How to differentiate between blackhead & coccidiosis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kellabelle, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Kellabelle

    Kellabelle Hatching

    Oct 14, 2012
    Hey all,

    So we got 5 new birds last week from someone a few towns over. I didn't think they looked as healthy as my birds, but I'm really new to chicken keeping. I wanted to keep them segregated from our flock for 2 weeks to make sure they were healthy, but we got about 2 feet of snow the day before we were scheduled to pick them up which made creating their enclosure and temporary housing impossible. My husband convinced me to just go ahead and put them in with our group, insisting that he thought they looked fine.

    Then today, when I went out to refill the water I saw one of them poop foamy yellow droppings. I've never seen that with my girls so I looked around and saw several more similar deposits around the yard.

    I started reading on this site and on-line and it seems this would indicate either Blackhead or Coccidiosis. The trouble is, I'm having a really hard time figuring out how to determine which it is. The treatment is not the same for both, and I don't want to over medicate. Also, do I treat my whole flock at this point due to exposure, or just the new birds?

    My birds were so healthy before we brought in the newbies; now I'm so worried!

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Coccidia will usually be bloody stool but can be pasty, tan and watery and usually isn't seen in mature birds.
    Foamy could be worms, foamy yellow could be colibacillosis (e. coli).
    Blackhead is bloody stool but very rare in chickens.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    One of the ways I tell is by the smell of the poop. Yes, all poop smells, but coccidiosis poop smells *way* worse.
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    I have had necropsies done on peafowl that had coccidiosis and not one of the three had blood in their stools. They were four months old, FWIW. I've also seen many chicks that never had blood in their stools, were treated with Corid and recovered, so I'm 99% sure they had coccidiosis .

    According to an Avian vet that I saw, foamy is usually an indication of a Protozoa, but I guess it could also be worms.

    I have personally seen and treated *many* peafowl and turkeys with blackhead, chickens do get it, but I haven't had a confirmed case of it a chicken, yet. Out of all of the blackhead cases if have seen/treated, about 50% have bool in their stools, the others just had poo that didn't look right.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    The cecal worm is the host for the protozoa that causes blackhead.

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