Coccidiosis Not Clearing Up - Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ErinG, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are new to chicken keeping and have had some issues with coccidiosis. We got 4 chickens a month ago (buff orpington and banty light brahma, 20 weeks old, silver laced wyandotte and ameraucana 14 weeks old). 2 came from one person, the other 2 came from somewhere else. They were enclosed in a 7 by 4 foot coop that had not had chickens previously. Their run was not finished for a few weeks, so this is where they stayed, with small runs added occasionally. I wonder if being a small space and the stress of a new home brought this on. 12 days ago the buff began acting ill, lethargic, falling asleep standing up, sleeping during the day with her feathers ruffled up. Within a few hours I put everyone on Corid and gently syringed some medicated water into her mouth. I also switched everyone to medicated chick feed, as I was unsure what was wrong for sure. She was no worse the next day and was showing signs of improvement. After 3 days she was back to normal. I couldn't find a chicken Corid dose, so I did give too much now that I know the real dosage (5 ml/gallon). I gave 7-10 ml/gallon for 6 days. I noticed even though none of the others acted sick, there was bloody poop under the roost. It is firm, but definitely bloody. The man at the feed store suggested I switch to Sulmet, so I did, with no break. I followed the label, 29 ml/gallon for 2 days, 14.5 ml/gallon for 4 days. I am still seeing bloody poop every morning and I finally took a sample into a vet to make sure it was coccidia. It came back positive with 50 oocytes/gram. I have no idea what this value means exactly and my report was sent after hours the Friday of a 3 day weekend. I have been raking the straw out of the coop every day and also cleaning the roost to try and keep the numbers down. We are considering torching their entire run, since we can't move it easily. Their run is grass.
    A different man at the feed store suggested putting them on Corid again. Today is day 1 of 5 ml/gallon, I was planning on treating for 7 days. I am frustrated that this is not clearing up and not sure what to do next. Are there other drugs I can try, or alternative treatments? I have read something about apple cider vinegar. Will my chickens die if left untreated? I added a picture of the poop (not that you can miss it!). Does anyone have experience with coccidia not responding to treatment?

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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Best advice I can offer is to read some of Speckledhen's posts in this section; she has a lot of experience with this.

    Cocci are in the soil so torching probably will not help.

    Good luck.
     
  3. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's a good explanation that may provide some insight as to why you're continuing to have problems. http://www.millerhatcheries.com/Information/Diseases/coccidiosis.htm At one point in the article it does say that some infections with Coccidia can become chronic. The advice to switch back to Corrid seems to fit with the "shuttle program" of drug treatment mentioned in this article, as well.

    I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but I would guess that your problem arose because your 4 birds came from 2 different sources. All were old enough to have acquired some resistance to the coccidia protozoa they had been exposed to over the 16-20 weeks of their life. Typically, by 20 weeks, most chickens will be relatively immune to the strains of coccidia present in their environment, especially if they have been on medicated feed. Unfortunately, the strains of coccidia present in the environment of the 16-week-olds may not be the same as those in the environment of the 20-week-olds. So, when the 2 pairs were thrown together in a new environment at your place, they may have cross-infected one another. I mention it not because there's anything you can do about it now, but to give you something to consider should you decide to get any more birds in future. It is usually better (for lots of reasons) to get all your birds from a single source. If you must get birds from different sources, then you really should practice a 30-day quarantine.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd probably give everyone another course of treatment with Corrid. Also, since the sulfa drugs (Sulmet) can destroy the good bacteria in the gut along with the bad, I'd try to give them some probiotics by feeding them yogurt every day - 1-2 tablespoons per bird. No scratch grains, either, since they are low in nutrition and hard on the digestive tract. Best of luck with your birds. Hope you see improvement soon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  4. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much MotherJean, it's nice to get some answers. I gave them some yogurt today, but with cracked corn, I will stop giving that until they are better. We are definitely learning, and figuring out what we will do different in the future. I hope that they all survive and that their organs aren't too damaged to affect their laying.
     
  5. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    I don't think that is cocci. It looks like a natural poop to me.

    Chickens shed the lining of their intestines and it comes out a orangey red color like the picture you posted.

    There is a "POOP" thread somewhere if you do a search on it.
     
  6. MakNugget

    MakNugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    pips&peeps :

    I don't think that is cocci. It looks like a natural poop to me.

    Chickens shed the lining of their intestines and it comes out a orangey red color like the picture you posted.

    There is a "POOP" thread somewhere if you do a search on it.

    Agreed. It looks more like intestinal lining. Here is the link everyone should have handy of normal and abnormal poo.

    http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0
     
  7. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does look just like that - and nothing like the really bloody cocci poop. Today I started Corid, do I need to finish out the course to prevent drug resistant strains, or can I pull medication? I feel SO much better. Thanks.
     
  8. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I pulled the meds that day and everyone was fine. The bloody poops got better, making me think the drugs were hard on their systems. Thank you everyone for the advice!
     

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