Cocci keeps coming back!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rizq, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    I have been having an ongoing problem with cocci in one of my chicken pens. I have treated it with Corid 3 or 4 times and each time it goes away and poop goes back to normal, but 2-3 weeks later, *insert ominous music* it's baaaack!

    Well, I thought I had it licked this time. Poop has been normal for over a month, then today, wammy ... cocci poo. I am at my wits end. I don't know what to do. Am I not fully getting rid of it? Maybe I need to try Amprol? Or is it in the soil and they just keep picking it back up? The birds who had it first are in the same pen, but in cages off the ground, they have been clean since the first treatment, so I suspect they are just being reinfected by the nasties in the soil. If so, how do I get rid of it? Will lime help? It has been raining for about 3 or 4 weeks with only a clear day here and there, so the pens are quite wet and nasty even though they drain well.

    I am sure it is cocci, for those who may ask :) The poo is classic slimy, blooding, hamburger looking stuff and Corid makes it go away ... for awhile. If there is still a question of cocci or not, I also have ivomec eprinex that I can try if anyone thinks it will help, and come to think of it, the first birds who had it were treated with Corid and Ivo Ep simultaneously because they also had lice. Hmmm. Anyway, none of the chickens have ever acted sick ... except the couple 4 week old chicks who were part of the group that got it first ... we lost them. The rest of the chickens are all adults, or close to it. They are in good body condition, active, eating well, but pooping cocci poo and not laying (more likely due to the cold and rainy weather).

    Sorry this is long and very rambling. I am frustrated and can't put together a logical thought at the moment. I hope someone can make sense of it.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? Somebody help me please!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    sounds like you need a [​IMG]

    I am betting it is in the soil or might be coming from some othe source that comes by every so often...visitors? There are lots of things that get into the soil and rain and other adverse environmental events brings it out and helps to infect stock...lots of times the only thing to do is move there a chicken Cocci vaccine?
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    rizq - seems to me like if you treated 3 times and it came back, it could be cocci along with something else (?)

    There are other illnesses that can cause bloody/mucousy poo. But, since it seems to be going away and then coming back, at the very least, you need to keep the area as dry as you can. THat's rough when it's wet/raining...but, don't use lime. I recall reading a few posts that lime can be toxic to chickens. There's a horse product that many folks use called Stall Dri - it's a white powder like DE and it's super absorbent. Do you have a quarantine area indoors or something that you can put your birds into so they stay dry after treating again?

    Also, I'd definitely get a fresh faecal sample taken in to an avian vet for a faecal float JUST to confirm that you definitely do have cocci.

    Hang in there!!!

    ARe they eating & drinking? How old, what breed?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  4. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Thanks for the hug Teach97 ... definitely need that! We rarely have visitors to the coops, and haven't had any at all for awhile. There is always the possibility of wild birds dropping something in, but cocci is supposed to be species specific, so not sure they could get it from wild birds ... maybe ... it is still a bird.

    Wynette: Haven't been able to find Sulmet, Amprol and Corid was all the co-op had, TSC didn't have anything at all for chickens except worm medicine for chickens, turkeys, and pigs (round worm meds ... mental block on what it's called atm). Can't remember what is in Corid, don't have the bottle handy, but somebody here recommended it to me when I couldn't find Sulmet.

    The infected chickens range from 4 mos to 3 or 4 years and are mostly bantam EE. There is also a young (6 mos) pair of standard EE and a pair of young (4 mos) BO mix. They are all eating and drinking heartily. They mob me at the gate for their food and treats. They don't act sick at all, like the first birds did. But the first ones were quite a bit younger and were very small (serama). They are not laying, but none of our birds are laying right now and haven't been for a couple months.

    I called a few vets in town and they won't run a fecal float on a chicken, they don't do chickens, just dogs and cats. There may be an avian vet in Knoxville, but that is about a 2 hour drive from our house (give or take, depending on the part of Knox).

    Thanks for the heads up about lime, I hadn't heard that it could be toxic to chickens ... glad I asked before using it! I'm not sure stall dry would be worth putting down outside when it is still rainy. I have put woodchips down in the past when it gets too wet, but it doesn't really rain like this. Woodchips aren't even enough, they just seem to hold the water when it is this wet. I was thinking more about limes ability to rid the soil of nasties (just not sure if cocci is included) than to absorb the water. Right now, I think that is a hopeless battle until this crazy rain stops.

    I really don't have anywhere else to put them right now, either. We don't have any place to put up another pen and nowhere indoors for them to stay. Their shelter stays dry, so they can get out of the rain, but really no way to keep them out of the wet muddiness when they go outside.

    I'm really thinking it is in the soil. I wouldn't think the Corid would help for weeks at a time if I was dealing with something else. I haven't paid enough attention around the other recurrences to see if it was wet then too. I can treat them with ivomec eprinex when I start the Corid, like I did with the first birds, but I have a feeling it will just come back again anyway ... especially if it stays wet. It really makes me wish they were all off the ground even though I hate keeping birds that way. I could also try amprol, or could try to order some Sulmet if you think it might work better, but I really think I need to find something to try to get it out of the soil (if any such thing exists).

    Since it seems to be coming back all the time, would it be advisable to use the treatment dose and then put them on a maintenance dose for awhile? Is it possible for them to gain an immunity to it (likes chicks on medicated starter)?
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Becki, hopefully someone else that knows more about this will chime in. I personally am not an advocate of medicating unless absolutely necessary or recommended to do so by an avian vet. That's not to say that I HAVEN'T, as I've had my fair share of illnesses!!

