Dec 1, 2012

Coccidiosis: What Backyard Chicken Keepers Should Know

Coccidiosis information for backyard chicken keepers
The diseases and parasites sections of chicken-keeping books have always intimidated me and with good reason: there's a lot that can go wrong with our pet chickens and very few reliable places to turn when it does. However, most things that can go wrong usually don't and when diseases do rear their ugly heads, they ordinarily extend the courtesy of taking turns, allowing us to research and address one at a time. Coccidiosis is one of the common diseases in chickens and one that every chicken keeper should know about before the first chick's feet hit the brooder floor. With a little common sense and good flock management practices, cocci can be controlled and easily treated when necessary.

READER ADVISORY: Actual photos of abnormal droppings below.
Coccidiosis is the #1 cause of death in brooder chicks
WHAT IS COCCIDIOSIS?
Coccidiosis (aka: cocci) is a common intestinal disease caused by several species of parasites. The parasites rapidly multiply, damaging the intestinal lining, preventing chickens from absorbing nutrients from their food.
The microscopic cooties that cause cocci are everywhere. (of course that's a technical term) Chickens can be affected by cocci even with the best coop sanitation and flock management practices. The key to keeping chickens healthy is learning to control the spread of the disease, recognizing the symptoms when they occur, obtaining a definitive diagnosis and knowing how to treat an affected bird.
Coccidiosis is the most common cause of death in brooder chicks

SYMPTOMS
The most common symptoms of cocci are:
  • diarrhea and/or blood and/or mucous in droppings
  • lethargy, listlessness
  • pale skin color
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss in older chickens
  • failure of chicks to grow/thrive
  • progression of symptoms can be gradual or rapidly result in death, particularly in chicks
Microscopic eggs, called oocysts, are ingested, then multiply in the intestines and are expelled in droppings.  The eggs can be carried by wild birds, chickens from different flocks, on a person’s shoes, clothing or equipment. Cocci is commonly transmitted through dirty water or contaminated food. There are a number of species of Coccidia that affect chickens and immunity can be acquired by gradual exposure over time.

An example of how easily flocks can become infected:
Farmer Fred’s flock appears healthy and is, possessing immunity to the particular species of oocysts living in his yard. Fred finishes up his morning coop chores and walks over to farmer Betty’s chicken yard with his shovel to help her dig some fence posts. Oocysts traveled with him on the soles of his boots, his shovel and his clothes and were deposited in Betty's yard. The grass contaminated with the eggs was eaten by Betty’s grazing hens and they got sick with coccidiosis within a week of the visit. Fred brought home oocysts from Betty's yard with him to his hens and they began dying. Betty’s flock had not no immunity to the cocci species in Fred's flock and vice versa.
Coccidiosis can be controlled by the use of probiotics to promote competitive exclusion.
Coccidiosis can be controlled by the use of probiotics to promote competitive exclusion.
PREVENTION
  • Vaccinate day old chicks against coccidiosis. (many hatcheries offer this service at a nominal charge)
  • Provide medicated starter feed to chicks that are not vaccinated for cocci. (the vaccine and the medication in chick starter feed taken together renders chicks unprotected)
  • Keep brooders and coops clean and dry. (warm, wet conditions such as soiled, damp, brooder bedding, provide the ideal environment for eggs to multiply quickly).
  • Provide the cleanest water possible. (very seriously consider employing poultry nipple waterers
  • Don’t overcrowd living quarters (provide a minimum of: 4 square feet per adult bird inside coops, 10 square feet per bird in the run, and 6 square inches of brooder flooring for week old chicks)
  • Ensure adequate coop ventilation to promote dry litter.
  • Promote acquire immunity by introducing chicks gradually to a properly maintained chicken yard and existing flock by 4 weeks old.
  • Offer chicks probiotics in their water to promote competitive exclusion (the good guys beat out the bad guys inside the gut)
  • Practice good bio-security, including quarantining new flock members for a bare minimum of two weeks, restricting access to your chicken yard by fellow chicken-keepers, not sharing equipment with fellow chicken-keepers. (much more detail about proper quarantine here)
  • Keep waterfowl separate from chickens (spilled water + warmth=ideal conditions for breeding cocci)
  • Don't throw feed or treats on the ground where it can become contaminated.
Olive Egger hen
DIAGNOSIS
The only way to properly diagnose cocci in living chickens is to have a fecal float test performed by a vet. Most veterinarians will gladly perform this test for a nominal fee, if any, even if they do not treat chickens. The following two photos illustrate that not all blood in droppings is caused by cocci or worms. Both of these samples were tested by my vet's laboratory and were NEGATIVE for cocci and worms.
Chicken droppings specimen negative for coccidiosis
chicken droppings negative for coccidiosis
The sooner cocci is identified, the sooner treatment can begin and the lower the risk of death. It is extremely helpful to have a droppings board in the coop in order to make a daily droppings assessment. Abnormal or bloody droppings should be tested.  
Cleaning the droppings board in the chicken coop.
TREATMENT
When one chicken is diagnosed with cocci, the entire flock must be treated. The chickens that produced the droppings in the following photos were diagnosed with cocci. Following the advice of my vet, I treated my flock with 9.5cc of liquid amprolium (brand name Corid) per gallon of water for 4 days. The droppings were free of blood within 24 hours of the first dose, however, in 2 weeks, they were again medicated for 3 additional days. (The vet indicated that given the life cycle of Eimeria, no bugs would be present to kill less than 2 weeks after stopping treatment, hence the 2 week break in dosing.)
Corid is a name brand of amprolium, treatment for coccidiosis
POST-TREATMENT
AFTER the second round of treatment for cocci is completed, particularly when using amprolium, a vitamin supplement should be given  to replace the Vitamin B1 lost during treatment. A product such as Nutri-Drench will do the trick.
chicken droppings coccidiosis in backyard chickens
Coccidiosis: What Backyard Chicken Keepers Should Know
Coccidiosis in backyard chickens
Questions regarding ‘egg withdrawal periods” always arise when drugs are given to laying hens. Discuss the matter with your vet and use your best judgment. (that's really helpful, isn't it?)

