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Our Fight With Coccidiosis

Barnevelder likes spring flowers

Most warm weather in the spring gives me the urge to get out there in the dirt and the sun and plant something. But what it also brings is a constant nagging to check in the brooders on every little chick we have in our Barnstore. With warm and humid weather comes Cocci. Coccidiosis is one the most dreaded disease I have ever dealt with. I cannot tell you how much it grieves my daughter and I, and for sure, any employee we’ve ever had to deal with how quickly cocci kills our young chicks.

Normally we clean our brooders every other day, religiously, whether they need it or not. It is a practice I am adamant about keeping. I have always felt that cleanliness is the first step in healthy, no matter if it’s for human, animal or fowl. We sterilize every feed and water container, we use feed bags to line the floor of the brooders to remove each time the brooder gets clean shavings and somehow, we still end up fighting with that hateful mean disease!

Since we have many customers who want to stay as close to natural as possible, we do our best not to vaccinate our babies, unless a specific order has requested. Regardless, we have seriously discussed vaccinating all the chicks that go into our barn store for the specific disease of coccidiosis. When it comes to coccidiosis I do not take a chance with my young chicks’ lives, this stuff is painful for those sweeties, I go straight for the amprolium 20%.

Usually the first thing I spot when it comes to cocci is a chick standing to the side looking uninterested in what the others are doing. I’m always alerted when these inquisitive little creatures are no longer interested in what the others are doing. Then it will fluff up its feathers as if it’s cold trying to stay warm. They become weak and hunched over with their little heads laying on their chest. Also, they will turn pale around their face, their small comb, tiny wattles and the pink around their face has lost color. Mind you, all this happens very quickly.