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when/how to isolate for suspected cocci?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tuskajones, May 23, 2008.

  1. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Sewickley, PA
    Hi--My 20 or so cornish x are almost 6 weeks old. I lost 2 so far last week to cocci I assume (they had stinky yellowish watery poo). I noticed 2 more this evening that had that "hunkered down" look to them. I took those 2 out of the tractor and put them in a small box with water splashed with apple cider vinegar and greens; they are alert and "chooking" but not really as active as the other birds.

    My question is when should I take a bird out of the tractor if I suspect cocci? Only if I observe them poo the yucky poo? My concern is that I take one out that really isn't very sick and put it with one that is and get the not so sick one sicker. Do I isolate every bird from each other or can I just have one "sick bay". If they look better in the morning, should I put them back in the tractor or wait several days?

    Thanks!
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    It makes no difference. If it's cocci, they have all been exposed to the oocysts already. Either they'll shrug it off or they won't make it.

    It's very quick and cheap for a vet to do a float on the droppings and confirm cocci.
     
  3. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Sewickley, PA
    Hi Greyfields--Weeelll how do I get a sample or do I take the bird to the doc? What else could it be if not cocci? Just curious.

    I have been faithfully keeping the tractor moved and feeders/waterers clean. We got socked with a ton of cool, wet weather this past three weeks. I hate to lose more of them but I am not going to go to great lengths to treat them and of course would not let them suffer. if the cornish xs are that delicate then I will be looking at another breed for sure next time. Sorry I am just venting!

    Give me my hardy ducks any day!!

    Thanks!

    Kelly
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    It could be lots of things. But, Cocci is usually the culprit. But it's good to know for sure. You have a few choices if it is:

    a) Treat with an antibiotic in the drinking water.
    b) swtich to a medicated feed.
    c) Let the ones who die, die.

    A float test usually costs me $10, less than a bag of feed or Amporlium.
     
  5. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Sewickley, PA
    Hi Greyfields--Yes it would be good to know for sure. I'll call a vet today and see what the deal is.

    Thanks again!

    Kelly
     
  6. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Sewickley, PA
    Forgot to ask--does a float test just check for cocci or other organisms? Just want to be prepared when I deal with the vet.

    Thanks,
    Kelly
     
  7. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I just had a float test done and it checked for cocci and other parasites, microorganisms, and worms I think. Here in suburbia it was tough to find a vet who'd do a bird fecal float, but I finally found one. Keep calling around and asking every vet for recommendations. It cost $27 here, but worth it for me to know how to treat.

    REmember if you treat meat birds with Sulmet you have to stop treating a while before eating them, on my bottle it says 10 days before slaughter.
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    The sulfa drugs generally are given for 5 days, the stopped. And correct, there can be slaughter withdrawal periods.

    They are classified as antibiotics, though. So, if you are marketing your birds as antibiotic free, you're in a bit of a pickle. Since I sell my birds under those marketing terms, I do let my broilers die who get it. In the long run, I need to breed my own from resistant stock. It's the only sustainable way forward.

    The parasites's eggs and oocysts "float" when mixed and can be easily identified with a microscope.
     
  9. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've heard that cocci usually happens in the first few weeks if it's going to, and that if this is your FIRST batch of chickens, you really don't have to worry about it beyond a few weeks, since if they lived that long out of the hatchery, they won't pick it up ground that's never had chickens. Any truth to that, Greyfields?
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
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    My vets advice was that the oocysts remain dormant in the soil for decades, at least in our climate (never hot enough to kill parasites, never cold enough to kill parasites). So, that you really can't view it narrowly in the sense that your birds won't get cocci if they've never been exposed to birds or droppings.

    I need someone to correct me if I'm wrong; but I belive there is a specific incubation period for coccidiossis. I believe the bird has to be at least 21 days old for it to multiply into problematic numbers. Then, I also agree, that after about 6 months of age you're probably safe.... with the big caveat that birds never exposed, and then later exposed, can die just as quickly as chicks in a brooder will.

    The really only sustainble long term solution is to breed your own birds selecting the strongest birds from your own flock. I know mine are exposed to cocci and I know some die, while others show no difficulties with it. So, you want to pass those genes along to your flock and the overall vigor of your birds will increase.

    This goes against the conventional thinking of bringing in day old birds from a hatchery far far away. You reset the disease cycle each time you do it.

    Of course, speaking to broilers, it's very very hard at this time to breed your own meat birds. You're always going to be relying on a 3rd party.
     

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