Drugs are often misused, overused, and inappropriately used. Never attempt to substitute drugs for good management. Drugs are necessary and should be used, but only according to a diagnostician’s recommendation.
Guessing your way through a disease problem is likely to be a costly and drastic approach. Early and accurate diagnosis of a disease, followed by a specific treatment, is essential for speedy and satisfactory recovery.
Many drugs do not specify quail treatment levels. A diagnostician can advise you of the best drug and level of treatment for a specific problem. Continuous medication is not normally recommended. Overuse of drugs can cause more losses than the disease; sometimes no drug is the best treatment from a practical and economical standpoint.
Some conditions may justify periodic use of a specific drug for a specific and recurring problem. Using medications is done only on the advice of a diagnostician. Usually management changes can reduce or prevent constant recurrence of many quail diseases.
Remember; it’s OK to use the shotgun treatment method when hunting birds but never when dosing them. Always know-what you are treating, why you are treating, and how long to treat for best results with drugs. Diagnosticians are best equipped and qualified to provide this information.
Ways to Administer Drugs
After determining that a drug is necessary for prevention, control, or treatment of a specific health problem, you must decide the best method of administering that drug. Most available drugs are produced in several forms — injectable, water-soluble (liquid or powder) and feed grade additives. Three common methods of administering drugs, along with a few pros and cons of each, are as follows:
You get an accurate measure of the dose using this method, and the response to the treatment is within 24 hours if the drug is effective. However, from a practical standpoint this is the least desirable method. It requires handling each bird, more labor, more time, and likely injury to birds during the catching and handling process.
Injection is normally used only in cases of extreme daily mortality where practicality must be overruled to save the remaining birds.
Drinking water solutions are the most practical method of giving a drug. Response to the treatment is usually seen within 3-4 days.
It is very important to follow the drug manufacturer’s directions. Don’t give 4 tablespoonfuls when the recommendation calls for 2 tablespoonfuls. Some get the idea that twice the recommended dosage is twice as effective. It is not; it may well do more harm than no drug at all.
With water medication, always consider the environmental conditions at time of drug administration. Birds consume two to three times the volume of water per day at 85ºF temperature and above than they do when the temperature is 75ºF or below. This caution is particularly advisable when using sulfa drugs.
This method may be used, but results are slowest by this route — usually 5-8 days. When administering a drug for long periods, this method is commonly used. It is a route used when treatment is advised but is not an emergency.
A few problems many bird raisers face when wanting to use feed as a route of drug administration are
- Often impossible to get the drug mixed unless you produce enough birds to use several tons of feed a week or have your own mix mill.
- Mixing medication in feed with a shovel is questionable as to the equality of distribution throughout the feed some birds may get too much, others not enough.
- Feed consumption varies since birds eat less in the summer and more in the winter. Also sick birds normally do not eat well but continue to drink. If you can’t get the normal amount of feed into the bird, then the bird is not getting the full benefit of the drug.