Coccidiosis & How To Treat It

Coccidia are a microscopic parasitic organism that infect poultry when ingested by the chicken.
By willowbranchfarm · Nov 10, 2012 · Updated Jan 16, 2013 · ·
  1. willowbranchfarm

    Coccidiosis & How To Treat It


    Picture by animallover1654​
    What is Coccidiosis?

    Coccidia are a microscopic parasitic organism that infect poultry when ingested by the chicken. The parasites found in the ground or bird feces attaches itself to the lining in the gut, multiplies and becomes an oocyst feeding in the digestive tract which will make it bleed. Once infected it passes the parasites in its poop days before symptoms occur. The coccidia that infect chickens do not affect other types of livestock, and vice versa. Different kinds of birds are even infected by a different kind of coccidia. Coccidiosis (pronounced cock-sid-ee-oh-sis) in chickens is caused by nine species of Eimeria protozoa, some are more serious than others. It is fatal, but if your chicken survived this disease it would be immune to future cocci infections.

    How does Coccidia harm chickens??

    Some infections are more sever then others.

    - The more oocysts eaten by the chicken the more sever the disease.
    - The site of development within the chicken.
    - Age of bird. Young birds are more susceptible then older birds. But older chickens can still get it.
    - Nutrition. A poorly fed brid are more suscepitble then well fed birds.

    Coccidiosis in chickens is eather intestinal or cecal. Intestinal is caused by E. necatrix and cecal coccidiosis is caused by E. tenella. Coccidiosis in more common in young birds and not old birds because older birds are usually immune due to prior infection. Broilers and layers are more commonly infected. Coccidiosis usually occurs more often in warm months like May-September rather than cold months like October-April.

    Medicated starter Feed

    Coccidiosis is more common in chicks and young chickens. Medicated feed can help protect your chicks but in order for the medicated starter feed to work your chicks have to be exposed to Coccidia Protozoa (by letting them go outside and be on the soil is a way for them to be exposed). They then will slowly start to build a resistance and immunity to this disease. When raised by us chicks are usually inside and away from the outdoors, but when raised by hens only a little while after they hatch they are outside foraging and start to build their immunity. Medicated starter feed does not treat/cure coccidiosis.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Pictures by LittleCreekFarm
    Cocci Control and Prevention

    - Good Management
    - Vaccinating at earliest age (do not feed medicated starter feed if your chicks have been vaccinated against cocci. This will neutralize the vaccine.
    - For birds living outside keep the bedding in the house clean and dry
    - Clean waterers and feeders every time you refill them
    - Feeding medicated starter feed that contains coccidiostat (which kills coccidia) for the first month

    Keeping your chickens water cleanand free of dropings, bedding clean/fresh, and making sure they are getting good nutrition is a great way to avoid getting this disease. Using preventative tonics like Apple Cider Vinegar in their water (like in the above picture) and Garlic, this helps to keep on top of oocyst and other worms. The acid in the gut helps to prevent the formation of oocyst which does the damage. All ground fed birds are exposed to infective oocysts throughout their life. Cocci are less common in free ranging birds than ones that are confined to one area. Coccidiosis can be transferred on contaminated boots, clothing, feed sacks, insects, and rodents.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Fresh water and good nutrition help keep your chickens healthy.


    - Look dirty and unkempt
    - Weak and listless
    - Fluffed up not doing much
    - May see pale comb and skin
    - May be sick one day and drop dead the next day
    - Not eating and drinking much
    - Blood in poop (Some types of coccidiosis don't have bloody poop as a symptom) (do not get this confused with intestinal lining that chickens do shed that is brown/red)
    - Severe infection that causes yellow foamy poop


    (Above) Picture by pdxcluck

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (Above) Note the weak, fluffed feathers, and pale comb.
    (Below) Bloody poop

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    All above pictures by Mrs. AKA- Bird-Brain

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (Left) Picture by WTDavis ~ (Right) Picture by Lothiriel
    WTDavis said that this was actuallly blood in this ~ Although it looks strange this is just intestinal lining.
    poop picture not berries, and they had a test done on a ~
    stool sample and the results said it was filled with coccidia. ~

    How to Treat Coccidiosis?

