9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
I had a 4 month old chick down last week, thought he was going to die, but he's now perfectly fine. It took me a while, but all I can figure is that he was very very dehydrated. Once I got some fluids in him, he had very watery diarrhea, but as I hand fed him fluid from a dropper, he got stronger, started eating and drinking, and his poop firmed up. Now a lot of chickens in my flock are having diarrhea, though none of them are showing any lethargy or any other symptoms. One was coughing when I let them out early yesterday morning, but I haven't seen any coughing at all since then, and the one that was coughing is still acting fine, no more coughing. I do have one 10 week old chick who was sitting puffed up on the roost just now when I went out to give them new water, this time with electrolytes, but he's very bright eyed and chirped at me, might just be in for their daily noon nap. lol.

Several of them have diarrhea, though. It's just watery, no blood, at least none I've seen. I have noticed the poop under their roosts in the morning has been much runnier the past month or so than it was in the past, but since it was just runny brown poo, not white or mucousy or bloody, I figured it was a variation of normal and didn't worry about it. Still not sure if it's relevant or not, but it's pretty gross.

We did just enclose them into a smaller run. Before they were completely free-range, we are on 42 acres. We put up fences due to predator issues, including raccoons coming in for snacks in the middle of the day while we were outside! So now they are all together and pooping in a much smaller area than before, still plenty big! I have 40 chickens, lf and bantam, and their new run is about 15x20 (that's a small estimate, I think it's bigger, probably more like 20x30 or bigger. I am really bad estimating length, I think most women are) plus they have access to the much bigger pen our 2 goats are in. It has also been raining a LOT. Our well water gets kind of gross when it rains a lot, but none of the people are sick, so I don't think it's relevant. It just gets some sediment and an off odor, which I have been told is due to the rain washing organic compounds down, not anything to worry about healthwise. It stopped raining 2 days ago and the mud is starting to dry up.

Could this be cocci? I have no experience with it, but i have been reading via Google. It sounds like the kind that comes on suddenly with bloody diarrhea tends to hit younger chicks and kills a lot of them. But there are other kinds that can cause milder symptoms. Is there any other explanation? Will putting some diatomaceous earth in their bedding help, do you think? Maybe also out in their yard, which is already now half dirt from the rain and mud.
If the egglaying has slowed down, or you have noticed some getting skinny, with diarrhea, you might want to check for worms. (Or even just diarrhea and some not feeling well.) Worms can cause coughing as they migrate from the lung.

Some vets will do a fecal test for worms for a small fee.

It might not be worms.
Thank you. So it sounds like cocci or worms are the only likely things. Good to know. I'm off work tomorrow, so I'll go to the feed store and get treatments.

btw, I've been outside doing work, so I measured the new run. It's 28x52. I was WAY off! ROFL
I would recommend if your chickens are under 18 weeks to get a stool sample tested for worms before treating for worms, as the organs are still developing. But some don't like to involve the vet. If it is coccidiosis and you treat for it, you should see improvement within 24 hours or so from my experience.
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Keeping the chicken area clean and dry is important.. Sand, sand is the best for the run, the "dirt" floor should be sand. Sand dries quicker and stays drier. I use Alfalfa hay in the nesting boxes and I also have, but rarely use Pine Shavings.

DE... depends on what you are using it for... it is not for disinfecting, or drying, it "might" help a little with preventing some mites and seems to help with flies a bit. It does not fully prevent and it definitely does not treat mites or worms. If it's food grade DE it can't hurt them.

Apple Cider Vinegar in the water keeps it from getting slimy.... 1 TBLS per gallon is what I use, more than that and my chickens turn off to the water.

Buttermilk and Yogurt or OTC (refridgerated) Probiotic capsules are all probiotics and will help with diarrhea (or constipation) in all.. people or animals.... You can make a bit of their food into a wet mash with some water and buttermilk in it for a day or two, just part of their food, as a treat.

If there is no blood in the poop, it is not cocci from what I understand.

And, I did have some young chickens with tapeworms... so, "had to" worm them... I would normally wait until they were seven months old ... six, seven, eight months...
Search here on BYC... "Worming with Valbazen", "worming", "how much Valbazen", "giving oral medications", "egg withholding with Valbazen", etc...

It was recommended that I give 1/2 cc / ml of Valbazen, orally and individually to each Standard size full size chicken.. 1/4 cc ml per bantam.. and a little less for young ones... maybe 1/8 cc / ml for a four month old.. but.... closer to 1/4 cc / ml for a five month old? Use the search for worming info and look for posts by dawg53 about worming..

I also would call my vet and ask if I can bring in a couple of poop/stool samples from the chickens for them to examine under the microscope... I would pick a young chick and an older one... anyone who seems "off" or has the diarrhea.. and scoop it up into a disposable container.. fresh and take it in.. it should not cost much for that, if the vet does it theirself and does not send it out. Good idea before worming the very young and to check for cocci as well.

Best of luck.
24 hours after starting the Corid, we are back to normal firm poops. I am really surprised how fast that stuff works!
Hooray! I am so happy for you and your chooks.

Also please note that it is possible for you to need to retreat with Corid a few days after your 5 day course. This has so far happened to me TWICE! (Symptoms returned a few days after the Corid ended then went away again when restarting corid.)
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