Will my chicken get coccidiosis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MyPetNugget, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    I just let Nugget out of the coop because she was giving me big shiny eyes and the ground was a little damp. Then I remembered that she could get coccidiosis and put her back in the coop. Do you think she could get it? She was on the ground scratching for about 10 minutes.
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Most likely, she will get exposed. It's everywhere and carried about by wild birds. There are 8 or 9 strains of coccidiosis as I understand. Exposure is just something the birds must overcome, develop a tolerance. The only time it is an issue is when there is an overload in the intestine that the bird cannot handle.

    Having Corid on hand, just for these possibilities is always something you can do. Corid isn't an anti-biotic but is a med that starves the infestation of thiamine, thus preventing an overload. That's pretty much how it works.

    But until or unless you see evidence, coccidiosis and many other things are simply part of the environment that chickens overcome. If they couldn't, the species would have died out a long time ago.
  3. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    So do I give her corid now or when she has symptoms? Thanks for the quick reply.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Was she on medicated feed as a chick?
  5. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    Yes she was and got vaccinated for Mereks at the hatchery on her first day. They all ate medicated feed until we switched just recently. They free range a lot and get yogurt almost every day.
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I would only start her on Corid if she begins showing symptoms (bloody droppings, lethargy, etc.). Corid works by depriving the Coccidia, and at the same time, the chicken, of certain vitamins, so it isn't good to give it unless absolutely necessary. You could feed medicated feed, though, which has small amounts of corid/amprolium (not enough to cure Coccidiosis, or seriously deprive the bird of nutrients) in it and will help prevent Coccidiosis.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If yours free-range and are in contact with the ground they have been exposed to whatever strains of coccidiosis are in your ground, whether it is wet or dry. If yours have been exposed regularly to the ground for three weeks, they should have developed immunity to that (or those) strains.

    Coccidiosis is more likely in warm damp climates like the Gulf Coast or Deep South where it is warm and wet, but it can be anywhere, especially around wet spots around waterers or things like that. Warm brooders can be a dangerous spot but if they are reasonably dry probably not that big a risk. It’s just not as likely to be a problem in a cooler or drier climate. I don’t know where you are. You may be in an area that is not high risk but you still need to know the symptoms and be on the lookout for them.

    The dosage of Amprolium in the medicated feed does not kill all the bugs that cause coccidiosis. It limits the number of bugs but still allows enough to live and reproduce so the chick can develop the immunity it needs. Amprolium is not an antibiotic. It will not kill the probiotics the chick may have in its system. It will not harm the chick in any way. There is nothing wrong with feeding a chick medicated feed, but if the chick has not been exposed to the microbes that cause coccidiosis, it does no good either.

    The microbe that causes coccidiosis thrives in wet soil, especially wet manure. A little damp is not bad but a wet brooder, coop, or run can be a source of danger, especially if they have not developed immunity and it is a little warm. When the weather sets in wet there may not be much you can do with your run. That’s a time to watch them closely.

    A common occurrence on this forum is where someone feeds medicated feed to chicks in the brooder that have never been exposed to the coccidiosis bugs, then stops the medicated feed just when they go outside and come into contact with the bugs for the first time. Especially if the weather is wet, those chicks can get real sick. If you use medicated feed, it needs to be used for about three weeks when they first come in contact with that coccidiosis bug to help protect them. They can still get sick on medicated feed. There are some strains of coccidiosis that are stronger than others or if the brooder or run is wet, they are still at risk. The medicated feed makes it a lot less likely that coccidiosis will be a problem, but it is not a guarantee.

    I don’t use medicated feed. The way I handle it is to take dirt from the run and feed it to them in the brooder starting around day 2 or 3. I don’t feed them a lot of dirt but feed them some every two or three days to keep a steady supply of those bugs so they can develop immunity. This also gives them grit and passes on any probiotics the adult birds have in their systems. My brooder is too dry to rely on them passing on a steady supply of microbes to each other through them eating each other’s damp poop. Chickens eating each other’s poop is how they develop flock immunities and share probiotics, by the way. It’s a good thing, not a horrible yucky thing.

    I don’t know if that chicken has developed immunity or not but from what you describe I don’t think it is in mortal danger. You should always keep an eye on them but I really would not worry.
    1 person likes this.
  8. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    They have been free ranging ever since they were 2 weeks old. I let them out when I can ( when there are no hawks). They have never had any problems.
  9. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    Here it gets below zero in the winter and over one hundred in the summer. Right now it's 30 degrees

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by