Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Coccidiosis

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:28 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31505
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
The disease Coccidiosis is caused by parasitic Protozoa. Most coccidia in poultry belong to the genus Eimeria. It is common worldwide, but is especially likely in warm, humid weather. It is also common in younger or growing birds. There are many strains, and birds can be affected by different strains at the same time, or in succession. Coccidia causes disease in chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks where they develop in the intestinal tissues.

Image

Birds that have coccidiosis often display a characteristic posture. They hunch up, fluff up and can drop their wings. They may have:

    diarrhea
    soft mucoid faeces
    bloody droppings
    pink intestinal tissue in droppings
    hunched posture with ruffled feathers
    droopiness
    loss of appetite or even interest in water
    slow growth
    weakness
    aenemia - may see pale comb and skin

The disease is spread by droppings of infected birds. It can be spread on used equipment, feed containers, feet of humans and wild birds etc.

There are two main types of Coccidiosis – Intestinal Coccidiosis and Cecal Coccidiosis. In the intestinal version the intestinal tract is affected by the Eimeria, and in the Cecal version, the cecum is affected.

Coccidia have two main phases in their life cycle; one phase occurs outside the host and involves the development of the infective stages (oocysts), and the major phase which occurs within the host and involves massive multiplication and sexual reproduction.

Birds ingest a number of oocysts and become infected. The severity of the infection depends on the numbers that they are host to. At a low dose the immune systems responds to the challenge and deals with the infection. When birds ingest too many they can develop visible symptoms and if the disease is unchecked it can kill them.

Incubation period
Cecal Coccidiosis: 5 – 6 days
Intestinal Coccidiosis: 5 days

Diagnosis
flock history, postmortem findings, fecal test (presence of oocysts in fecal specimen).

Treatment
Treat urgently with a medication for Coccidiosis according to directions. Raise chicks on clean dry litter and avoid crowded or damp conditions. Make sure drinkers are not spilling water into the litter. Make sure water and feed is uncontaminated by droppings. Use medicated chick starter or grower. Ensure that chicks are warmly housed out of draughts. In severe cases raising chicks on a wire grill can reduce ingestion of the oocysts and help recovery. In severe cases, reducing the protein level in the feed can also be of assistance. Monitor droppings during and after treatment. Often morning droppings can show blood, even if the day is normal. Putting newspaper under perches or on brooder floors can make the droppings easier to see.

Follow treatment with a vitamin supplement (especially A and K).

Survivors of one strain may become infected with a different strain and require further treatment. Survivors of severe infections may never be productive.

Common Medications (many available at local produce stores):
Sulphaquin (Sulphaquinoxaline)
Sulpha D (sulfadiazine)
Sulpha 3 (Sulphaquinoxaline+Sulphadimidine+Sulphathiazole)
Sulphadim (Sulphadimione)
Baycox (Toltrazuril)
Coccivet (Amprolium, Ethopabate)

Anticoccidial drugs fall into two categories – coccidiostats, and coccidiocides.
Medications are either coccidicidal (cidal), which means they kill the parasite, or coccidiostatic (static), which do not kill the parasites, but arrest their development.

Coccidiostats are given in the feed to prevent severe outbreaks of the disease. The coccidiostat doesn't actively kill the coccidia, it simply interrupts the breeding cycle and they can't multiply into large numbers. The coccidiostat can be included in starter and grower crumbles and can be seen on the label. Old or poorly mixed feed may not be reliable as a preventive.

Medications that are given to treat coccidiosis (therapeutic therapy) are coccidiocides. They actively kill the protozoa. Sulphaquin and Baycox would fall into this category. These drugs are usually given in the drinking water. The chickens must ingest enough of the coccidiocide to be effective. Early treatment is very important because the coccidiocide must kill the coccidia within the bird before irrepairable damage is done to the intestines. Thee are also some medications that can act as both a coccidiostat and a coccidiocide.

The dosage rates of coccidiocides are carefully balanced to kill enough of the coccidia to save the bird, yet still enable immunity to develop. Overdosing can be toxic to the birds, so in treating for coccidiosis more is not better. Treatment needs to take place urgently once symptoms are seen as a bird can die within a couple of days in severe cases.

Vaccine
Commercial vaccines consist of low doses of live, sporulated oocysts of the various coccidial species administered at low doses to day-old chicks. These are not widely used among backyarders due to difficulty in obtaining the vaccine, and the fact that good management makes it unnecessary.

Immunology
Birds of any age can be susceptible to coccidiosis, although in practice, most acquire infection in the first few weeks of life and this infection induces a good immunity. In most situations this persists for life because of frequent low-grade re-exposure to infection, but in the absence of infection, immunity may wane. Immunity is species specific. So, for example, immunity to Emeria Maxima does not confer resistance to E. tenella and so on. Immunity is best engendered by repeated exposure to low numbers of oocysts, so-called 'trickle' infection, and this is what usually takes place naturally.

Epidemiology
The severity of the disease is dependent on both the species of Eimeria and the size of the infecting dose of oocysts. It is impossible to produce a coccidia-free environment under normal conditions and chicks will quickly become infected. Usually immunity will be acquired without clinical disease occurring, oocyst output will be reduced and litter occyst populations fall rapidly. However if the balance is disturbed by factors which favour the parasite, such as an initial high degree of environmental contamination and/or ideal sporulation conditions (e.g. wet litter) pathogenic numbers of infective oocysts will be ingested by non-immune birds and disease will result. It's typical to see this with chicks on litter at about 3-6 weeks of age.

