Eggcessive, I am SO SORRY I am just now seeing your reply. I'm still a novice with this forum and was waiting for a notification that someone read and replied to my post, so I assumed I'd gone unanswered. I really appreciate you responding. We learned the hard way that we didn't do such a stellar job of giving the chicks fresh grass and ground to walk on to give them a break from the brooders and possible recontamination, not to mention we kept them with 3 baby ducks which made a complete wet mess of the brooder (HUGE mistake). We were overwhelmed by the number of birds we had--first time we raised baby chicks we only had 6 from TSC and I was able to give them so much more TLC and fresh ground to run around when they were younger (they're all doing awesome and thriving). Trying to corral almost 3 times as many babies was too much for us to handle, so they were pretty much cooped up in a brooder with not so ideal conditions. My husband and I are still kicking ourselves over it.
We ended up losing one more to the coccidia, but several of them never really seemed to bounce back after that and I think it's made them more susceptible to other illnesses. Over the past few months we've had bouts of respiratory symptoms that they all seem to bounce back from after treatment, then randomly one will start looking "off" and we eventually lose them. All in all we've lost just over half of those babies (just lost another one today). And each time we think we're in the clear, everyone is looking good, then one day they start looking weak and lethargic. They usually start showing signs by sitting with their eyes closed frequently, or just sitting on their haunches, others have been wobbly, unable to stand up or walk, or have a limp, crooked neck (neuro signs). I'm not convinced it's Marek's, but am clueless otherwise. My little Luna (chocolate cuckoo orpington) who died today had always looked anemic but otherwise fine and had a good appetite; she just looked really sleepy, eyes closed and not moving this morning and only a few hours later she was gone. After she passed I examined her for signs of external parasites and saw none. I could feel that she was skin and bone though, which shocked me because she appeared to be such a full, healthy girl.
The flock was just wormed 2 weeks ago with Safeguard. Multiple trips to the vet haven't done anything except drain our bank account--fecal tests and mycoplasma test both clear, otherwise the vet has no ideas and the exams were inconclusive. The only place that can do a necropsy is over an hour away and we just can't commit to it. We've had to cull several of them showing the neurological signs but have kept our fingers crossed the ones remaining who seem strong and sturdy will make it.
Could this all be related to chronic coccidia?