Put grass with dirt in brooder or not

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bevis, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    22
    86
    Apr 9, 2014
    I have read that its a good idea to put a small clump of grass and dirt from outside
    in the brooder with the chicks to help start building an immunity to coccidia. I have also read that grass
    will clog up the crop of newborns. So is it or is it not a good idea to have grass and dirt in the indoors brooder.
    If there is a chance of causing the chicks more harm, i would think no grass and dirt.
    Im no professional chicken farmer so I'm trying to figure what is the best coarse of action.

    Currently i have 2 box brooders in the house.
    1 with 6 chicks in it with an outbreak of coccidia at 3 weeks old.
    1 with 4 chicks that are 4 days old in it doing ok - This is why I'm asking about the grass.

    I also wonder if the cocci can be transmitted through the air via the dander from box to box.
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Coccidia is pretty much all over the environment. I put a clump of grass (roots and dirt) in the brooders with my chicks each week. The grass stalks are generally too tough for them to actually pull off and try to swallow. But, they love scratching through the dirt that comes on the roots. I do not use medicated feed. I watch the chicks very closely and at the first sign of coccidia treat them with Corid.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    20,999
    10,559
    636
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    What are you feeding them? Medicated or un-medicated? Are you positive it's coccidiosis? What are the signs? Have you treated the chicks who seem to have this problem? I've never had to deal with coccidiosis, so, you might want to seek info on the disease tab from some of the long time chicken keepers. The important thing is to keep their bedding dry and clean. Be sure to exercise meticulous hand washing when tending both brooders. Be sure not to move any equipment back and forth between the brooders. Have these chicks had any exposure to outside conditions? With out any experience, I'd get both batches on medicated feed. Wait until their droppings have normalized, then you can introduce the sod. I'd also be sure to give them access to chick grit, in addition to what ever they will be getting from the sod. Don't give them any other treats until this issue is resolved. Fermented feed should be a big help in balancing the flora in their guts. Medicated feed will help prevent an outbreak, but it is not strong enough to cure the issue if they are infected with Coccidiosis. You'll need Corid for that. Please seek an opinion from someone who is knowledgeable with treating Coccidiosis! I wish you the best.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    The grit suggestion is a good idea. I forgot to mention how important grit is even in very young chickens.
     
  5. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    22
    86
    Apr 9, 2014
    Non medicated because from what i have been reading there is no proof that medicated food has enough amprolium in it
    to make a difference .
     
  6. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    22
    86
    Apr 9, 2014
    From what i understand, if all they are getting is chick starter and no treats, grit is not used.
    I have about washed my hands raw going between brooders and changing water food and bedding very often.
     
  7. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    22
    86
    Apr 9, 2014
    I did bring the 4 day old chicks a small stick from the firewood pile to play with and stand on. I also assume that
    it will probably expose them to cocci.

    Almost forgot, someone asked me why i thought they had coccidia.
    Bloody stool and frequent. Thats pretty much a dead giveaway.
     
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Medicated feed does not cure coccidia at any age. Medicated feed has a low dose of Amprolium and is designed to help chicks build an immunity to coccidia. However, even if chicks are eating medicated feed, if they get stressed, coccidia can still make a chick very ill.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by