Need suggestions on how to keep my Meat Birds alive

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by LoneCowboy, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    This is my second batch of meat birds. I'm currently losing about 1-2 a day. I started out with 52 and I'm down to about 42 with 12 days to go [​IMG] . I lost about 8 in my last batch so I've got to come up with a plan to beat this and save more birds in the future.

    I guess we are just really prone to Cocci here. I had to medicate my first batch twice and I'm on my second time with this batch. I keep them in a very large chicken tractor that I move to a new spot everyday.

    I feed them Purnia Flock Raiser. They go through 5 gals of water a day. I give them their feed at 7:30am and take it away at 7:30pm

    They tend to poop in their food and water and I can't figure out a way to stop them. I did put a wire loop over their feeders until they got too big for it.

    So, please help me come up with a prevention plan to help me fight this problem. Is there a way to disinfect the ground? Should I feed them medicated feed for a few weeks? Get them vaccinated? Please give me some ideas. TIA
  2. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Where did you get them from?
  3. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Cocci can be in your soil to begin with, and after you have had birds with it for sure it's there for years if not treated. Lime is best used to get rid of it. Lime is helpful in prevention too, as in lime for the pen before the bedding or the tractor is moved there can help keep the pH away from being a good place for the cocci to grow. Use the agricultural lime or Dolimite, not the stuff that is caustic.

    Vaccination of the birds is one way, or feeding medicated feed is the other. Some use milk or milk powder to treat or prevent cocci too, it's considered the no drug way, and some have great results with it.

    Consider too other causes. Have you sent any of these dead birds away for testing? Cornish cross tend to flip if they are fed too much, or just get too big, or in the heat. In cool they pile and suffocate the ones on the bottom.

    Feeders and waterers should be at a height that is up just above the birds back while standing so that they have to stretch to get at it. Blocking them from roosting on top to feed is a creative nightmare and often has to be changed as they age.

    Feeding for the 12 hours at night rather than day helps to slow them up a bit and gives them more reason to take advantage of the grass your moving them to in the day.
  4. DaKid

    DaKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Berkley , Ma.
    for one how old are these birds - when did you get them - and as far as the feeding goes I only feed mine 3 times a day when there R 1 day to say 4 to 5 weeks OLD an as much as they will eat at a setting , when they get older I do 2 times a day and limil there feed but there have plenty of space to run -walk or what ever -
    there water and feed bins should be shoulder high so they have to stand and not seat to eat plus I alway change the spot when I do feed them just to make them move around a bit sometimes I just throw the food on the ground just to make them look and walk for it

    I have only lost chicks the first couple of days to a week after I have receive them

    but you need to give us more infor. on them
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Coccidiossis can be dormant in the soil for very long periods and there is no way to eradicate the oocysts... short of living in a climate where it gets very hot or very cold (you'd think Colorado would qualify).

    All you can really do at this point is find a coccidiostat to put in their drinking water. You could try switching to medicated feed, but with 12 days to go you'd have to observe the withdrawal times. Honestly, you may want to see if you can process them sooner rather than lose the whole lot of them.
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    They are about 5 weeks old. I got them from Meyer but the ones I got from Ideal weren't much better. These chickens have not been where the last batch was. I didn't want them to get whatever they left behind, but this batch seems to be getting a worse case of Cocci.

    Heat shouldn't be a problem right now. Doesn't get above 75 deg and they are in an mostly open tractor. They do still have heat lamps at night because it gets down to freezing.

    What does the milk or milk powder do?
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State

    your typical Cornish X has very little immunity against coccidiossis, since most producers use medicated feeds it's not important to them.
  8. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    What are probiotics?

    How do I give them the milk?

    I found that Flock Raiser is available medicated. Since Purina uses Amprolium and Amprolium itself remains in the birds digestive tract (stomach, cecum and large intestine) itself - it is not absorbed by the bird, I might give that a try next time.

    I'm still very interested in anything natural that I can do to get a handle on this. The milk sounds interesting but I'm not sure exactly how I'd give that too them. Just in the water? How diluted?
  9. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Milk helps to tip the gut pH away from favorable for the cocci towards favorable for the chickens immune system. Yogurt is more of a probiotic as it has the good bacteria in it. Most folks use the milk powder and just mix it into the feed at about 10% at first, then after a week or so gradually reduce it. Powder is way less expensive way to go. You will have to try it yourself and see what mix works best for you in your conditions. Once sick with cocci I have had success with treatment by using the milk powder up to 50% of the feed if you catch it early. With young chicks that get it and are sick the old timer that showed me this just replaced the water in their waterer with fresh milk, but he had cows so there was no short supply.

    Lime for the soil is the same thing, it tips the pH away from being favorable for the cocci. As stated nothing can totally get rid of them, but if they are in low numbers and weak while the bird is strong the chicken's immune system handles them fine.

    Not allowing them to overeat is key as well, a loaded gut seems to be more susceptible.
  10. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I feed mine medicated feed for the first two weeks. then switch to meat builder. You can put their food and water up on cinder blocks to raise the level higher so they don't deficate in them.

    I agree--if you are losing them at that rate--I would process quickly to avoid more loss. Five weeks will still give you a nice sized chicken.

    If you medicate now--it wouldn't be out of their system by the time you plan on butchering them.

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