Category Archives: problems

Separating Eggs During Hatching

I have tried to come up with more ways to identify which eggs/chicks come from which button quail pairs. I do a few things to accomplish this goal.

  1. Write the number of the pair that produced an egg on the actual egg using a non-toxic sharpie marker.
  2. Placing eggs in separate containers line with shelf liner during the hatching period to keep the chicks with the numbered eggs that they hatched from.
  3. Use multiple brooders so that I can separate chicks or group different colors together that are easily identifiable as coming from specific pairs (for instance pair #3 will throw 80% slate and 20% silver red breasted). This one still creates a problem in that I only have 3 heat lamps so if hatching from more than 3-4 pairs, there is a good chance I will still have some that I can’t identify with this method later.
  4. Banding, this one I have just started experimenting with but it holds some promise since I can tag birds from different pairs. The number ofband colorsis limited but I can still use them to use a smaller number ofbrooders and make a list of what band color the chick is wearing, what color the chick is and the parent pair number. I have chosen to use elastic bird bands. They are not numbered butcan be removed withmuch greater ease if either the bird doesn’t needto be banded any longer or if the band creates a problem for the bird. Elastic bands also expand safely as the bird grows creating less potential for cutting off blood circulation in the leg.The little newly hatched chicks require an incredibly small size and I still find that some of them manage to kick the bands back off so it isn’t fool proof until they grow a little. The smaller size might also be a little too small for adults so there is the potential that it would need to be snipped off later. Still much easier do this with elastic than closed aluminum. Open aluminum could be an option but since these don’t expand, using them on newly hatched chicks would likely prove impractical since the size required would be smaller than that needed for an adult.


tiny size 2 elastic bird bands.
tiny size 2 elastic bird bands.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait… Tuxedo button quail eggs :)

This is perhaps my favorite button quail pair. The female is a bit small because she was ill as a chick and almost died…but she is just really cute. I paired her up with a male from California. And no eggs….

Continue reading Good Things Come to Those Who Wait… Tuxedo button quail eggs 🙂

Heat Packs for brooding chicks or sick button quail

When winter comes, I try to stock up on some HotHands brand body warmer heat packs. Other brands will work fine too but this brand is reasonably economical and heats up quickly. They do not last very long though and you will need 2-3 per day depending on the use. Walmart often has a 3 pack size of the body warmers for about $2.

These heat packs come in especially handy for chicks or sick button quail.

Continue reading Heat Packs for brooding chicks or sick button quail

“Poop Balls” eww… but, yes, we should talk about it…

No matter how clean cages are kept, there will be times when you have a button quail that gets poop stuck to its feet. This eventually results in a “poop ball” that hardens and the button quail cannot get it off on its own.

button quail with poop ball.
Button quail with poop ball on toe. Being held gently prior to soaking the toe to remove the hardened ball

Steps to remedy the situation:

  1. Gently catch the button quail and extend it’s foot or feet between two of your fingers.
  2. Either: soak the foot in warm (NOT HOT) water in a small bowl until the poop can be gently rubbed or scraped off OR run warm water over the foot (BE VERY CAREFUL not to get the quails head WET , only the legs/feet).
  3. Note: be very gentle, it is possible to pull off the button quails toe nail if you are too impatient. This can also happen if the poop has been caked too long so it is important to check your cages and their feet each day to avoid this possibility.
  4. Once the poop comes off if you notice any abrasions or swelling, you can apply a natural/non-toxic ointment to help prevent infection. I like using burts bees res-q (link is to show what the product is but you can often find it in natural health food type stores too).