VIEWER ADVISORY: The following video is an excellent presentation on the subject of cocci, however, it is extremely graphic and difficult to watch. There are overcrowding conditions and dead or dying birds shown in both clinical and brooder settings.

The Chicken Health Handbook, Damerow, Gail. Storey Publishing, 1994.

Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

151 comments :

  1. Thanks for the info!! It was my understanding that cocci meds were sulfer based. Therefore, if you choose to eat any eggs from treated birds you should NOT have a sulfer allergy. Selling or giving away these eggs would be unethical since a sulfer allgery is common. Two weeks was the suggested period after the last dose was given to prevent any reaction to the sulfer.
    As long as you are aware of the risks, and you know you do not react to sulfer, it is ok to eat the eggs. I have had no issues with eating them, but I didn't eat any eggs for a week since I wanted the meds to work and eliminate the cocci risk.
    I personally don't have a sulfer allergy, nor does anyone in my family - pfew!
    If I am wrong - please do tell. I read a lot of info and it was supported by veteranarians so far as I know.
    I have seen a treatment for the yard for several cooties in the yard such as Parvo/distemper/ etc and I believe it is for Cocci as well. I saw this at Tractor Supply. If anyone has any info on that I'd like to know your thoughts. I live in an area that is rather humid and keeping dry coops is frustrating at best. Plenty of flitting wild birds to cary the crud and EVERYBODY has chickens so going anywhere means I'm bring it home. Productions farms abound here and there is no simple way to prevent the spread of it. As you would think, production farms are nasty places and the birds that come from them and end up on the plate are loaded with cooties and are generally miserable. I'm not a vegetarian, but a fan of healthy food = healthy mind and body. I can't eat my birds, just can't do it. However I understand the reality of livestock and would love to see the production entities cleaned up and held to a higher standard.
    So any info on preventing cocci and other cooties is always appreciated and I am more than greatful for your postings.

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  2. TheChickenChick12/1/12, 10:47 AM

    Not all cocci drugs are sulfer based, but some are. Amprolium is not a sulfa drug. More on that here: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/2/Coccidiosis%20Management/46/drugs

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  3. Thanks for the poop photos! I often read about maladies and panic thinking, "Oh no! Maybe my chicky babies have that!" It's nice to see a clear example so I don't freak out and overreact. Thanks! :)

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  4. Holly Storm12/1/12, 5:21 PM

    Great info, thank you!

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  5. TheChickenChick12/1/12, 5:25 PM

    You're welcome, Holly!

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  6. Carol Hoffman12/2/12, 5:21 PM

    Thank you.

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  7. I have lost many birds to Cocci (in my earlier chicken keeping days). I know now how to watch for it and to keep birds treated. I have not yet tried the vaccine, but I am considering it. Thank you for this wonderful information. Hopefully this will help so that others do not lose their birds.

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  8. KATHY WOODY, THANK YOU KATHY FOR THE INFO AND PICTURE. WHERE DO I BUY THIS MEDICINE FOR MY CHICKENS. DOES TRACTOR SUPPLY CARRY IT? I HAVE LOST MANY CHICKENS THIS SUMMER AND IT HAS JUST ABOUT KILLED ME. I WENT TO A NEW DOCTOR I FOUND, THANK GOD, AND HE SAID THEY HAD AIR SAC DISEASE. HE HAS BEEN PUTTING THE SICK CHICK ON ANIT-BIOTICS AND TREATING THE REST OF THE FLOCK, TOO. THE ONLY THING IS, IT KEEPS RECURRING IN DIFFERENT CHICKENS JUST RIGHT ON AND ON. I KEEP THE CAGES EXTRA CLEAN, CLEAN WATER, CLEAN FOOD BOWLS. I AM TRULY AT MY WITS END. 

