Worried and Confused


In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 25, 2014
I have a small flock of juvenile chickens and I've had a few suddenly come down with an ailment. The first sign is that a bird moves and walks slowly then seems to pay no attention to anyone approaching it. They'll just stand there like they don't have a care in the world then eventually separate themselves by finding corners or staying in the coop. I've had 2 Ameraucanas, 1 buff orpington and 1 of my french blue marans do the same thing then die. After the first one caught my eye I started separating birds that act that way immediately but they'd die then another bird would show signs a week or 2 later. All that said, my birds are free ranging on about 2 acres but I keep everything as clean as chicken housing and bedding can be kept. My aunt has several other birds next door that have come over the fence but none of hers have shown any signs and this has been an issue the past 2 months. Does ANYONE have any idea what this could be and does anyone have any experience with treating it? I've tried VetRx but that didn't help. Also, each sick bird was a hen and neither of my roosters has ever missed a beat...Thanks in advance.
Welcome to BYC. I would suspect and treat for coccidiosis. Symptoms are lethargy, weakness, standing around puffed up or hunching, diarrhea with or without blood, and poor appetite. Treatment is Corid or amprollium, found in the cattle medicines in feed stores. Dosage is 2 tsp of the liquid (or 1.5 tsp of the powder) per gallon of water for 5-7 days. Treat all birds at once, and this should be the only water. Sick birds who won't drink, need to be fed water with a dropper. How old are your chickens?
Okay, thanks. All are right at laying age. I've been getting eggs from 2 for a week now. I'm guessing oxytetracyline won't work for that, right?
Okay, thanks. I called a store nearby and they'll have some corid for me tomorrow. Thanks again!
I agree try the corid. Sounds like you pay a lot of attention to your birds behavior which is good. I've lost some in the past before even realizing anything was wrong. Coccidiosis is a fast killer. If any feel super light weight when picked up, it's usually to late at that point to save them. For us the cocci usually hits around 6-8 weeks old or so but in our first couple years with chickens I do remember them not getting it until they were laying age. I remember marans hen would just stand there with head hunched down and ignore me passing by.
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