what is coccidia and how do they get it?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lisa202, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    I read a post about this and they spoke about how to cure it and they said something about the bird being on dirt?
     
  2. kingdr85

    kingdr85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know it is a lot of reading but it made sense to me - this came from the breeder I got my chicks from.

    Coccidiosis
    Cocci are a naturally occurring protozoan parasite found in almost every soil sample. If you've ever survived a round of Cocci in your own flock, you know what I mean when I say it's devastating. If you're new to the chickens with a young little backyard flock, your days are numbered for heartbreak. Coccidiosis is an intestinal tract infection caused by a one-celled organism (protozoa) called coccidia. Coccidia are sub-classified into a number of genera, and each genus has a number of species. Some six different genera of coccidia can infect pets. They are microscopic parasites that spend part of their life cycle in the lining cells of the intestine. Almost all types of Coccidia only effect chickens, the one that effects humans is Cryptosporidium and rarely is ever seen in Chickens.

    Coccidiosis are present world-wide, and are ubiquitous under intensive farming methods. Up to six species have been shown to occur simultaneously on one farm. The omni-present nature of this parasite prevents the possibility of eradication as a practical option. . Poultry producers in the United States found in the late 1940s that the most economical method of preventing the disease and controlling the problem was via continuous usage of sulphaquinoxalines in the feed of the chickens. This not only reduced the mortality caused by the protozoan parasite but also lessened the morbidity of the disease in poultry. This treatment is now considered toxic and the industry has evolved to the usage of medications such as Amprolium (the best and most universal) and Bacitracin (only treats one form of Cocci).

    'Cocci' management should forever be at the forefront of any good health and nutrition program. Your goal is to find the balance between allowing natural immunity to build up in your chickens and preventing high oocyst exposure in young chickens (3 months and younger)by keeping them on a medicated chick feed. Hygiene, anticoccidial drugs and vaccines all play major roles in keeping exposure to a minimum

    How to Control it:

    Keeping the litter of your youngsters very clean until adulthood is one way of reducing cocci outbreaks, but the best way is to ALWAYS use medicated chick feed that contains Amprolium from chicks into their adulthood.

    If you see blood in the stool, add a sulfa-based antibiotic to the water for 10-14 days.

    Practice good biosecurity. I frequently have people spray their shoes with Oxine or Tek-Trol when they walk in the coop. Set mousetraps, spray and wipe down the coop house, ramps, doors and other areas with oxine or Tek-Trol. Keep chickens separated from waterfowl and keep them away from wild bird feeders. And as mentioned before....Keep the liter clean.

    Food: Feed them Medicated Chick Starter until they reach 6 months of age. It is imperative that you use MEDICATED chick starter which contains a coccidiostat called Amprol. Some may disagree with medicating their birds but the Amprol helps protect against coccidiosis which is a common intestinal parasite that chicks are very susceptible to. Amprol inhibits the growth of the coccia, but leaves enough coccidia alive to permit the build-up of immunity to coccidiosis in the growing young chicken. Coccidiosis is passed from bird to bird, through droppings and infected tissue and it invades the intestinal wall. It causes untold intestinal distress, dehydration, and if left untreated, it will quickly kill your flock. It is especially common in young chicks and they can get it from simply ingesting droppings.
     
  3. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

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  4. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

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    also: My experience has been this. I have chicks that I expose to the outside in gradual time increments each day. I let them stay out longer each time. Their systems are not medicated and they get a gradual exposure over time. They do build up antibodies. They have never gotten sick. Then I have groups of chicks (when I first began chicken keeping) who are on medicated food who go from brooder to outside cold turkey and get cocci. I have never had a chick or chicken die from cocci. I treat but I don't go overboard with the disinfecting thing. Did my grandparents do that? No and they never had problems. I had one lady here on the forum say that with all new chicks she puts a big momma's poo in the chicks water and she had never had cocci ever in her flocks. I have never done that but my babies who live with their momma's have never had cocci. It the ones that come from retail stores are the ones that have had issues.

    Edit to say: I do keep amprolium in my Chicken First Aid Kt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  5. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so desperate for help and I wondered if someone could tell me if coccidia can occur in adult hens. Every single thing I am reading on the BYC forum talks about chicks - I haven't seen anything about this occuring in adult hens. I only have three hens - i should say 'had' three hens. One died yesterday. The vet told me today to treat them for coccidia with medicated feed since the other 2 are much skinnier than they should be. But everything I read on here says to treat chicks with medicated chick feed to prevent it - well mine aren't chicks, aren't on chick feed and acc to our vet, already have it?

    Are my remaining two hens doomed? i can't imagine losing them too, but i have to assume they're done for at this point since i haven't seen one post talking about how to cure coccidia in adults...

    Any advice? thx....
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  6. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Yes, adults can get it.. but medicated feed is not enough to cure it. If they have coccidia, they need Corid, which is a stronger dose of the stuff in medicated feed. Some use Sulmet, but I prefer Corid, which is gentler on their systems and specific to coccidia. No egg withdrawal and you add it to their water.
     
  7. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh geez - thank you!!! THANK YOU!!! Since i've never heard of either of those, any clue where i go to get them? Is this something i can just pick up at a feed store?
     
  8. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Yep! Corid is available at feed stores. If they don't have that, sulmet can be used, but that's generally second choice because it's harsh on them and doesn't cover as wide a range of Cocci. Corid is easy on their systems. Did the vet tell you why he thought they had cocci?
     
  9. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    featherz - When I called the vet today I only spoke to the vet tech so I am not sure if he found cocci in the fecal sample I sent in or if he assumed that since he examined by hen (that he euthanized) and when he didn't see worms made an assumption? I'm going in on Monday to pay for the fecal exam and I'll speak with the vet then and get the full scoop. THANK YOU for telling me what to give them. I'll stop by the feed store tomorrow and see what they have available. I just feel horrible that this has been going on and I didn't realize it, but I guess that's the nature of having chickens.... they don't exactly tell you when they're not well. I just hope I can save my remaining two.
    [​IMG] Thank you for your quick response :)
     
  10. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Good luck!

    Corid is also known as amprolium or Amprol, if that helps. Same stuff as in medicated feed but at a stronger dose. One bag of the stuff will probably last you forever. :)

    Generally cocci adults and chicks are listless and stand around looking 'puffy'. At later stages you'll see bloody poop, but the main symptom you can see early on is a poofed up bummed out chicken. :)
     

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