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Coccidiosis, treatment and post treatment care

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Had my first run of what seemed to be Coccidiossis recently. Kept hens for about 15 years but never had this come up, maybe we have been lucky. Any way had some older and younger birds affected. 

Read two books and did some research on the net. I tried Crushed Garlic in the water but that didnt do to much. Might work as a health tonic and reduce the likeleyhoold but going by my experience now using a treatment seems to have more impact. 

We are in the UK and getting treatment was tricky, pet shops cannot sell it neither farm shops. Vets can but don't have much experience. In the end turns out we have a local poultry and bird shop I didnt know about only 20 miles away. 

I managed to get some "Harkers Oral Covid Solution", Used for treating pigeons. I have been treating our chickens for about 3 days now and all but one has made a huge improvement. The older hen who is fairly old is much better and eating now but a way to go before back to full health.

I have a few questions, 

  • Those that have had a outbreak of Cocci, have you used treatment containing Amprolium like Harhers or Corid? Did it help?
  • Once treatment finsished (I was advised 7 days), how long is egg withdrawel?
  • Keen to get there gut health back up, shall I crack on with pro-biotics and chicken tonic's/ACV etc. to help them get there condition back and natural gut health. Assume this chemical may affect the balance?
  • Does garlic help to prevent this happeneing in the future? I understand they all have some in their gut but I am not sure what happened? I do feed wild birds as well and the chickens free roam a bit in the day. Is garlic in water regulalrly a good idea? 

Any feedback or tips much appreciated.


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Hi Gareth

Sorry to hear about that; the Harkers should do the job, failing that a good poultry vet will help - most of them are open now and seeing cases.

Coxoid is strong stuff, garlic and ACV in the water won't make much of a difference though; I would alternate between a good poultry tonic such as Vit Boost or Life-Guard, and a gut conditioner such as Nettex's Herbal Gut Conditioner in their water. You will also need to treat their environment (you've probably done this) so strip everything back, scrub and then spray with a solution of Viratec-P before making it all back up. Use a hemp bedding such as Aubiose or Aubichick in their housing and run, mixing in Ground Sanitising Powder to keep any bacteria down and keep it dry. One of the main factors in the battle against Cocci is dryness, so a hemp bedding regularly treated with ground sanitising powder will be a massive help.

Hope you get it beaten

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I have had an outbreak of cocci, just the once, from bought in chicks.  As you may know there are several strains of cocci, and whilst some respond to treatment, others don't.    I used coxoid, bought from my local agricultural merchants, and nothing else medical, but unfortunately my batch didn't make it.  Some struggled on, but were always poor doers, so I ended up culling all.  However, your bunch sound as though they are on the upgrade, so fingers crossed.

I would thoroughly endorse everything DM has said.  Garlic won't prevent it or see it off, but giving them an extra tonic is a good idea.  The key thing is to sort out their bedding and general environment, so use something like Virkon S or Viratec P and clean everything very thoroughly to give yourself a fresh start.  After having cocci I started doing this every month or two as a proper deep clean.  Damp bedding is a breeding ground (and you are more likely to get this with chicks) so keep an eye on that, a dry coop and bedding is what you need. 

My other bit of advice is that I learnt the hard way about biosecurity and I think buying in very young stock is quite often a weak point in chicken keeping.  After the cocci outbreak I went back to only hatching my own and never had it again.  I also learnt that if the affected bird is a bit weak and feeble for quite some time because it is not feeding properly and generally looking a bit mopey and being subdued, then it is probably not going to recover properly, and in future I am afraid I would cull more quickly.  

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I’ve had cocci twice in two separate lots of chicks.  First was one of a gang of 5 who had it come on really bad really quickly. He was passing loads of almost pure blood. Second was in my most recent chicks and was just traces of blood in their poo. Both times they were about 4 weeks old and had just started going on trips outdoors.

 I treated with Harkers for 7 days both times, and both times the chicks made a full recovery. I didn’t use any tonics or anything afterwards just made sure they were eating good quality pellets and had fresh, clean water.

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