Eimeria (Coccidia) in Adult Chickens

RedDrgn

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My DH and I are a bit puzzled and couldn't find much of anything of substance regarding Eimeria in adult chickens, so here's the story:

We have five hens (all 1.5 years old) and one roo (1 year old). In the spring and fall we take a composite fecal sample (one from each bird, because if one's got something, they all do or soon will) to our vet for analysis for intestinal parasites. This fall was the third time we've taken a sample in and the first time we got anything but a perfectly clean bill of health. This round, Eimeria oocysts were identified (they could not determine species) in "low numbers".

I can find tons of information regarding chicks, but can't find hardly anything with regards to adult birds, except the Merck manual: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/200800.htm. They're all asymptomatic and are eating, drinking, and pooping perfectly normally. Two just got done molting and have started laying again, a third hasn't molted yet and continues to lay, and the rest are in the middle of molting; otherwise no laying interruptions. They just got their monthly lice/mite check and were clean.

The coop and run are sheltered from wind/rain 24/7 and only a small portion of the run ever gets damp when it rains, and it's sand and doesn't stay wet more than 24 hours after it stops raining anyway. The coop is cleaned out weekly and the run is raked out by-weekly.

Anybody have any experience with this and what treatment did you use (if any)? I know there are some risks of poisoning with sulfa drugs, though Amprolium supposedly works in adults as well as chicks? Supposedly they're immune if they survive infection...but may shed oocysts? Or not...depending on snippets of info I see about chicks and don't know how it applies to adults. So yeah, any clarification(s) someone may have would be great.
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dawg53

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It's normal for birds to have cocci in their systems. It's when it gets out of control is when there's a problem. The microscopic slide showed low numbers of occysts, that is normal. It's when the microscopic slide is loaded with cocci oocysts is when they'll need treatment. As long as they are eating, drinking, acting normally like chickens should...dont worry about it.
 
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seminolewind

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It's normal for birds to have cocci in their systems. It's when it gets out of control is when there's a problem. The microscopic slide showed low numbers of occysts, that is normal. It's when the microscopic slide is loaded with cocci oocysts is when they'll need treatment. As long as they are eating, drinking, acting normally like chickens should...dont worry about it.
X2. Younger birds can easily get coccidiosis. In adults, it would be rare, but can happen. And most adults would fight it off..
 

jcurtisdvm

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Hi, I wasn't sure if I should reply to this or just start a new thread. Last week my 1yr old barred rock died suddenly with no obvious warning. She stayed in the coop one day which was unusual but the next time I checked on her she had died. I submitted her for necropsy and all that came back was heavy cocidiosis (parts of her intestines were bloody and starting to die) with an occasional round worm in her intestines. Salmonella and bird flu tests were negative. So I guess my questions are:

1. Can coccidia cause sudden death in adult chickens? Or is it more likely she was fighting something else and the coccidia became bad because her immune system wasn't strong?
2. My other three hens seem fine, but should I treat them for coccidia and worms?
3. What should I use, and what is the withdrawal time for eggs?

Thanks for any help. I can't much info on coccidia in adults, or on withdrawal times for eggs.
 

seminolewind

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Yes adults can die from coccidiosis. It depends on their immune system, and maybe other factors that cause intestinal damage and let the cocci in to multiply. They can also die from Enteritis , which is when cocci, worms, bacteria, or clostridium invade the small intestine and the times I've gotten that it there were no symptoms, just dead.

I would keep them wormed on a regular basis (Dawg53 can help you with a plan) and since I personally have had this enteritis happen several times, I treat with sulfadimethoxine (Di-meth) and an antibiotic to target clostridium and e. coli, such as Tylan or Tetracycline or others.

A lot can depend on a chicken's immune system .
 

CarolynF

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Yes adults can die from coccidiosis. It depends on their immune system, and maybe other factors that cause intestinal damage and let the cocci in to multiply. They can also die from Enteritis , which is when cocci, worms, bacteria, or clostridium invade the small intestine and the times I've gotten that it there were no symptoms, just dead.

I would keep them wormed on a regular basis (Dawg53 can help you with a plan) and since I personally have had this enteritis happen several times, I treat with sulfadimethoxine (Di-meth) and an antibiotic to target clostridium and e. coli, such as Tylan or Tetracycline or others.

