Detecting Coccidiosis Early

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bobchristenson, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

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    First time chicken-herder here (and known to be paranoid about such things)

    I opted for non-medicated feed so I'm especially worried about our 3 week old chicks. I'm wondering what signs I should be looking for to detect coccidiosis early. I know that:
    • First (as early as 3 weeks) you'll start seeing "runny poo"
    • Later (when it's almost too late) you'll see blood.

    My first obvious question is: what is considered 'runny poo'? Since day 1 they've had slightly runny poo, but not what I'd call diarrhea. At what point to I need to think it's abnormal?

    Then I'm also wondering if there are other warning signs to watch out for. Will they start acting different (sluggish, not as active, etc?)

    I know, I know...alot of you will answer "just start giving them medicated feed like you're supposed to". But, frankly, I want to figure out how to do this without the medicated feed...afterall people did it for thousands of years without giving drugs to their chicks..I'd like to learn how.

    Thanks for any advice about early warning signs I should look out for!
     
  2. Othylocke

    Othylocke Out Of The Brooder

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    Your best bet would be to hold each chick in your hand and let them poo on you. Mine have a "runny" formed turd.
     
  3. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wondered how you were doing. I commented on your "starter feed" thread and told you I was going with non-medicated. What, if any, preventatives are you using?

    My chicks are 5 weeks old and in the coop now. They were doing great, until I slacked off on their preventatives. One died from coccidia yesterday and I'm watching a couple more to see if they live. I know it would have worked if I had kept giving them their preventatives faithfully. They are on meds now. The chicks in my brooder (1 week old) are still on non-medicated and doing great. I'm going to try again when I move them to the coop and make sure I don't skip their preventatives at all.

    My advice, make sure you keep up the preventatives for awhile, especially after you move them outside, or put them on meds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks LaynaDon...Great question, thanks for the sympathy and real world feedback. I've been putting apple cider vinegar in their water and that's all (it was the recommendation I read in one of the books). Is there something else I should be doing, you think?

    I'm tempted to just switch to medicated, especially after hearing you lost one. I've got a couple little girls who adore them and I don't think I could stomach seeing them lose one.

    If you were me (before any sign of problem) would you just switch or stick with it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  5. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they inside or outside? I'm keeping mine on non-medicated while they are inside. They are doing fine. It's when they are moved out that concerns me. I don't know if ACV helps prevent coccidia. o_O I know it's good against lice and other pests. I give mine yogurt or kefir (depending on what I have) which is good for their intestines. I also give mine a natural wormer in their water.
    If you are too concerned about losing one, I would put them on meds when you put them into the coop. Just for a few weeks for them to build a resistance to it.
    I believe it can be done without meds, or chickens would not have survived to this day and age. I'm just still trying to figure out how. I'm gonna keep trying, but I don't have any really little ones to get sad over the loss of a chick. I'll be sure to post when I find a method that works. ;)
     
  6. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, so you think there's a difference between inside and out. I have them in a brooder inside (in a bathroom) so it's pretty clean. I don't plan on putting them into the coop until about week 6 (at the earliest).
     
  7. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would like to know Why? I mean, Im a pretty organic guy, I garden organicly, I use no herbicides or pesticides. I live all natural eating whole foods, using all natural toothpastes,soaps, deoderants, laundry detergent. I try to live a non-toxic life style. I cured myself of stage 4 nodular melanoma with a 6 month prognosis in 2004. I plan on raising my chickens all organic......After there recomended time on medicated chick starter. Im not trying to belittle you in any way. Im just curious. Is it that the manufacturing of medicated animal food is dangerous to us and the environment, is it just the challenge of raising totally all natural chickens like our forefathers.
     
  8. KimKimWilliamso

    KimKimWilliamso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im curious what the negatives to using medicated feed would be as well. I understand the concept of wanting the challenge, providing it isnt at the expense of my chicks.
    But Im curious either way because a woman I tried to buy chicks from refused to sell me the chicks when I told her Id bought medicated feed. She wouldnt elaborate, but said she doesnt agree with it. The farm I DID end up getting my chicks from said he thought the medicated was less coarse, which he didnt like. But I havent found that to be true. The brand I use is "Nature Feed Chick Starter" I believe - but the bag says not to feed it past 6 weeks, which sucks cause I bought enough to feed them for a year, LOL FYI - I also use the ACV in the water for health benefits. I learnt this when raising my parrots, as it prevents sour crop and yeast infections in the crop. Cinnamon also has great health benefits :)
     
  9. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, I understand the question: Why? Honestly I'm not sure...something doesn't feel right about giving them medicine when nothing is wrong. If I started to detect an issue I'd switch immediately without a problem (hence my question about early warning signs). I suppose it's similar to how I raise my kids: I only give them medicine if it's really necessary, and not until then.

    I'm very close to just switching, but it doesn't feel quite right. I'm still on the fence and it's a perfectly legit question.
     
  10. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have other chickens? (in the coop, I mean.) There is coccidia is the dirt and in older chicks poop, usually. The difference is the adult chickens have built a resistance to it. You could sprinkle a little dirt in the brooder (from the coop, because that's where they will be) to get them used to the new germs in it. But you need to have them on immune boosters to make sure their system can handle it. As of right now, they have very few new germs added to their environment, so they are much less prone to illness.
     

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