    Treatment will work effectively and quickly if started when you see the first signs of disease

    The treatment I have read about that is said to be the best is to separate your chickens and then use Corid 9.6% liquid solution. The dosage is 9.5cc to a gallon of water for five days. And there is no withdrawal period. You do need to make a fresh batch every day, and keep him/her away from all the other chickens. Corid takes care of all 9 cocci that chickens could get.

    Another treatment is Sulment (Sulfadimethoxine). But I have read it is not as effective as corid and only treats 2 kinds of cocci. There is also a 10 day withdrawal period for sulmet. Sulmet is a lot harder on chickens then Corid is. In case you want to try sulmet the dosage is 2 Tablespoons to a gallon of water for 2 days. Then reduce to 1 Tablespoon to a gallon for 4 days. But I would recommend Corid over Sulmet.

    There are some home-aid treatments like the Milk Flush which is 4 pounds of dried milk, 2 pounds of corn meal, 2 pounds of oatmeal, and 1 pound of bran for 3-5 days feeding only this nothing else. This will flush the system out. However I don't know if this method has ever worked and would again encourage you to treat with Corid. In case you did want to try this though here is more information

    Follow up treatment with vitamin supplement (especially A and K)
    Use liquid treatment for treating chickens since chicks/chickens don't uaually eat when infected by cocci.

    Incubation Period

    Cecal Coccidiosis: 5-6 days
    Intestinal Coccidiosis: 5 days

    What is found in a Necropsy?

    All lesions are found in the intestines, the ceca of poultry. These lesions can be found in the upper small intestines or lower large intestines and ceca. They include a red or white speckled appearance in the intestinal wall. The intestines may become swollen and fill up with fluid, blood, and tissue debris. If you decide to do a necropsy and want to know for sure that your birds have this disease, scraping the gut lining and sending it to your state diagnostic laboratory for conformation will tell you whether or not it's coccidiosis.


    I hope you and your chickens will never have to go through Coccidiosis, but if you do I hope this article will help you understand coccidiosis and help you know how to treat it. If you have any questions even if you think its dumb, please ask. Good luck!

    Thanks for reading,

    Share This Article

Recent User Reviews

  1. Anonymous
    "Very well written"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Dec 26, 2018
    Article was very educational and easy to understand.
  2. Joeschooks
    "Helpful article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 24, 2018
    I think it’s important that everyone who raises chicks is able to recognise the symptoms of coccidiosis. My chicks had it recently. Fortunately I realised straight away what it was and was able to begin treatment the same day. Sadly I lost one within hours but acting quickly I managed to save all the others who are now growing into strong, healthy birds.
  3. Sparcleus
    "Important Information"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 31, 2018
    I just lost a chick to Coccidiosis. I need to treat the rest of my flock and ensure I am keeping the brooder/coop clean. Thanks!


