Our Chicks Were SICK!

IMG_0995[1]Note: They’re all better now!

Our chicks came down with coccidiosis. Even though I thought I had caught the signs and symptom early, we did end up losing one chick to the disease. The rest of the flock is doing a lot better and I don’t anticipate any more losses.

What the is Coccidiosis?

It’s a nasty little parasite that messes up the gut wall of your chickens. There are different strains of coccidiosis and symptoms can range from harmless to fatal. Coccidiosis can be found in the soil, in the chicken coop, in the compost garden, hell even in the mud on your muck boots. According to my research, chickens who are raised in cages are more likely to be exposed to coccidiosis since they are constantly being exposed to their feces, which can also carry the parasite. Chicks are more likely to become sick from coccidiosis especially if they haven’t been exposed to the parasite and built up immunity by pecking about with their mama hen.

Well damn, my chicks got it. I guess I was little too impatient and kicked the chicks out of the brooder and outside to live with one of my broody hens too early. They began to free-range on the lawn immediately and well, it may have been too much and too fast for their developing immune systems to handle. After two weeks of being outside, I noticed that one of the chicks had laid down, eyes closed, and refused to move, even when I approached it. Odd behavior, since the chicks usually haul ass the moment I approach them.

IMG_0959I checked off the symptoms right away:

  • Lethargy
  • Feathers puffed up, body hunched as if the chicken was cold
  • Loss of appetite/Dehydration
  • Runny or bloody feces
  • Pale combs
  • Loss of weight

I didn’t hesitate. I went straight to the feed store and picked up all the supplies I needed. We could have gone all natural, organic, whatever. But seeing that chick was going to die overnight, I figured it was better that I treat this aggressively before I lost any more chicks. I can try being “all natural” and “organic” later. I purchased a 9.6% solution of Corid, a medication used to treat coccidiosis in chickens. I added the recommended dose to their water and made sure all 18 chicks gulped some down.

Recommended Dose

  • 10 ml (about 2 teaspoons) of 9.6% solution of Corid per gallon of water.
  • Treat for 3-5 days.
  • After treatment, add vitamins (or in our case: crushed garlic, honey, and apple cider vinegar) to the water.
  • Wait 2 weeks and, if symptoms manifest again, treat with Corid once more for another 3-5 days.

Since coccidiosis effects your entire flock, I also added Corid to the older chicken’s waterer. I didn’t see results until about 24 hrs later. I also followed the recommendation of avoiding medicated flock feed and adding vitamins in the water during the Corid treatment. These additions could cancel out the Corid, which could result in the flock failing to recover successfully from coccidiosis. It’s been a week and the super sick chick died like I had anticipated. The rest of the flock is doing well.

IMG_0992[1]Unfortunately, this has set my sales back. I can’t sell my chicks to the feed store next week as it would be very irresponsible for me to expose other flocks to the coccidiosis my chicks picked up. Instead, I will have to wait until treatment is completed, as well as an additional 2 weeks waiting period, to make sure the chicks have fully recovered and are healthy to go to new homes. This means I will be able to raise my prices but… Man, I was looking forward to selling them all off next week. For now, I’m focusing on cleaning out all the coops, spraying and disinfecting them, and making sure my animals have clean bedding for the week.

I’ll do my best. As always, continue to be kind and tender to one another.


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