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  9. TheChickenChick12/3/12, 8:57 PM

    That's awful, Kathy. I'm sorry to hear it. I am going to have to defer to your vet though. If you have questions about the problem in your flock, that's the place to consult.
    As for the issue of cocci, Corid is available at Tractor Supply; it's in the cow aisle though because it is labeled for use in calves.

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  10. Do you have to throw all the eggs away during treatment? Thanks
    Ang

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  11. Melissa Braglin12/5/12, 2:57 PM

    Great info! It is always fun examining poop!

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  12. Sarah Eller12/5/12, 2:58 PM

    Thanks so very much for the oppertunity on another wonderfull giveaway! You do such wonderfull things. :) GL everyone!

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  13. Becky Ballard12/5/12, 2:59 PM

    Love your blog posts 

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  14. Beth Sullivan12/5/12, 3:02 PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I subscribed to your blog through Google Connect and Networked Blogs.  I really enjoy your blog.  Thank you for sponsoring so many giveaways.

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  16. WOOT WOOT!! My brood would LOVE a new feeder. Thanks for the great information on backyard chicken farming. So useful!!!

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  17. Could definitely use another feeder!

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  18. Good info; I hope I never need to use it.  My one silkie hen has frequent soft smelly brown droppings could that be a problem?

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  19. Elizabeth Cribbs12/5/12, 3:09 PM

    Thank you for the info.

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  20. Hi Kathy!  We had some chicks with cocci this summer, lost a couple, but got it under control fast using the same methods you suggest!

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  21. Thanks for all the information.  Please add me to running for the feeder.

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  22. Carolynn Popp12/5/12, 3:16 PM

    That video was very sad.  Hopefully no one will have to go through losing their birds this way.

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  23. Love all the ideas and even tried a few recipes for our girls. 

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  24. cmorechicks12/5/12, 4:10 PM

    thanks for information.

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  25. Thanks for this great information about  Coccidiosis, it's causes, & treatment.  As always, I'm learning so much from your blog!

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  26. Always worried about these things even though I keep everything cleaner than clean. The video and pictures helped for future reference.

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  27. thanks for the info good to know if it ever happens

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  28. Amanda Pope12/5/12, 6:58 PM

    Always finding more things about chickens!yes enter me please.

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  29. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 8:25 PM

    I hear ya, Lisa. We do the best we can and hope for the best.

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  30. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 8:26 PM

    My pleasure, Erica. Thanks!

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  31. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 8:26 PM

    You bet! Thanks for stopping in!

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  32. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 8:26 PM

    Cool! Thanks. :)

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  33. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 8:27 PM

    Isn't it awful? Unfortunately, it happens a lot when people aren't informed of the importance of good brooder sanitation and not overcrowding. :(

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  34. Easy to ready information, thanks!

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  35. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 9:34 PM

    Thanks Mike. I'm not able to add you, but you can choose from the subscription options in the upper, left-hand sidebar of my blog.

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  36. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 9:34 PM

    I'm so glad you were able to get a handle on it, Katie!

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  37. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 9:34 PM

    My pleasure!

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  38. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 9:36 PM

    There's a pretty wide range of normal and abnormal droppings, Earl. Here is another blog post that may help answer your question: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/02/whats-scoop-on-chicken-poop-digestive.html

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  39. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 10:12 PM

    When we know better, we do better. (Maya Angelou)
    Thanks for your comment, Teresa. :)

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  40. TheChickenChick12/5/12, 10:13 PM

    My pleasure. :)

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  41. knightlife194712/6/12, 3:37 PM

    love the artical, always need more information about the world of raising chickens...please enter me in the contest...Thank you..:)

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  42. Great for a beginner. Following NB

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  43. Alright something else YAH! Im entering.

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  44. Nicholas Summersell12/7/12, 5:35 AM

    Always good information.  Do you have any tips to quiet down a noisy rooster?

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  45. Thanks Chicken Chick for all the chicken info! You got me thru the first prolapse and now I am dealing with another. And thanks for the chance to win chicken stuff!

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  46. I like the format, the information, and the pictures. Thanks!!

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  47. Thank you so much for this information. It's always scary when something goes wrong with our feathered friends, but being prepared is half the battle! Good thing to keep Corid and Vitamin supplements on hand for these "events"...

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  48. Alex Summersell12/7/12, 5:35 AM

     I don't wish it to happen but now I know what to look for. Thanks.

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  49. Great pictures & advice. Thanks!

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  50. Earlene Leytham12/7/12, 5:35 AM

    Always something new to learn about chickens. Thanks.

