How prevalent is Cocci?


10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
From reading this forum it seems that everyone and their uncle catches it, but how prevalent is it, really?

I spoke to someone who has been raising chickens (and who worked as a vet tech for almost 20 years for a farm vet) who looked at me very blankly when I asked about cocci in chickens. Obviously she knew what it was, but she had never seen it in chickens in her years of raising chickens and dealing with chicken owners. That bodes well for my area, anyway.

How many of you have never seen it in years of raising chickens? How many of you have to deal with it every year? Mixed experiences?
Cocci is found in all dirt. Chickens develop a resistance to it in time but many need the medicated feed to help them gain this resistance. It's most lethal to birds that are young, just starting to lay, molting, or old: essentially any bird whose body's energy is compromised by growth.

I lost a bird to a combination of cocci & roundworms. During my research I found out that the 2 often go together because the dirt & things that live in it (earwigs, beetles, worms, etc.) is the culprit/carrier.
Cocci is everywhere. However.... it thrives in moist wet climates like the PNW where you are bound to get it at least once. If you are in let's say, the dessert, it is possible that there is so little in the soil they just don't thrive well and chickens don't eat enough to get sick.

One way to prevent it is to expose the chicks to the soil early in life. A dish of dirt from the yard as day olds and unless you have A LOT in the soil, they will likely gain immunity fast enough that they won't get it. Cocci can be a big problem for those who keep a sterile brooder, and clean their babies so much that they never get exposed to the things that can make them sick so when put outside, have no immunity.

People seem to think that medicated feed will prevent infections or give immunity, but that is not the case. Medicated feeds ONLY help build immunity to cocci IF low levels of cocci are presented to the birds to gain immunity to. It just prevents the cocci protozoa from reproducing so it won't overwhelm the birds in the mean time.

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