A lot can depend on a chicken's immune system .

@seminolewind -- Since you've dealt with enteritis several times, do you know if Tetracycline HCl (as in Duramycin-10) will effectively treat it? The only thing I've seen that specifically names a treatment is at the Poultry Site and they say Penicillins (e.g. phenoxymethyl penicillin, amoxycillin), in drinking water, or Bacitracin in feed.
What is YOUR experience?
 

seminolewind

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Further approaches are generally used to combat the clostridial infection, such as the use of highly digestible feed ingredients, improvement of climate, control of litter quality, and a reduction in the stocking density, which leads to enhance the performance and improves the health status of the birds. In addition, the use of alternative products to modulate the intestinal flora such as competitive exclusion, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and acids can impact the incidence and severity of NE. The practical relevance of these approaches may vary between the different areas and farms.
In conclusion, the implementation of several approaches, such as improvement of management, feed formulation and limiting exposure to infectious agents through biosecurity, supportive therapy, cleaning and disinfection are essential. In addition, early recognition in managing the enteric disorders is very important

Carolyn, this is part of an article from World Poultry above.



My personal experience with it was losing 3 eight month old hens overnight without symptoms and had hemorrhaged internally. Not knowing/having what to do, I put the rest on Tylan, Sulfadimethoxine. No one else got sick. The unsymptomatic and bleeding out fit the symptoms of Enteritis. Then 2 years later I sent in 4 chickens to a lab for necropsy, and they all had Enteritis amongst other things. Enteritis is destruction of an area of small intestine. Enteritis frequently goes hand in hand with cocci, E.coli, and worms. I lost one hen to enteritis hand in hand with Capillaria, thread worms. I always wormed but these worms require 2 wormings 10 days apart. So I treat for all three since the other alternatives are vet or death.
 

CarolynF

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Treatment options
Treatment with antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin, erythromycin, dihydrostreptomycin and tetracyclin provide a satisfactory clinical response. Penicillins are known to be particularly active against C. perfringens. Resistance to penicillin is very rare and β-lactamase has not been demonstrated. Three days is the minimum duration of treatment, but longer applications may be required. The administration of dietary Tylan
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or seven consecutive days following confirmation of an NE field outbreak reduced the NE mortality and lesion scores in broilers. Furthermore, several experimental vaccines were tested and showed promising results.
Further approaches are generally used to combat the clostridial infection, such as the use of highly digestible feed ingredients, improvement of climate, control of litter quality, and a reduction in the stocking density, which leads to enhance the performance and improves the health status of the birds. In addition, the use of alternative products to modulate the intestinal flora such as competitive exclusion, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and acids can impact the incidence and severity of NE. The practical relevance of these approaches may vary between the different areas and farms.
In conclusion, the implementation of several approaches, such as improvement of management, feed formulation and limiting exposure to infectious agents through biosecurity, supportive therapy, cleaning and disinfection are essential. In addition, early recognition in managing the enteric disorders is very important
 

Carolyn, this is part of an article from World Poultry above.



  My personal experience with it was losing 3 eight month old hens overnight without symptoms and had hemorrhaged internally.  Not knowing/having what to do, I put the rest on Tylan, Sulfadimethoxine.  No one else got sick.  The unsymptomatic and bleeding out fit the symptoms of Enteritis.  Then 2 years later I sent in 4 chickens to a lab for necropsy, and they all had Enteritis amongst other things.  Enteritis is destruction of an area of small intestine. Enteritis frequently goes hand in hand with cocci, E.coli, and worms.  I lost one hen to enteritis hand in hand with Capillaria, thread worms.  I always wormed but these worms require 2 wormings 10 days apart.  So I treat for all three since the other alternatives are vet or death.

That was a rough road!

Thank you for all the information. Seeing that tetracyclin can be used is very helpful. In the reading I've been doing it appears there are multiple kinds of enteritis or at least multiple names for it. A friend's hen had severe diarrhea so she finally took her to a vet. It was diagnosed as gastro enteritis, and successfully treated with amoxicillin. She had first tried other treatments, so it wasn't a sudden onset in her case as it was for you. My hen is going the route of severe diarrhea so we'll see. I started her on duramycin this evening and I'll add electrolytes tomorrow.
 

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