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  51. Melissa Felts12/7/12, 5:35 AM

    Very good info, thanks!  

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  52. very good information for new chicken owners as well as old ones.

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  53. Thanks for the information, I hope to never have to deal with this though!

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  54. Lots of good info and good lookin' feeder.

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  55. Shawn Cotton12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    Great Article! Thank you. 

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  56. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    Oh no! Same chicken or a different hen?

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  57. Hope I never have to deal with it, but great info on what to look for!

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  58. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    Thanks! I wish I did, the best you can do is to sound-proof his living quarters. I used to bring my rooster into the garage and drape something over the top so the rabbit hutch would stay darker a little longer in the mornings b/c I couldn't keep him due to neighbor preferences. There really is not anything you can do to keep them from crowing.

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  59. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    You're entered. Good luck!

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  60. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    Thanks for following, Misty!

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  61. Great article, but scary.
     

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  62. thanks chicken  chick would not know what to do with out you you are awsome my chickens love you :)

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  63. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    Thank you and I agree. But caught early, it's very easily treated.

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  64. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    You're so sweet, Kate. Thank you. (say hi to your peeps for me)

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  65. fitnesserin12/7/12, 5:36 AM

    sent you another blog reader today, after they came out to pick up some chickens for their daughter last night.  great to have a well spoken advocate to share!

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  66. Lots of great information.

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  67. Since I now have poop boards I too can check for the signs@TheChickenChick:disqus 

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  68. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 5:37 AM

    Congratulations Judy! You have won the feeder from EBERLY BARNS! Please email me with your shipping address and we'll get it right out to you!

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  69. different hen--first one is laying again and doing beautifully

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  70. Always learn something when I read your articles. And could use a feeder in the last coop before winter sets in good.

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  71. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 7:46 PM

    I'm surprised that you have another in the flock, but am glad that #1 is doing well!

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  72. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 7:46 PM

    That's great to know, Kathy!

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  73. TheChickenChick12/7/12, 7:48 PM

    Thanks so much, I appreciate the vote of confidence!

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  74. The pics were gross but very much needed so we will know what it looks like. Thankyou  

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  75. TheChickenChick12/8/12, 12:37 AM

    Agreed and you're welcome, Wendy! :)

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  76. Hi Kathy, Can chickens over a year old get this, im noticing a pinky colored feces, but they are not chicks much older.... Many are mixed ages and the ones I think are the culprits are some new ones I purchased(rescued) from a yucky farm..never doing that again.
    thank you
    Angie
     beavercreekhomested@live.ca

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  77. TheChickenChick12/18/12, 11:25 PM

    Absolutly, Angie. Pink colored droppings aren't the same as bloody droppings though- you'll know it when you see it.

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  78. TheChickenChick3/27/13, 11:51 PM

    As long as you follow the brooder cleanliness guidelines and do not raise them on wire flooring, they will develop an immunity naturally. It's the chicks that spend their days walking in their own poop in a warm, wet brooder that are at high risk for cocci. Just keep an eye on their droppings.

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  79. When I ordered my chickens, I paid extra for a vaccination for Marek's disease. Is this the same thing?

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  80. TheChickenChick4/8/13, 10:57 PM

    The vaccine for Marek's disease is not at all the same as the cocci vaccine.

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  81. cocci man that scares me ok so I raised my rooster and 7 hens for 6weeks now do I have anything to worrie about??????? they r on medicated food as well bread and salads given clean water every day with olive oil and cider vinegar they do have runny poo sometimes but no blood they r active and eat like pigs am I just being paranoid??????? I'm gonna go purchase corid as well vita b1 - nutri drench HELP

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  82. Please do share the link to my blog, Karen. Thank you for asking!

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  83. vicentewakk7/10/13, 2:44 AM

    This is repeated 2 to 3 times a day, at least 15 minutes before food.http://ezsupplements.com/

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  84. Hello, I had two light sussex until last night one sadly died. I'm so sad. She seemed to have a few of the symptoms of cocci. Not the poo though. I really concerned for my remaining hen. She is 20-25 weeks old. For the moment she is eating fine but has been a little more tired out on my lawn. Can you help? Give advice.

    Matt

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  85. I've had chickens for 14 years. Never medicated them and aside from basic chicken care and common sense, never one serious problem. I hate to see folks so worried about chicken diseases. Mother Nature seems to be the best caregiver there is. In fact the only times I have had problems with my hens has been when i have gotten myself too into the mix. Very cute website though and such a lovely setup!

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  86. Quick question...after treatment for coccidiosis, is there a waiting period before the eggs can be eaten? I am using Sulmet, only because I couldn't access anything else quicker.

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  87. I'm not sure if anyone pointed this out yet, but Cocci is a bacteria and Coccidiosis is a protoazal parasite-two totally different things and two very different methods of treatment. The terms shouldn't be used interchangeably. It leads a lot of new chicken owners to become confused.

