails legs between the hock and the toes as a hobble. Leave the lint part as the distance between the legs. Leave on for 3 – 4 days and they should walk ok after that. http://farmingfriends.com/splayed-legs-in-guinea-fowl-keets/ http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html
    Hope this helps.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  5. We had some quails hatch about a week ago, and one was premature, he was struggling to breath, we thought we would die. But he pulled through and the next day was running around like a happy little baby chick. Any was yesterday we noticed he wasn’t walking on one of his leggs, he holds it right out to the side and only uses one leg, it kind of looks like the join is a little swolen. Is there anything we can do to help. He is still really little his brothers and sisters have pretty much gotten all their feather or are halfway there, he has only just started to get some feathers. He still only looks like 2 or 3 days old size wise. Please any suggestions would be much appreciated, as he has become out favourite.

  6. I have just hatched 14 courtnix Quails in my incubator. They are about 4 days old now, but only seven of them can walk. the rest shuffle around with their legs out to the side. Is there anything i can do to help them?

  7. i forgot to say hes a week old today and he sleeps on the side of my bed so i can keep an eye on him,bedroom gets hot with the lamp but who cares hes getting better

  8. just thort ill let u know he started walking at 1 this morning i was going to bed and checked on him and he wasnt all 1 sided and was walking i was so excited i watched him most of the nite and didnt get much sleep, craig

  9. Hi Craig,
    Sorry to hear about the chick. Hope it is ok.
    What you are describing could be perosis http://farmingfriends.com/perosis-in-poultry/

    This is caused by a nutritional deficiency of manganese.

    Adding a manganese supplement to the feed for 3 to 5 days will help to prevent any new cases developing.

    I hope your chick is ok. Can you splint the chicks legs to help with movement.

    I would keep the chick warm and make sure the chick eats and drinks often.

    Keep us posted. I have added your enquiry to the quail forum here http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=609

    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

  10. i have a baby quail it was ok 4 about 5 hrs then when i went out to take my child to school i came back 2 and half hrs later i thort it was dead as it was lying on its side and still, i went to touch it and it started pushing along with its legs it eats and drinks well but can it live lying on its side, its such a cute little thing, its legs are just straight out now but he was walking on them just after he was born. craig

  11. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for getting intouch with the farmingfriends website. Sorry to hear about your quail. This is not uncommon, both myself and a friend have come across quail that seem to shuffle along but they are ok eating, drinking and generally moving about.
    We have discussed it on our forum http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=312
    Can you move the legs at the joints or are the joints seized up? If the quail can’t straighten their legs then could be fused joints. I have wondered if this leg problem was due to a vitamin deficiency and Sallie wondered if it was interbreeding that caused it.

    Is it possible to splint the legs to help the quail to walk?

    Hope your quail recovers or is ok.
    I have added your enquiry to the forum http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=605
    Let us know how the quail gets on.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  12. i have to same problem with 1 of my quails (tuxedo) its eatin and drinkin fine but can not stand up and walk it shuffles along i dont know wat to do its 5 days old at the moment apart from not walkin its seems fine in every other way
    thanx sarah

  13. Hi Kirsty,
    Welcome to the farmingfriends website. Glad you had a successful hatch.
    I also have aforum http://farmingfriends.com/forums/ and one of the members posted about guinea fowl keets that were having trouble with their legs.
    Here is the link to the post and all the information and advice given. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=183 The guinea fowl keets had a deficiency in selenium and they were given red cell.
    My friend Sallie has quail and a few of her quail have had problems with their legs have had mine. since she has been feeding them specific quail layers pellets she hasn’t had any quail with leg joint problems.
    This is what Sallie emailed to me,
    “These chicks hatched with what appeared to be fused hock joints so don’t think diet was an issue. Have read somewhere about the achilles tendon slipping off the joint but as I cant identify the achilles tendon couldn’t do much about it!!!

    Last year I had a couple of older birds that got swelling on their joints, a large watery bursa type of thing but have not had (touch wood) any since I started feeding the Marriages Quail Layer pellets. Jolly good value those pellets as they are only about £10 for a large sack and one sack lasts a long time. Although with all the extra mouths to feed I expect to get through it a bit quicker from now!!! sallie”
    I do hope that your quail chicks are ok.
    kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

  14. hi there we are just starting out with hatching our own quail.we had 30 eggs which most hatched successfully.we then transfered them into the brooder,this is when we noticed that 3 or 4 quail could not stand up and were falling to one side.we are not sure what to do about this as this is going to make it hard for them to get to the food or water,i would appreciate someones help quickly as i fear i may lose them.
    thanks kirsty

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