It has certainly been a while since I've been able to sit down and take time to participate here, though I've been lurking ominously in the dark. My chickening has exploded and I've absolutely fallen in love with raising birds and everything that involves. In the spring, I had my first batches of chicks and what amazing fun that was. The first hatch was a broody hatch by a banty who set on 13 eggs, hatched 10 and raised 9 (Now known as Big Momma). This is so easy, I thought! Then someone loaned me an incubator and I spent hours on day 19 and beyond, hovering around the incubator, sleeping in the same room so I wouldn't miss the first chick hatching! This is so easy, I thought! I had a storage closet under the stairs rigged up as my brooder room, nice new bedding all ready to go, had looked up how to teach babies to eat and drink. This is so much fun! The babies grew up, feathered out, were weaned off heat and put out into the big coop with the big birds! Too easy, and too fun indeed. Weeks went by without issue until I noticed a spot of blood on the top of the waterer. I couldn't find where it was coming from, so I left it alone until the evening. I went back and checked again to find 3 chicks having declined tremendously in as little as 4 hours. Being inexperienced, I immediately started googling symptoms, researching and fighting to find answers and help and discovered there was a high probability that this was a crop up of Coccidiosis. My search continued, desperately trying to find natural treatments as I am adamant about not using anti-biotics and remaining on a natural path. I kept reading. "Expect 50% loss of chicks under 4 months" I read, "weakened chicks do not recover, cull" I saw, "cull entire hatch" I found. What is coccidiosis in a way that I can wrap my head around it? It's a natural gut flora occurring in most mammalian species and is not a problem until it becomes over abundant. Oh, now this I can work with. I started googling things I knew helped balance intestinal flora with the word 'chicken' after it and I came down to a combination treatment option. Oil of Oregano (100% wild-crafted, available at health food stores) - Natural anti-biotic, considered more potent than all commercial pharmacutical anti-biotics on the market. Natural product, does not promote the development of resistant strains. Apple Cider Vinegar (with Mother)- Promotes alkaline environments, mild anti-biotic and anti-septic. Great for overall chicken health as well as a mineral boost. Good anyway, so why not. Yoghurt (Plain, whole or as high-fat as possible, I used Astro brand) - Promotes good gut flora, provides natural calcium and can be easily mixed with mash and/or last ingredient. Aloe Vera Juice - Some research found that small African villages treat EVERYTHING that ails a chicken with wood ash and Aloe Vera plants. Aloe Vera Juice promotes the flushing of toxins and purification of bowls in humans, so why not chickens. I trotted off to the store and spent about $40 (health food stores are expensive) on everything above. I found, however, that the minimum amount of Tylan my local feed store allows me to purchase would have been of similar cost. HOW I TREATED COCCIDIOSIS For 33 chicks I: - Mixed half a standard sized container of Plain Astro Yoghurt with 1 dropper-full of Oil of Oregano. Whipped thoroughly to mix using a fork. - Added 1Tbsp Aloe Vera Juice (undiluted, 100% Pure, can't remember brand name) to 1 litre waterer, swished around. - Added 1Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to same water and mixed again. I served the chicks this mix once in the morning and once at night for 7 days until there was some recovery. In 7 days, I lost 3 chicks, with signs of losing an additional 6 due to weakness and refusal to drink. I dipped their beaks in the water every time I entered the coop and they were too weak to fight me anyway. After day 7, I started to rotate the ACV and AVJ in the waterer, one in the morning, one at night, merging to one one day, one the next, still serving yoghurt every day. I reduced the amount by about 1/8th every day after day 7. Around day 10 I lost another bird and day 14 I put one down however neither of those were the above mentioned 6 that looked as though they would not survive. In total, I lost 5 birds, all chicks around the age of 10-11 weeks. Of 33 chicks, that's only 14% loss, rather than the 50%. From conversations with people, that's a better result than many's experiences using commercial treatments. If natural treatment is something that's important to you, the above is a viable option in my humble, inexperienced opinions. Any time I hear a cough or sneeze or the slightest possible bit of chest congestion, I always give the birds some yoghurt, free choice in a pie plate. I sure hope this helps someone.