Sorry if this has been asked before. I've been googling for hours now and still not sure. This is my first post, and Iwill go and introduce myself properly when I get a minute, but I'm trying to sort this issue out while I have a chance. The short question is if a chicken has recovered from coccidiosis, at what point is it safe to introduce it to a new flock, if ever?
The background is that I've had a small flock of 3 mixed girls for 4 months now, they've just started to lay. A week ago I bought 2 silkie girls (about 3 and 4 months old), and that afternoon noticed that the younger one wasn't looking up to snuff. She was arching her neck and gasping, and occasionally making a 'snoring' sound (rales?).
I've had chooks before but not for a few years, and they've always been healthy, so this is the first time I've encountered illness. I immediately began googling and discovered the wide world of chicken diseases! Yikes. Thankfully they were quarantined. So I brought the girls inside, as it is winter here, has been raining cats and dogs, and cold outside. The breeder offered to take them back, and give them antibiotics, but from what I'd read the AB's seemed to be about keeping secondary infections away than treating the primary cause, and I thought that rather than stress her out with another long drive, I would try coddling them with vitamins, probiotics and TLC, and see.
This seemed to be helping, as with each day she seemed perkier, looking less huddled, eating and drinking more, but still making the occasional 'snick' sound, or sneezing, and as soon as the temp dropped she would have the same trouble breathing, and need to be brought inside. Her poo has been loose the whole time too, and yesterday and today I've seen either blood or stomach lining, so I'm assuming from this that she has coccidiosis. I've spoken again with the breeder, who will take her home for treatment tomorrow, but what I'm not sure about is whether the older girl will have to go too?
She seems perky and well, but having been sharing the quarantine cage with a sick bird, she presumably has either had it already herself and recovered from that particular sickness, or is likely to come down with it herself? The breeder has suggested I keep her, which I'd love to do as she's the sweetest little thing, but even if I quarantine her for a month, won't she still be carrying nasties, or would she be safe to join the big girls after a decent length of time?
Thanks in advance if you've made it this far!
Edited by littlehouse - 7/26/11 at 3:48am