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. Smashmoore7
    I am new to owning chickens and am desperate for help.....unfortunately I have a severe outbreak of Coccidiosis (I think) and I have done everything right: clean sanitized coop, clean run, no food on the ground they have had apple cider in water since day one and eating appropriate foods (nothing they can't have) I have since stopped treats and only do feed.... My one pullet passed away very fast last weekend (within 2 days) and they all were treated immediately and had been on corid for 5 days, so I stopped treatment- everyone else seemed to be fine but then 3 days later I found more bloody droppings and witnessed 3 of my girls (12-16 weeks) pooping the blood- so no sense in separating them. They all seem to be acting totally normal and no signs of being "sick" other than the bloody droppings mixed with normal poop. I live in alaska and I have called the Veterinarians in my area and none of them see chickens! I am beyond frustrated and just want my birds to be healthy again! Do I have any hope that they will overcome this!?
    1. casportpony
      Can you start a thread? I have lots of suggestions for you.
      Smashmoore7 likes this.
    2. Smashmoore7
      casportpony I just did, thank you :)
  2. nickajack
    Great article, but too many unanswered questions.
  3. WendyBaaa
    Thank you for your thoughts on this, I think I have had birds who succumbed to this in the past although at the time I had no idea what the cause was.
    I will try to get some cocid, just in case!
  4. MelissaRose
    Great article. I have a young silkie, she is living inside with some six week old chicks. I know their supposed to go outside but they haven't yet, My silkie has been pooping a little blood, I cleaned her cage and gave her fresh food. I also put a splash of cider vinegar like suggested,How much was I supposed to put in? I used a teaspoon or less in a quart. Is it okay for the chicks to be drinking that also or should I separate them?
    Thanks, this is an excellent article
  5. topdog24
    Very good and truthful post
  6. 2727Hope
    I’m a newbie. Yellow diarrhea from a 3 month chick. Putting cordial in drinking water. This is the 1st day. Is there any chance for survival?
  7. shailey
    what if you are unable to get corid?
  8. Taylorbrood
    what do you feed this chicken while it is going through treatment?
  9. janz70
    what do you use to sanitise your runs - been reading ammonia hydroxide is the only thing that kills coccidia is this true as I have been using hydrated lime?
      Taylorbrood likes this.
  10. HenPennySC
    Coccidia in 2 week old chicks. I have 13 chicks. They have liquid brown poop. Otherwise very healthy. Wondering if I should treat for coccidia. They were on medicated feed 1st. Now on grower starter. TSC has powered Corid for bovine. Need directions for small amount of chicks.
    How many tsp per quart?
      Taylorbrood likes this.
  11. HenPennySC
    Only the powder is available at Tractor Supply. Directions are for bovine. How to convert to chicks?? I only have 13 chicks to treat. How many table spoons to quart??
      Taylorbrood likes this.
  12. Flufferes
    Yeah, my chicken had symptoms one morning-blood in her poop. We drove to the feedstore to get some Corid 9.6 amprolium, and treated her that day, with the rest of the flock too. We seperated her that night, and she was worse the next day. She ended up dying that night.
  13. runt325
    yall if you see blood in there poop then give them some dewormer and it will get rid of the worm and blood out of there poop because i have 10 chicks and they had this and i gave them probitcs and dewormer and they are fine now
      Big Mamma 58 likes this.
  14. merlotmudpies
    This article is so clear and helpful. I do think I have one chick ailing and all my other 12 exposed based on what I've read here. Regarding separating the chicks, does it make sense to separate since I think we've had them together with this going on for a few days without my realizing what it was? I've put corrid (outbreak dose, 1 tsp powder per gallon of water) in their water, and have them on medicated feed. And should I bathe my girl who's messy? I had to do this with her once before when she had pasty butt about three weeks ago. Soaked the poop so I could get it off and then gently blowdried her until she was warm and dry and good to go. She's seemed fine until a few days ago I started noticing runny poop again (no blood) and then just today noticed her with messy feathers and one wing drooping.
  15. Lilorp14
    I have a 7-day-old Jersey Giant chick that is eating, drinking, chirping, running around, and totally healthy looking, but there are red flakes in her poops. Can I treat her water with Corid just as a precaution, or should I wait until she starts showing real symptoms? If I treated their water now would it be unhealthy for them or would it sorta just help them out? Thanks!
  16. boskelli1571
    Excellent article, short & to the point, thanks.
      Thorn Fulford likes this.
  17. blackbart80