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  88. I left a message a long time ago but I see it was never added. I just wanted to point out that "Coccidiosis" and "Cocci" are two totally different things, and the terms should not be used interchangeably. Coccidiosis (coccidia) is caused by a protozoal parasite, cocci are bacteria. The treatment for each is very different.

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  89. I have a 4 week old Buff Orpington showing signs of coccidiosis - bloody stool for about 24 hours and very listless. She is part of a flock of 4, and I just got them one week ago and I am brand new to this. I went to the feed store today and got the Corid. Should I put this in their water now, before talking to a vet?

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  90. TheChickenChick10/14/13, 12:26 AM

    I would, but it's totally your call. I don't have a chicken veterinarian. If you do, they should be able to advise you.

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  91. purplebluestars11/11/13, 11:49 PM

    Hi, found your blog and it seems very informative. I'm desperately trying to see what's wrong with my 7 months old Barred Rock. She looked ill, very lethargic and no eating 2 weeks ago. So, we gave her antibiotics for 5 days and she is now better in regard to behavior, not lethargic anymore, but she is barely eating and has watery poo, whitish at times but no bloody at all. I really don't know if this can be cocci or something else, I don't know what to do. The other 5 chicken same age that I have are just fine. Any ideas?. Thank you soo much.

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  92. TheChickenChick11/12/13, 11:36 PM

    It does not sound like coccidiosis. If you have a vet, I would contact them STAT.

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  93. Elaine McVey11/14/13, 9:05 PM

    3 year old red hen exhibiting behavior somewhat described with cocci. She has some blood and watery droppings. None of my chickens have been laying for the past 3 months due to the horrible molt. She likes to be held and sits most the of the time She closes her eyes and sleeps a good bit. She has lost weight. In the past 2 days she has eaten a tablespoon of cottage cheese, a half piece of white bread, 2 tablespoons of noodles, and 6 grapes. She did pass a meaty looking thing on Monday about an inch long. I tore it open and there was a little white filling (egg white) inside. Tuesday she laid an egg that looked like a silly putty egg (rubbery). She did not lay yesterday or today. I removed her from the the other 6 hens and 1 rooster yesterday. She's living in a kennel in the basement. I soaked her in warm water bath thinking she may have been eggbound, but that wasn't the case. Do you know if I can purchase Corid at Tractor Supply or Southern States? Or, do you need to get vet to write prescription? Thanks for a great informational chicken sight.

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  94. great information, thank you, however I have a question my RIR is 1year and when she had been laying her eggs theirs blood on them, could that be a sign of Cocci as well?

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  95. TheChickenChick2/1/14, 11:26 PM

    No, that is not a sign of coccidiosis.

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  96. I thought my 10 month old cochin bantam had a bad case of sour crop, but now I'm not so sure after I read and watched the video. Yesterday I realized she was acting very lethargic, and her skin was pale. When I picked her up she was very thin and wouldn't eat or drink barely anything. Her crop felt squishy, so I assumed it was sour crop. She couldn't even walk, and when she tried she would fall right over. I gave her apple cider vinegar water, and was going to buy the supplies to treat sour crop this morning. When I woke up, she had already passed away. I don't know if she had the yucky droppings, but all the other symtoms she had.

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  97. I have a square pail (from some brand of cat litter I bought at one time years ago). It works wonderful for scraping the poop boards off etc... If you can find one you will love it.

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  98. Corid is a powder - how did you get the 9.5cc of liquid amprolium??

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  99. Josephine Boscia Amrhein3/6/14, 11:25 AM

    Can a hen over 1 year to contract this? If she was fed the medicated food for the 1st several months is it even possible?

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  100. Cheryl Lindsay3/10/14, 4:51 AM

    Have you done a write up on Marek's? I think the only Vet willing to see my chicken was misinformed. He admitted his knowledge was a mere 2 weeks while in school and it was mainly for large scale chicken keepers.
    Thank you,
    Cheryl

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  101. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 1:09 AM

    I have not. It's not surprising that he said that, most vets don't get that much.

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  102. How long should I use the nutri drench in their water?

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  103. TheChickenChick3/17/14, 8:43 PM

    If the chicks were mailed to you and they look weak or listless, use it for a day or so, but then they shouldn't need it anymore.

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  104. They just finished with corid

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  105. Ladyizrubies3/17/14, 10:08 PM

    Thank you for the article. I had never had problems with cocci until I bought some chickens about 7 months ago from a local chicken farmer and all but one died from cocci. I tried treating them but I think I did so too late. I just put a new batch of chicks outside a little over a week ago and this morning three were dead and one was sick. I know these were healthy when I bought them. They were fine for the five weeks they were inside. I started them on Corid but what can I do to prevent any new chickens I put outside from getting sick? I cleaned the coops with bleach water. I am new and feel very lost! I hate losing the little ones.

