Kai: The baby quail are 2 weeks old now. Out of the 8 that hatched, 7 have survived to this point and are looking good. One that still remains has a bit of a longer story though, as when he or she hatched, they were born with splay-leg. This condition can be fixed if caught immediately, and so luckily l recognized it shortly after hatch day – but at the same time, I had absolutely no experience with it.
To remedy splay-leg the legs must be braced back underneath the chicks body before it’s muscles develop in the off-set fashion it was born in.
Someone suggested using literal band-aids for this, but upon trying this, they kept coming undone. Finally, I used a sandwich tie for a brace, and this stayed securely around the chicks ankles.
If I were to have done this over, I would have put something soft between the tie and the skin, because about a week later, I found that it had started malforming the scales on the foot, but at least I caught it before it turned into an actual wound. Upon finding this, I took the brace off, and found that the little guy could stand on his own again!
I don’t know how long splay-leg usually takes to be corrected, but 1 week seemed like a pretty short time. Either way, the little guy is still plugging away, walking by himself, and eating by himself. He’s got some catching up to do in terms of growth, but things look promising.
I did not know I’d be doing this on our very first hatching, but I think l’ve gained a bit of confidence for handling this in the future!