Coccidiosis Outbreak

On Thursday our littlest chick began laying on her side, breathing fast, and slowly not eating and drinking as much as the others. I hand-fed her water throughout the day and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. I called my husband and had him pick up medicated chick starter and and powdered 20% corid. I believe that the chick had coccidiosis (Read more about it here: Coccidiosis: What Backyard Chicken Keepers Should Know). Unfortunately, she passed away in the evening and I was devastated. We lost another one on Saturday to the same symptoms. I feel terrible that these chicks are passing under my care. We have another one that is laying down a little more than the others, but she’s not on her side, so I am hopeful she’s just tired from fighting it off. We are changing their bedding often, providing them clean water with corid, and they are now on their medicated chick starter. I am hopeful that the other ones will pull through this outbreak.

Has anyone had any experience with this? Could this be something other than coccidiosis that I should consider treating differently? I read that chicks from larger hatcheries are usually given a vaccine for coccidiosis when they are a day old, but mine did not get vaccinated from the farm we got them from. I am trying to be as vigilant and remain as optimistic as possible.

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3 thoughts on “Coccidiosis Outbreak

  1. First of all, I just came across your blog and I’m a big fan. Feels like we’re in a similar boat when it comes to homesteading! I realize this post is from a while back, but I wanted to comment since I just lost a 3 month old chicken a week ago. You mentioned you feel terrible that your chicks died while under your care, and I feel the same way. What others have told me is that chickens are very vulnerable creatures, especially when so young. Seems that you are giving them the utmost care and love, but sometimes death just happens. Coccidiosis was likely the cause, but chicks often die simply because their little bodies didn’t develop properly in the egg. Did you have them on medicated feed from the start? It was explained to me that the medicated feed gives them the fighting chance to remain free of coccidiosis. But once they get it, it’s basically already too late. Also, it’s always good to check their bums for pasties (poops stuck to their behinds) as it can block their vent and cause complications as well when they’re that tiny.

    I read your latest post, and I’m so happy to hear your chickens are doing well. Dealing with sick animals is so hard, but you and I both know that giving them love, attention and the proper care they need is the best thing we can do for our sweet animals. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

  2. Jen, I am so sorry to hear that you lost one of your girls. 😦 Thank you for sharing kind words with me. It feels better knowing that chicks passing IS common, but I don’t think it will ever be easy. We did not have our chicks on medicated feed from the start, but the day that the first one got ill (and passed) we got the medicated feed and they have been on that since. We actually started mixing regular chick starter with the medicated just to get rid of the extra that we had. I think if (and probably when) I get chicks in the future, I’ll be much better prepared!

  3. Pingback: How to Stock a Backyard Chicken First Aid Kit | Bittersweet Homestead

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