Best ways to prevent disease?

brittshep

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 4, 2014
9
3
11
I have 6 chicks that are three weeks old today. I will putting them out into their coop in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering: what is the best way to prevent disease (namely coccidiosis) before/when I put them outside? They have been in a brooder with pine shaving since they were a few days old with no exposure to the outdoors yet. In all my research, I somehow missed the fact that exposing them gradually would help to build up their tolerance. :/ I don't want my girls getting sick once they're finally outside, so what measures can I take at this point to help avoid that? I have been giving them grass clippings from the yard since they were a week old. Would bringing in some soil and mixing it in their brooder/creating a dust bath with it help at all? I don't want to use medicated feed; Trying to go as all-natural as possible. :) Thanks!
 
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Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,538
13,040
707
Southeast Louisiana
What I suggest is to start feeding them dirt every 4 to 5 days. They don't need a lot but they all do need to get some. This will introduce the Coccidiosis bug to their system. Repeat the dirt every 4 to 5 days. That dust bath idea will work too but it needs a little bit of moisture so enough of the bugs live so they are constantly exposed to it. Keep the brooder pretty dry. The problem with Coccidiosis is when the number of bugs gets out of control and that bug thrives in wet soil or manure. Keep the water fresh. Change it every day, not just refill the bowl. That bug can thrive in filthy water too.

it normally takes two to three weeks of constant exposure for the chicks to develop the immunity they need. The idea is not to prevent Coccidiosis as much as strengthen their immunity system so it does not become a problem later without the numbers getting out of hand and causing a problem.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,523
583
327
California, central valley
I agree. Exposure is necessary, but it's a dangerous time for chicks. Keep some Corid on hand and know the first signs of coccidiosis so you can treat immediately if you see it. It is easily treated and chicks are easily saved if treated in time but wait a day to long and it is often too late.
 
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