    Fantstic article!! Precise and to the point and useful! We are new chicken owners and this was exactly what I was looking for!
  18. Cluckies
    This is great. Please add the dosage for powdered Corid/gallon. Thanks!
      HenPennySC likes this.
  19. aalissa
    Chock full of fantastic information. Thank you
  20. Blueline
    I forgot my thankyou to 'willowbranchfarm's for this info: Thank You. Orschilens only had a one gallon jug; $99.00 I passed and went to the next town over to a TSC. They carried the 10oz packet of "Corid". The girls all have medicated water now. Before looking this up on this great informative forum, we mixed a 1/2 tsp on DE into yogurt for the girls...they love yogurt. Our isolated girl got a small amount of cottage cheese and the DE also...she loves cottage cheese. She is standing and looking more alert this afternoon, so am hopeful we're on the mend.
    Again Thank You
    Respectfully, Charlie
      Thorn Fulford likes this.
  21. Blueline
    Heading to Orschilens (sp?) right now, time for cordid. We have a sick bird isolated. Started with DE in yogurt this am. She definitely fits the symptom; fluffed and not moving, no appetite.
  22. iluvorpingtons
    I noticed a few specks of blood in my chick's poop...I looks nothing like the picture here, just a little spot of it. Is this normal, or should I still be worried?!
  23. Eggwell
    I just want to say, zteagirl71, I empathize with you. I love each and every one of my chickens. I despise losing one to some stupid disease. They add so much to our lives and seem so helpless. I had 40 chickens to catch Coccidia, but I caught it in time before one died, but I've lost them to other sicknesses.
  24. zteagirl71
    Recently the weather here in SoCAl. has been unusually wet and warm, the kind of weather that breeds Coccidia. But I didn't know that until today. The first pullet I lost was little Miss Lily the Cream Legbar, I had NO IDEA why she was so sick so quickly; when I found her she was nearly gone and only lasted a few hours after that. Now, about a week or so later, I just lost Daisy my Light Sussex -- today. I am SO upset with myself for not figuring this out sooner; my son was able to find what was wrong on his smart phone in minutes, after I found Daisy in nearly the same condition as Lily had been in, but by then, It was too late! I only have two left, so with the help of my boys, we cleaned out their little coop with soap and white vinegar, then put in new straw. I cleaned their feeder and waterer with hot soapy water, and I will be getting some of the Corid to treat the remaining pullets, if they last long enough. I HATE learning this way, but I won't make the same mistakes a third time! Now I've learned (the hard way) what to look for and how to prevent it from happening again-- oh my poor little birdies :) <
  25. sdetwiler333
    I have lost 2 hens this week, & this may be the reason . Both birds had mucus coming from their nostrils & the on that died today had a lot of mucus in her poop. They were 2 year old birds. Also the hens are not laying.I'm going to treat what is left of the flock.
  26. TeaChick
    short, easy to understand; thank you
  27. modestmaiden62
    One of my 7 we old chicks has been puffed up and not acting right for a few days. I just treated her with Corid in her water. She has been eating but I have to give her the drink in a syringe. How long will it take to see results. I really hope I don't loose her. I will treat the rest of the flock. They are Lavender Orpingtons and have been outside for about 3 weeks. I have been putting ACV in their water off and on.
  28. supercoops
    My sickest hen ate food within 1/2 hr of the Corid treatment after no interest in eating for 2 days.
  29. kimthom66
    I used the powder form of CORID and not the liquid, treated for 5 days but I haven't been eating the eggs? Can I resume eating the eggs since this says there is no withdrawal period?
  30. Princess Guinea
    I hand watered my chick for three days - Bill dunking in the correct solution every two hours. By the second day she was drinking on her own!
  31. Eggwell
    How can you be sure the chick will drink the Corid solution? My chicks have this and they barely drink.
  32. Princess Guinea
    Thank you. We see some improvement
  33. boskelli1571
    Very good article, short, helpful & to the point, thanks.
  34. BarredRock1980
    well this sucks i have a chicken with it and dont know how to pay for the extra stuff right now
  35. Sandstorm495
    Very helpful, lots of good information!
  36. poultrified
    can you use oxytetracycle, agrimycin or duramycin??
  37. roostersandhens
    Great article!
  38. willowbranchfarm
    The last one, but I didn't place. Thanks you.
  39. Chickenfan4life
    Well done on your article! Is this for the BYC article writing contest?
  40. willowbranchfarm
    That would be great. Although for this contest it has to be your pictures or you need permission to use someone elses. :)
  41. l-o-v-e
    good job :D
  42. DaniellePage
  43. Phyrst
    Language I can understand! Good job!
  44. Marty1876
    Nice article.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: