Loss of chicks (coccidiosis)

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(Q) LOSS OF CHICKS
I have had a good result this year on my hatching but the chicks are now getting a little older and they seem to be a bit droopy and do not look well, they are about 10 weeks old now and appeared to be fine right up until the last couple of days.
Can you help?

(A)
I am sure that the problem you have is a form of coccidiosis, this is a worm infestation that attacks the internal gut of the bird, this is more common in young stock at around 10 – 12 weeks of age, the cause can be a number of things but the most common is either damp bedding or overcrowding, but in many cases it just seems to arrive out of nowhere and start to affect the birds, in a lot of cases the birds will die if not treated.
In most cases of coccidiosis there will be outward signs that are easy to see, this is signs of blood in the birds droppings, this can be combined with the chicks stood fluffed up and drooping wings all of these symptoms are very easy to see, but unfortunately there are other forms of coccidiosis which do not have these easy signs for you to follow. If you suspect that Coccii is the problem send a swab to a good poultry vet for them to test and make the correct diagnosis.
Any suspicion of coccidiosis means that you need to completely clean the pen or brooder that they are housed in, but you will need some medication, for this you need a fast acting cure which is only available from your vet.
They will supply you with a fast acting medication that is administered in the water, easy to do and I suggest you keep them on that medication for as long as the vet advises. I also suggest that you seek treatment immediately as the infection just gets worse as time goes by and the other birds in the pen soon become infected by picking up the droppings from the infected birds, it is very easy to transmit this infection but if caught and dealt with in time it can be easily cured.  The use of Bi-OO-Cyst, a Defra approved disinfectant will help get rid of the oocysts in the pen and prevent further cross contamination.
 


BB’S Choice is a selection of only the best tried and tested products recommended by Terry Beebe. Terry has been involved in backyard and exhibition poultry keeping for over 20 years and writes articles for Practical Poultry, Fancy Fowl, Country Smallholder, Home Farmer magazines and many others. He has also written several informative books, so you know his advice can be trusted.

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