    I would think if you keep using the same treatment, they'd build up an immunity to it. Maybe the thing to try is something different, like Sulfadimthoxine, which you can get at Twin Cities Poultry

    problem with keeping chickens in cages with wire floors is that they can have other issues as a result, too; also, typically they don't have as much room to exercise. Again, JMO.

    What about straw? Straw is relatively inexpensive, and if you got a few bales you could spread some flakes around so that they would be walking on that rather than directly in the dirt/mud? THe only thing you can spray that would kill the nasties in the soil, to my knowledge, is Oxine. It's expensive, but concentrated. I had a bout of odd illnesses in my large layer pen this past summer; I removed all the chickens to a temporary pen in my barn (a conversted horse stall), sprayed Oxine solution in the pen (on the ground, in the coop, on the walls of the barn the run is built against, etc.) and let the outside pen rest for a month before returning the layers to that pen. I'm confident doing this once a year or so will really cut down on illnesses; we'll see!

    ETA: here's the description of Sulfadimthoxine from Twin Cities Poultry: "To treat Coccidiosis, Paratyphoid, Fowl Cholera and Infectious Coryza. Sulfadimthoxine is the sulfa drug with the advantage of remaining in high concentrations in the blood for a long time-about 12 hours. If the birds drink twice a day, they will maintain good levels of the drug in the blood. This is not true with the other sulfas, which need to be consumed every 6 hours. Powder: use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per gallon for 6 days."
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Cocci is in the soil. Wet weather can trigger its outbreak in your chickens and goats. There isn't much of a cure for it but you can work on your soil. Keep the chickens out of the run. Till the soil. Load it with hydrated lime. Till, till till. The ground will be hot so keep the chickens off of it untill you have had good rains to wash the lime through. Nothing really works to rid the soil you can only hope to try and control it. This is a good start.
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I would think the biggest danger of using Corid (Amprolium) is that repeat treatments could lead to immunity in the coccidia. This has been a worldwide problem with other pathogens such as harmful bacteria and viruses, so why not protozoa as well?

    If you are adding and mixing birds of different ages it raises your chances of birds coming down with coccidiosis, with younger birds and immuno-compromised birds being the most vulnerable. Treating animals for something like this (a problem that in some cases can be fatal) is a very personal choice, and each way of treating (or not) has its risks, so I will only offer a couple of possibilities and not try to tell you what to do here.


    * Up the ante and try a sulfa drug. (these are hard on birds' systems)
    * Trying an old-timey remedy like buttermilk, or other probiotics to help jump-start the helpful bacteria in the birds' gut.
    * Keep birds on healthy rations, clean out droppings very regularly and keep things dry, and do not administer anything at all.

    I have tried all but the sulfa drugs in the past, with good results.

    Perhaps checking out the Merck Vet Manual will give you some inspiration or insight as well ~

    My tendency is to think that if there is a recurring problem with cocci, it is either a management issue that can be remedied by adjusting the birds' environment/sanitation/nutrition, or perhaps you have a couple of birds who are suffering from other hidden illnesses that make them predisposed to suffer from coccidiosis.

    Hope these thoughts help. Good luck, and please keep us posted on how things go!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  8. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    You must be sooo frustrated! I'm sorry for your having to deal with this, especially in the rainy, disgusting weather. Anyway, here is an informative link about cocci: The man who wrote this article, Dr. Peter Brown, has helped many people here on BYC so I am also going to give you his phone number to call and his email address so you can talk to him:

    1-800-950-8387 [email protected]

    Honestly, it sounds more like internal parasites to me but see what the doc says and best wishes!! By the way, when DO you get to eat and sleep with all those animals listed in your signature line!!??
  9. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Yup, what Wynette said.
    The bit about the vet not being able to run bird fecals is poo! It isn't done any differently than with any other animal. The oocysts may look a little different, but they're still oocysts and there are plenty of pics in plenty of places. Another vet may be willing.
    Getting them off that soil is your only viable option. Got any gravel you can put down? The hay may work, if you don't have hay eaters, but will have to be mucked and replaced regularly. A ton of gravel at our local landscape place is about $30. It'll fit in the back of a pick-up, just make sure you have a good bit of hauling capacity. My Silverado handled it, but I did bang my trailer hitch on the way out of the parking lot.
    Good luck and keep us posted. Oh yeah, and... [​IMG]
  10. Tweeza

    Tweeza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    I stumbled upon this info the other day.
    Under the chart at: you will see this paragraph: Phoenix Worms are also a natural weapon against coccidia.
    In addition to having a perfect balance of calcium and phosphorus, Phoenix Worms provide high levels of natural lauric acid. Lauric acid
    is known for its excellent antimicrobial properties including potent activity against lipid coated viruses, clostridium and pathogenic protozoa including coccidia. Lauric acid is a medium chain saturated fatty acid found in Phoenix Worms as well as some vegetable oils and in dairy products. 53% of the fat in Phoenix Worms is beneficial lauric acid, a proven antimicrobial especially effective against coccidiosis.

    I have not had time to thoroughly research it yet but did find this webpage:

    don't know if it will cure your chickens but it might be a preventative in the future after they get over this latest bout. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are supposed to be high in lauric acid.

    Soldier Fly Larvae are really easy to get started in the spring/summer.

    Hope your girls get over this illness soon.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009

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