Flock infected with coccidiosis - should I quit?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by troutfarm, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. troutfarm

    troutfarm New Egg

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    I lost two 3 year old white rock hens this past fall and now have another who is on the verge. I took her to the vet the other day and she was diagnosed wtih coccidiosis so I now have her and the rest of the flock on sulfadimethoxine in their water. The vet said to treat them for 3 weeks. So my questions now are in regard to my future with chickens.

    I have chickens for one reason - egg production. If they are on antibiotics I will not be eating the eggs. From what I have read regarding coccidiosis oocysts living in soil, I am concerned that my chickens will be continually exposed even after they have been treated and so will become infected and have to be treated again. I am also concerned that if I get new chickens to replace the ones who died, that they will in turn become infected as well.

    My chickens' coop and pen is adjacent to my garden where the chickens have been allowed to free range while no crops are growing. This means they have also been pooping in the soil there. When I have crops, they free range in the backyard meaning the coccidiosis is probably spread all throughout my property. I have also tilled their droppings and litter into my garden beds for fertilizer. Do I now have to be concerned that my kids or myself can become infected with coccidiosis from the products we grow in our garden?

    I feel as though my whole farm has been infected with this organism now. Am I overreacting? Can I continue to raise anitbiotic-free, free-range chickens? Can I safely eat what I grow in my garden? Is there any way to sterilize the coop and the soil?

    We love our chickens and my daughter wants to continue showing them with 4-H at the fair, possibly even expand our flock to include show birds, but it is too hard on her when we loose them!

    Any help or suggestions, PLEASE?!?
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    3 years old is a bit too old for coccidiosis, usually as a chicken gets older, they become more resistant.
    Sulfadimethoxine for 3 weeks is a long time, I have treated for 3-5 days.
    Cocci lives in the ground. Everywhere. It was there before and will be there after.

    I don't think your chickens are dying from coccidiosis. I don't think sulfadimethoxine should be given that long, it does have negative effects on chickens. If you have chickens, there will be a chick or two or so that gets cocci. If you wash your veggies, it won't affect your garden or you.

    Coccidiosis is a very treatable illness if caught in time.

    I am not a vet. But, I can't agree with this dx and treatment. Maybe someone else can give you more ideas.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm inclined to agree with seminolewind.
     
  4. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you isolated the affected birds?
    If it is Cocci I would give them Baycox.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I am more than inclined to agree with seminolewind, I absolutely do agree.

    Especially about the "it was there before and it will be there after" statement. Songbirds carry it and have probably either perched on something and pooped in your yard or flown overhead and pooped, maybe more than twice, even. [​IMG]
     
  6. troutfarm

    troutfarm New Egg

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    I have not isolated her because she becomes distressed when I do - she is more comfortable with her sisters. She is in bad shape, has lost a lot of weight and does not need any more added stress. She does seem to be coming around a bit though.

    How is Baycox different than Albon? Is it also an antibiotic?
     
  7. troutfarm

    troutfarm New Egg

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    To seminolewind

    Thanks for your response - has given me some things to think about.

    I regards to not thinking it is coccidiosis, the vet took a smear sample from the hen and both my daughter and I looked at it under the microscope.

    I will look into the dose and duration though.

    Thanks!
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    That must be really cool to see the little bugs under the microscope! All chickens have cocci in their intestines. The problem is if they become overwhelmed with them. Please ask the vet if there is a light amount or large amount.

    I hope it's a way curable thing like coccidiosis.
     

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