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  106. Hi! Thank you so much for this post, and you're right...chicken health care can be very mystifying and overwhelming! We just lost one of our older hens after about 3 weeks of illness last night, and I am baffled. I never saw any bloody poo, but her skin got pale pink, her comb got *swollen,* and she was listless, low appetite, and eventually passed away. None of our other 5 hens are showing any signs of illness at all. They're all free range, though we keep their sleeping area clean. Just curious if you'd ever seen the comb thing before. I can't find anything on it anywhere! :(

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  107. TheChickenChick3/18/14, 9:00 PM

    How do you know they died from coccidiosis? Are you qurantining new birds properly? http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/quarantine-of-backyard-chickens-why-and.html

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  108. TheChickenChick3/19/14, 9:24 AM

    I'm sorry for your loss, Laura. The only way to know what the cause of death was is to have a necropsy done. In the event this is not an isolated incident, I encourage you to consider getting a post mortem exam. I have a lot more information on this topic here--> http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/5-ways-to-prepare-for-chicken-illness.html

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  109. Ladyizrubies3/19/14, 6:30 PM

    I think they died from coccidiosis. I have not been able to find a vet in our area that works with livestock. I talked with local chicken ranchers and the Ag extension office and they believe that it was coccidiosis from the symptoms. We do quarantine chickens. The gentleman at the extension office suggested that since the coop, that we had the sick birds in, was wood, we may not be able to clean it well enough to ensure that the new chicks won't get ill. We will be getting a new coop for our babies.

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  110. TheChickenChick3/19/14, 9:02 PM

    Sad. :(

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  111. Chicken Lady3/19/14, 9:24 PM

    Thank you so much for your informative article. We just discovered that our chickens have coccidiosis and I have been searching expand my knowledge. Your site is always very informative and a best read. We now have curtains in front of the nesting boxes which has helped to keep the hens from laying on the coop floor.
    I started with 6 started pullets and a rooster, Freddie Mercury. We noticed Fred had a 'baboon butt" and was loosing feathers around his tail. I was concerned and took him to the vet. The vet felt he was picking out his own feathers due to irritation caused by diarrhea. His stool tested negative for coccidia but the vet said it may not show up in all stools and put him on Sulfatrim orally for 5 days and Animax to apply to the reddened area around his but and tail. He also requested stool samples to brought in for all the chickens. The stool samples revealed 3 hens have coccidiosis so we are now treating all 6 hens with oral Albon. Thankfully, this was caught in early stages due to the roosters reddened behind with loss of feathers. I never noticed any symptoms other than an some diarrhea with other normal stools in the droppings pan and couple of hens with white poop on the feathers on their butt. The chickens were all behaving and eating and drinking normally. I think Fred saved our flock due to his symptoms and he is much improved.
    I have two new started pullets now 4 months that been in quarantine for a month now. Should I get those hens vaccinated for coccidiosis? My concern is that I live in Ohio and the started pullets came from San Bernidino, CA. We plan to keep them inside (as it is still cold here) until we have gotten through this round of parasites and cleaned the coop (20:1 bleach/water) and run twice, move the coop and run, then gradually introduce them to the flock. The vet said coccidiosis may always be an issue so I plan to get some Corid as well for future treatments.

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  112. Stacey Paden3/23/14, 6:33 PM

    I introduced two day old chicks to my two day old chicks. One of the ones I introduced to my chicks died within 24 hours and now three others have. They are all eating and drinking. THey receive medicated feed and clean water. I change out the pine shavings every other day and they get fresh water as well. I added electrolytes to the water. I don't see poo like what you have described. Should I get a probiotic just in case? I had two babies with pasty butt, but that has been taken care of and they seem to be fine.

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  113. TheChickenChick3/23/14, 8:55 PM

    Probiotics cannot hurt, but they probably won't help with whatever issue caused those deaths. :(

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  114. Stacey Paden3/23/14, 11:13 PM

    Thank you. We have just had a time. We have a chicken on "crate rest" for a broke leg and now this. Been a touch two weeks. Thank you, again.

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  115. Kim Campbell3/24/14, 3:30 AM

    I have a question for you? Can you give medicated chick food and the antibiotic corid to baby chicks at the same time? Also if baby chicks have only ever lived in a brooder how do they get coccidiosis? Received some chicks from a breeder that seem to keep his areas clean, but I have a strong feeling they have cocci so I started treatment today.

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  116. TheChickenChick4/1/14, 12:42 AM

    I don't know, but if you cannot figure it out or get this bird to a vet STAT, she should be put down- she is clearly very ill.

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  117. yummymummykitchen4/4/14, 10:06 PM

    Hi Chicken Chick :)
    Thank you for this information!

