Re: Confused about Coccidiosis

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mary Poopins, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Mary Poopins

    Mary Poopins Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2013
    Hello All,
    I need some help.
    I am confused about coccidiosis.

    I have 8 five day old hatchery chicks, these are my first so I am being all overprotective!!!

    I have read how some people say not to let them “touch ground” for up to 18 weeks, which seems like a very long time!

    I have also read about people putting clumps of grass with soil in their brooders at about 3-4 weeks, so the chicks can get a taste for something other then starter and possibly even a worm.

    I have also read about how in a natural situation, a broody hen will actually introduce her chicks to things like other chicken’s poop, soil, grit, etc, so the antibodies get built while the chicks immunities are still high.

    So far my chicks are doing great!
    They don’t peep as much as they chirp like a budgie or sparrow.
    It sounds like they are talking to each other!!!
    Having not had chickens before this was a bit shocking, as I was expecting a more straightforward peep.

    Also, as soon as I got them, I put a little amount of all purpose sand in their brooder, which the chicks pick at.
    The first day (I got them when they were about 2-3 days old) they did not pay much attention to it.
    They are now actually eating some of it.
    I am not sure if this is because it is a different color then the bedding or because they are actually getting anything out of it.
    I have read conflicting things about whether to add grit or not while they are still on starter.
    Some say it will lead to compaction, while others say it is a good preventative to paste butt.
    So far, no signs of paste butt.....
    And they are pooping like crazy!!!!

    Anyway, my ignorance aside.

    I live in a residential area in the high desert of California.
    My next door neighbor, as well as a few other neighbors on my block have chickens, but they all got their as fully grown chickens so they cannot help me.

    How should I proceed about introducing the chicks to the outdoors?
    I am confused as to whether I missed a window where I should have thrown some dirt in the brooder right when I got them or if I should hold off and wait until they are older, but how old?

    How long do the chicks have their mothers immunity?
    Can I still add dirt?

    I am so confused and I just want my babies to be healthy.

    Thank you in advance for everyone’s help!

    p.s. Sorry for the long post
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  2. mattsinger

    mattsinger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2013
    Davison, MI
    dont overthink it......afterall they are chickens. and they normally make it through life without our intervention jsut fine. You should be fine to introduce them to dirt, sand, grass and they will be fine.
  3. Mary Poopins

    Mary Poopins Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2013
    Thanks Mattsinger!!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    I wouldn't use grit or sand in the brooder until they are older. Take a look at this site for common sense chick raising:

    It's best to get them ready for immunity to coccidiosis a few weeks before and after they come in contact with yard or range soil. I use Corid 9.6 solution at 5 ml per gallon of water or the powder which is .5 teaspoon per gallon. I do it in five day intervals with vitamins-electrolytes in the water in between. I don't use medicated feed anymore.
  5. Mary Poopins

    Mary Poopins Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2013
    Hello Michael Apple,

    Thank you for your post.

    When do you suggest I introduce them to the outside?
    Everything I keep looking up is conflicting.
    Is it 4, 6, 8 weeks?

    I feel like an idiot, I have been spending all this time reading up on coop building and what to expect when the chickens are fully grown.
    I never really gave baby chick rearing much thought because until now I had been lulled into thinking that as long as they were warm, had food and water and clean bedding, they'd be fine.
    Then I discovered the chick parasites!!!!
    Most of the manuals, books, and how-to guides out there speak about these things in vague generalities, as if it's basically a crap shoot.
    Depending on who I have spoken to, they react like I am being crazy, which I know I am, but at the same time when I mention some of this stuff to people who have reared chicks in the past (30+ years ago), they react like I have three heads.
    "ah, I just kept them warm and fed them, then they gave me eggs!"

    I looked up Corid V and there seems to be two routes of dosing, a stronger (10cc per gallon) at five day intervals and a 21 day "preventative" dosing.
    I cannot find a proper dose for chickens because this medication isn't listed to be used for chickens.

    How long do you wait between intervals to then dose the chicks?

    The dosing calculations for Corid V start at 100lbs for cattle.
    I have no idea how much my chicks will weigh when they finally go outside and frankly at this point I am not sure when they should.
    So I have no idea how to calculate the dosage.

    Thank you again for your post, it means a lot
  6. mattsinger

    mattsinger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2013
    Davison, MI
    I might have missed it in your post, but where are you located? IF the weather is decent now, you can take them out and "introduce" them to the outside at any time. My personal feeling is to stay away from the medications unless you need them. IF you read enough books, you can get paranoid about most anything, much like people that go do the doctor with whatever this weeks illness is. Either way.... have fun with them, they are a very low maintenance animal/pet.
  7. Mary Poopins

    Mary Poopins Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2013
    Hello Mattsinger and Michael Apple,

    Thank you,
    I am know I am being paranoid!!!

