Warning for newbies like me - Be vigilant about coccidia!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hrhta812, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. hrhta812

    hrhta812 Songster

    Jul 27, 2009
    Lebanon, IN
    I just want to share a hard lesson I learned this week, losing 3 chicks in the bargain. There was one that seemed puny at about week 2, so I gave her some supportive care. She seemed to bounce back but maybe just had a subdued personality. Several days ago, I found her dead in the brooder. No one else seemed off, but the next day, there were two more dead, and some looking distressed.

    I've been using a red brooder light, as recommended. My eyesight is not the keenest in low light, and the red masked the reddish tint in the droppings that might have alerted me to cocci before it was too late. With aggressive treatment, I've not lost any more [knock wood] but I am sick at heart that I didn't realize something was wrong early enough to save the ones I lost. More experienced folks already know all this, and although I've had chickens for a few years now, this is only my second time having baby chicks, and my first time having more than 5 [we got a min. order of 15, with a freebie added]

    Some of the lessons I've learned from this:

    1. Medicated food is not a sure preventative of cocci.

    2. Whatever it takes, use a spill proof water dish - even if it means you have to refill it 5 times a day; wet bedding breeds cocci.

    3. It's a good idea to use a bright light and check the appearance of the droppings in the brooder every day; the droppings may well show there's a problem before the chicks start to act like something is wrong.

    4. Have a spare brooder so you can switch them to clean more easily; ammonia is supposed to be best at killing oocytes.

    5. If you get chicks, make sure you have the following on hand before they arrive - corid powder, non-medicated food, electrolytes [no vitamins, just electrolytes], and plain yogurt.

    I hope this info can be of use to others. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster

    Jul 22, 2013
    Sorry for your loss!
  3. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Songster

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Sorry for your loss and your suggested things to have *on hand* is a very good list. I'd also add a bottle of Blu-Kote - used mine on day 6 with one chick that had a freak accident (toe nail in wing feather) and somehow had some blood. Blu-kote stopped the others from being "curious".

    Also on the Corid...you may not be able to get any in time if you don't have it on hand. I tried to get some as a precaution (when they were a few weeks old) and all my local TSC's were out of stock...and the fastest online took 7 days to reach me...they would've all been dead had I really needed it.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm sorry for your loss, but glad you're taking steps for the future. I have one more thing to add...


    I was thinking, reading your post, if the red heat lamp cast light on all the droppings, the chicks may not have been able to get cool enough, and may have just been overcrowded. They need a space completely out from under the heat, ambient room temp. Most of the brooder should be room temp, just a small area heated. I don't have facts, but it seems to me an overheated bird would have less resistance. I know overcrowded birds get sick more easily.
  5. culdesacfarm

    culdesacfarm In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2013
    YES!!! Being a new "chick" mom I had this happen to me as well. I went to my local Tractor Supply and they were sold out or Corid! It was 6:30pm on Sunday and everything was closed!!! I will always keep Corid on hand just in case this happens again! I think it would be helpful for someone who knows a lot about chickens to start a thread and list everything to have on hand for chicks. These are some questions I have about coccidia. Yogert? What kind greek? Does it matter? How to give it to the chick in a dropper or mix in water? Why give them yogert? How much? Will to much hurt them? Electrolytes given with the corid? Or in another waterdish? Why have non-medicated food?

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