    I just got home from the vet with a 1 year old hen who has coccidiosis. We are treating her and her coop-mate with medication from the vet. We got three 8-week old pullets earlier this week and have kept them inside. They have not been vaccinated for cocci. We were planning to put them with the other two girls in a couple of weeks but now I'm worried about them getting infected. Do you know how long after treating the infected hen we need to be worried about infecting the new girls? We don't have another coop so I don't know what to do other than clean the existing one.

    Thank you very much for any help!

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  118. TheChickenChick4/4/14, 11:45 PM

    Since you have a vet, I suggest consulting with them about your concerns.

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  119. yummymummykitchen4/5/14, 12:03 AM

    I am definitely planning to, just thought I would get your take since it's the weekend and you seem to have a lot of experience. Perhaps more than a regular pet vet. Nevermind though and have a lovely weekend.

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  120. Chick kids4/9/14, 7:48 AM

    Hi I have a four week old chick that is puffed up a lot. She stays to her self but she is eating and drinking. Could it be cocci? Thanks

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  121. If I feed my 4, 1 1/2 year old R.I.R's started grower feed (medicated) will it get rid of it? we rescued them about a week ago and I would like to go ahead and treat them for everything as a precaution.. the poop is really watery but they have been eating grass for the first time in their lives like I eat mangos .their beaks are brittle, their feet are gray and flaky, the rooster from their past owner (I don't have roos ) plucked them dang near wingless and they just look sad. one was egg bound and the vet gave her some baytril and tums for calcium (egg is out) however they are not equipped to test or really do any detail care for poultry.., and nearest vet able to care for poultry is 4 hours away. I could use any advise or tip you may have. im vegan so if any methods effect the eggs it does not matter. Thanks!

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  122. Hi there, I have an Egyptian Fayoumi who is just shy of three months and today she wasn't her usual active self. She seemed listless and was just sleeping more than usual, however she did run from me when I approached her and she was still pretty difficult to catch and complained quite a bit when I did catch her. She ate her fermented feed with everyone else when I brought it out in the morning but didn't have any interest in treats when I came in to give some mealworms. She also got up and ate some of the second feeding of the FF (breakfast and dinner). I don't see any diarrhea but I did find two normal looking poops with a little bit of blood under there roosting area. The closest vet is 30 minutes away and I have no transport to take a fecal down. Should I just watch her for now? Would it be a bad idea to use corrid just for good measure?

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  123. Cluckincrazy4/28/14, 11:46 PM

    Hi there, I'm wondering what the odds are of vaccinated chickens contracting cocci.

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  124. I recommend calling your vet.

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  125. If your flock has cocci, your yard is contaminated right? How do you treat your yard? Do you know of a more natural way to treat the chickens and yard?

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  126. Denise (Abita Egg Basket)5/17/14, 10:25 AM

    Hello, I hatched out 20 chicks 4 weeks ago. They seemed very healthy when I moved them outdoors into the chicken yard, but have been dropping off (lost all but 8 in 2 days) I quickly isolated them as soon as this started and noticed the poop was runny with pink worm-like forms in it. It was not bloody, though. I started giving them electrolytes and rolled oats along with their food (they love the oats). I haven't lost any more, but I'm desperate to know what this could be and if it is a threat to my flock (I have 32 layers/ 2 roosters/12 -6 wk olds/ 42 newly hatched biddies). Thank you my friends. Nesie

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  127. I'd bring a sample of the droppings to a vet STAT before you lose any more chickens.

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  128. You can't rid the yard of it.

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  129. Can I compost the manure if my chicks have coccidoisis? If not, what would you do with their manure then?
    Thank you

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  130. If you are composting correctly, the heat will kill the coccidiosis.

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  131. Hi I live on an island in Alaska. I do not have a vet nearby and am wondering if you would suggest any alternative treatments for diarrhea? It's not bloody but is runny and dark brown. I've got vinegar in the water already. I recently switched their bedding to sand due to moisture issues. They are acting normally but some have diarrhea.

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  132. You can't treat it if you don't know what's causing it. I suggest calling a vet and asking where you can mail a fecal sample to for testing.

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  133. I have just discovered this morning blood in my chickens poop, I thought it was contained in my older hens but I found it in my brooder too! HELP! I have tried to contact a vet in this area that treats chickens but the office is closed today!
    What do I do?

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  134. My chicks do have coccidiosis, how do I treat them quickly? Do feed stores carry the products you recommend? Plus I have to treat the entire flock correct? So if I treat my laying hens we can not eat the eggs correct?

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  135. Had 10 new hens that our neighbor couldn't take care of. One of the 10 week old hens, started getting clear liquid bowl movements. One of my hens now have the same thing. Both birds have messy rear end feathers and want to sleep a lot. Started treating the whole flock for worms and cocci. I'm also putting electrolytes in their water. Is there anything else I may need to do?