    I live in the high desert of California, so the weather is usually either really cold or really hot.
    Lately it has been nice, but windy.

    I just want to make sure the chicks have the best start possible.

    Thank you both of you for your suggestions and mostly for your reminders to stop and enjoy them.

    The chicks are really amazing, each day the changes have been remarkable!!
    I am also really surprised by all of the different sounds they make.
    Chicks I have seen in the past have only made one of two sounds, peep and LOUD peep!!
    I never knew they chirped like budgies or sparrows.

    Anyway, this has been an amazing adventure, all four days of it!!!

    Take Care,
  8. mattsinger

    mattsinger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2013
    Davison, MI
    if you are enjoying it you are doing it right
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In my opinion, this is the right thinking the vast majority of time. You are dealing with living animals so no one can give you absolute guarantees about anything, but you have to realize there is a difference in what can possibly happen and what will actually happen. Think of yourself as a child. There were many serious childhood diseases you could have died from, yet you didn’t die from any of them. You could have been killed in any number so serious accidents, yet you were not. Some kids don’t make it out of childhood, yet most people do.

    We raise chicks in all different kinds of circumstances and we use different methods. Even ancient Egyptians in the days of the Pharaohs incubated eggs and brooded the chicks. This was long before the days of Corid or other medicated feed. Dad used to get a dozen chicks from the Co-op, put them in a cardboard box with a 60 watt light on the back porch and feed them nothing but cornmeal for three weeks, then turn them loose at the henhouse for them to take care of themselves. This was up in late spring so the temperature was not a big deal. He used a newspaper under them so he could easily clean it out and never had a chick with leg problems. Chicks can possibly slip on slick newspaper so you should not use it in the brooder, but not every chick raised on newspaper will have leg problems.

    In these days of the internet there is a lot of information out there. A lot of it is accurate, but there is a whole lot that gets blown way out of proportion. When you read some things that might possibly, occasionally, rarely happen you get the impression that it is an absolute certainty that it will. People stress a lot when they don’t need to.

    We all do things differently. I feed mine dirt from the run at the second or third day in the brooder to get grit in their system, get probiotics the adult chickens have into their systems, and to introduce anything bad the adults may have so they can start working on their immunities. Dad never did that and he hardly ever lost a chick with his methods. Lots of other people use different methods and don’t have problems.

    Usually if you provide them with food, water, enough heat, protection from predators, and protection from the environment while they are in the brooder, they’ll do fine. Usually. They are living animals so I can’t give you any guarantees, but usually.

    A side note on Corid. The active ingredient in Corid is Amprolium, the same ingredient in practically any medicated feed you’ll buy at the store. It’s not an antibiotic. It only targets the bugs that cause Coccidiosis. There is a dosage that is intended to treat an active case of Cocci, a fairly strong dosage. There is a smaller dosage intended to reduce the possibility of them having problems with Cocci. The smaller dosage will not treat an active case and it will not absolutely prevent them from having a problem with Cocci but it greatly reduces the chance of them having problems with Cocci. It does allow them to develop immunity to Cocci if the Cocci bugs are present. If the Cocci bugs are not present, it does absolutely no good, but it does not cause harm either. It takes two to three weeks for them to develop that immunity.

    If you have a history of problems with Cocci, then it is a great idea to use the preventive dosage. Medicated feed is the simplest way to get the proper dosage into them, though you can treat their water. I don’t use medicated feed or treat their water and I never have problems with Cocci. Just because I do it this way does not mean civilization as we know it will end if you don’t do exactly what I do. It does not mean you will never have problems if you do what I do. We each have our own unique circumstances so different methods work for us.

    I don’t know what system will work for you, but it sure seems like you are overthinking it and worrying about things that will probably never be a problem. There is a big difference in knowing that something can possibly happen, knowing the symptoms, and being prepared versus losing sleep over something that might never be a problem.

    I don’t know if this will do you any good, but if you let it, raising them can be pretty easy.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Thank you Ridge Runner for your validation to the first time chick raisers re: the different philosophies re: raising chicks. And I agree with you, the internet provides some excellent education as well as some hyped up paranoia, and there is no one way that is right to raise chicks. I'm having a blast with my first chicks home hatched in home made incubator, followed a week later by some feed store hatchery chicks. It's fun to get back into it after a 20+ year lapse!

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