This ordeal has been blown out of context. People just want chickens, but it has turned into a town drama. I hope the chickens win on January 1st.
I have, unfortunately, had to experience coccidia in my flock during my first year of chicken keeping. To help others battle this, I have complied some information and links:
1) Always suspect coccidia
If any chicken starts walking funny, balancing with wings, looking pale in the comb or waddles, or has irregular droppings (including blood or not), always have a fecal sample taken to the vet. If an avian vet isn’t nearby, any vet should be able to do a float test on chicken droppings. Don’t just collect droppings from one chicken – take them from the suspected chicken and several others. Typically, this can be done for $20.
2) If it is coccidia
It is hard to come to grips with the diagnosis. There is a lot of evaluation to be had:
*Are the chickens getting enough sunlight?
Sunlight is imperative to good chicken health! If the bedding is moist, germs and parasites thrive!
*Is their coop/cage being cleaned properly?
Dirty litter will harbor germs and parasites. Do change the litter more often when dealing with an illness.
*Is the ground where the chickens roam infected?
Wild birds and animals carry coccidia and can transmit it to your flock via droppings.
*Are the feed and water containers free of fecal matter?
Try putting a milk jug on top of the water jug (if small enough) so chickens will not roost on water jug and mess in the water. Try this on feeders, or make the feeders out of laundry detergent bottles (by rinsing and cutting a C shape around the bottle from handle to handle on other side). Chickens will no roost on unsteady objects.
*Are the infected chickens weak from another illness?
Parasites are creatures of opportunity. Also check chickens over for lice, mites and other ailments.
*Are your chickens from multiple farms/hatcheries?
This follows the same rule of sharing that families do: If one person is sick, everyone is exposed to the germs. Some may get ill, but others will be immune. Bringing a chicken in from a different hatchery could expose the entire flock to illness. Always (!!!) isolate new chickens (even baby chicks) for at least one month for observation. Do not let the chicken(s) interact with the flock or the ground they roam until they have been evaluated and treated if necessary.
*Is your farm open to visitors?
All sorts of animals carry parasites and diseases. We track the diseases through feces or infected soil on our shoes and vehicle tires from place to place. Although we do not intend to infect others’ animals, we could unknowingly do so, even if our animals do not show signs of illness. Limit access to your farm. If you sell eggs, meet people at a local supermarket.
For me, I cleaned the feed and water containers every other day, but Sicily, a rooster would roost on the water container. I used a milk jug and stopped the messy water situation. I had a flare up of coccidia again with the baby chicks since it was in the soil from the first incident. After that, I noticed my partridge rock, Henny, was walking funny. She would eat from the baby chicks’ food container before I would put them out in the morning.
Treatment must be followed and started as soon as you know the issue! Your vet can recommend a medication (Albon worked the best for me – not much luck with Sulmet). Be sure to find an avian vet who sees chickens before illness surprises you. You’ll want to know who to call right away if a situation arises!
To revive gut after Coccidiosis treatment:
To feed approximately 20 birds
1 pint of dry crumbles (600 ml)
1 quart of buttermilk (2 pints) (1.14 liters)
3 tablespoons yogurt
To feed approximately 10 birds
1/2 pint of dry crumbles (300 ml)
1 pint of buttermilk (600 ml)
2 tablespoons of yogurt
One particularly wonderful experience happened today: I needed to have gutter mesh put on my second story gutters and a piece of siding put up at the very top of the wall. Exterior Home Repair has always given me great service, but today, they gave me exceptional service. They came out to work on my house in the rain and cold and didn’t reschedule. They did a great job fixing my roof earlier in the year when squirrels decided to move in. In a few years, I’m going to call them to do the entire roof. They’re just great folks. Email me if you want their contact information.
So, everything must begin somewhere. This website begins here. I’m Jackie, or course. I started this site to write about various things: home improvements, crafts, chickens, gardening, etc. Basically, my experiences as a homeowner, crafty lady, farmer, gardener, etc. I hope you enjoy!