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  136. I have been treating my chickens using CORID for the last 5 days, how long do I go before I can start eating the eggs again?

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  137. Thanks for the post. Im from india. This morning i noticed blood in my chicken poop. i looked up ur article and could relate to the cocci infection. I met the vet and hes asked me to give Sprodex 250 mg(3 hens per capsule) and 3 drops of a multi vitamin each. Hope they get better else on they are on the platter. Pity them.

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  138. Hi, I'm from NZ, just need help to my 5 months old chicken, I saw blood in her poop and she in not interested to eat and lost weight, but I can't buy Corid in here, please advise me where can I buy it for her? or is there anything similar? thanks.

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  139. So this morning when I opened the coop to let my girls out I noticed what looked like bloody stool, then "Brownie" our RIR didn't come immediately out she stayed in and was drinking water but not running out like she normally does. I also notice "Heartsy-May" (Black Star) moving a little slow today. I opened the top of the coop and saw a bunch of bloody stool.(I cleaned the coop out yesterday and the stool looked normal) My guess is all the girls had some except my broody girl still sitting on her nest. Last Night we had Eggs Benedict for dinner and I gave the girls (except the broody girl as she was not interested) some leftovers. It didn't have a lot of sauce on it but it did have some. Could the butter be the cause of all the bloody stool. Should I run out and buy dewormer or wait a day and see if walking around free ranging makes the two girls not feeling well get better?

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  140. Hi I had a chicken die three days ago and I told my ranch hand to start treating for Cocci. Not being there I felt this was the correct treatment. Next day 4 chickens were dead in the morning and 2 more by nightfall. Next day 3 more and 1 at nightfall. This morning 1 was dead and two others appear to be next. This is the third day of treating the water with Di-Methox (sulfadimethoxine) The overall flock of 30 that are left look active now except for 2 which look week.
    Something I have never encountered before is that their crawl is full of liquid and with the other dying birds when you tilt their head down they vomited a lot of brownish liqiud. One did this and then went into a type of convulsion and was dead with legs stretched out 10 seconds later. All the birds that died seemed to have their crawl full of water. Even a a couple of birds that we found dead in the morning were laying in a puddle of water that we assumed came from their beak.
    A neighbor said that it is because we switched to a feed that contains too much crushed corn and that it is "cooking in their crawl and that is why they are drinking so much water... that they are actually dieing from that" to be safe we started limiting the water to a few times a day. They have been recently drinking a lot of water... certainly more than they ever had been.

    We clean the hen house weekly it has cement floors with channel drains on all four sides as well we place sand on the floor everywhere and replace hay on the shelves where they are roosting and hopefully someday laying in nest boxes.



    Help I'm getting desperate!

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  141. Mike you must get necropsies to find out the cause of death in these birds. There is no way around it. There is a link in this article to the lab in your state: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/5-ways-to-prepare-for-chicken-illness.html

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  142. I had noticed a couple of week ago that there was foamy yellow droppings in the run and watched it. The next day there was some blood. I called around my area and no one sees chickens. I decided to treat the flock for Cocci and treated with Corid for 4/5 days and droppings all looked normal again. I stopped a few days ago and now there is blood in droppings again. It even looks like more blood than before! I don't know what to do!

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  143. Valerie Bakke8/26/14, 6:37 PM

    We read to do a treatment for 5 days. Is it better to take the 2 week break? Also for future birds when we replace this flock , we replace all but one " pet" chicken about every 3 years. Should we be worried that the new birds could get it from the coop or the dirt run that they are in? Our girls we have now are 13 months old and the " pet" hen is 3. We plan on replacing this flock when they are over 2 years old. We've never had a problem with coccidiosis in our almost 4 years having backyard chickens. I think this year we had a lot lot of rain and their run stayed wet a lot. They are on day one of the corid solution. I have read there is no egg withdrawal?

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  144. Sandy Striffler Schwager9/11/14, 2:28 PM

    You are awesome! My go to person when I need help!

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  145. Marion Landreth9/20/14, 2:40 PM

    Mike, I had the same thing happen today. Did you ever find out what it was?

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  146. Hello. I am wondering your opinion of the deep bed method...

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  147. I'm not a fan of the deep litter method personally and happen to believe that most people do not execute it properly, which makes problems flocks would be better off without. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/10/the-deep-litter-method-of-waste.html

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  148. off market, you can get coccivet which is what I use here in Australia.. :) It is actually for budgies/ aviary birds but does the exact same job :)

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  149. Matthew Garretson9/30/14, 10:34 PM

    I have a question on Coccidiosis. If im not sure my chickens have it, is giving them Corid a bad move to do?

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  150. It's always best to get a fecal float test from a vet to confirm if you can.

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  151. I have a couple of of chickens that you can feel ther breast bone. It seems they are not holding food in thhier craw one has died. No blood but real runny poop. Any Idea?

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