Sources:
The Chicken Health Handbook by Damerow, G
Poultry Diseases (3rd ed) by Jordan, FTW
Poultry Diseases edited by RF Gordon
Veterinary Pathology by Jones (5th ed) by Jones TC & Hunt RD

Clairetje wrote:
This morning I discovered a bloody dropping outside- it was either by the Guinea fowl or the little Pekin, both about 10 weeks old. Unfortunately we cleaned it up before we thought about making a photo but I will try to describe it: The solid part looked a bit darker than usual (a bit like blood clots) and the liquid part was entirely red. The white bit was the only normal looking part.

I have just found another one- already dried out though, here is a photo:
Image
This particular example has been discussed further in the following thread:
Blood in Droppings


Quote:
A dropping produced after a week of treatment with Sulphaquin.
Image
Image
This particular example has been discussed further in the following thread:
coccidiosis: updated, with poo pictures


hobbyfarmfun wrote:
These poops are from a group of 12 week old birds with a case of cocci (here is the link to the thread if you want to know more http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?t=7956286:
This is the first one that alerted me to something wrong, note the bright blood:
Image
These pics are a bit later on, after treatment has started:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Image

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:03 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25849
Location: Albany, Western Australia
Wow - great post, Chicken07. Really excellent to have all the information together and so readable! Thankyou.

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:35 pm 
Offline
Assist Admin
Assist Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:11 am
Posts: 21523
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
:thumbs: Well done! :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:50 pm 
Offline
Nifty Duck
Nifty Duck
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 2807
Location: Busselton, Western Australia
Thanks Chicken for a great post on the subject. It will be really helpful to all. Cheers, Wendy

_________________
There comes a time in life when you must walk away from all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus on the good


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:12 am 
Offline
Nifty Duck
Nifty Duck
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:00 pm
Posts: 2925
Location: Marulan (near Goulburn) NSW
Great Job Chicken07 :thumbs:

Melissa

_________________
Silkies, Large and Bantam Wyandottes, and Mallards


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:56 am 
Offline
Golden Robin
Golden Robin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:26 pm
Posts: 17659
Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
Good one Cathy

The only thing I would have added is a small commentary on the difference between a coccidiostat and a coccidiocide. I can do that when I get back if you like or if you haave the information ? I think that bit is important.
(perhaps this should have been a PM - however)
Mike

_________________
Retired Now. Have moved and now officially a Tuross Head resident.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:45 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:06 pm
Posts: 5886
Location: Canberra
What is the recovery prognosis of chicks which get Cocci but dont die? If a chick is at the stage where it is hunched and droopy winged, like the first picture, what is the likelyhood of a recovery.

I had one chick that seems to exhibit Cocci symptoms (Stance etc), but I have treated a few times now and it appears to be slowly improving over the last month. Of course, as would have it, this chick is the best laced and coloured bird I have ever hatched. Is it common for them to recover? Do they replace lost intestinal wall? Eternally the optomist.....

EDITED to say - Great post!!!

Cheers
Raf

_________________
Breeder of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.

See www.bluelacedgold.wordpress.com for details


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:38 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31505
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
Raf, I can only tell you what I have had happen here. If the weather is perfectly wrong (tempwise), it is humid and perhaps we get a bit of rain, the chicks are the wrong age & then get exposed to a heavy load on the ground - then I know I've got five days before it hits. I've timed it repeatedly - it's always five days here. I watch from four days, and treat the moment I see the droopiness. Then By that stage I'm already getting them off the ground and the damp. Early treatment seems to turn them around. For me, the problems happen if I'm not looking and I miss the early symptoms, and the birds are still on the ground. The disease progresses further and the bird deteriorates too far. In a batch of chicks that have a severe case (as I've detected it too late), I find I can turn around about 90% of them. In a batch of a dozen I would expect to lose one, and have one that might pull through but never gain much weight and not thrive. The rest would look pretty good.

Quote:
Is it common for them to recover? Do they replace lost intestinal wall?


Yes the intestinal wall renews itself in time. Yes, most of them recover, especially with early treatment. If one is on death's door, totally emaciated, pooping blood and just huddles looking absolutely terrible, then I know that even if it pulls through, it may fail to thrive after that. It's all about getting the numbers of oocysts that they ingest right down to a minimum, and give that medication to support their management of the load they currently have. To be honest, your bird doesn't sound like it's quite that bad. There may be other factors at work. A bird that is compromised by other stresses can come down with coccidiosis again if their immune system isn't 100%, or if they are introduced to a new strain.

Several coccidiosis cycles are necessary before full protective immunity to coccidiosis is acquired and several factors such as medication, bird density, litter conditions (temp & humidity) affect the onset and strength of the coccidiosis immune response. Sometimes conditions are such that the ongoing but reducing infection isn't visible to the owner, and other times it can seem to linger on and require ongoing treatment.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:45 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:06 pm
Posts: 5886
Location: Canberra
Awesome, thanks

She has put on alot of condition in the last few weeks, and is catching up to her hatch mates in size. Her wings are still droopy a little. Will that correct as well?

I dont mind if she never gets to 100%, as long as she can breed. I know she got sick, and that is why she will be small, not genetics.

Thanks
Raf

_________________
Breeder of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.

See www.bluelacedgold.wordpress.com for details


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:15 pm 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 301
Location: North East Victoria, Australia
Fantastic post great to have it all in one.

_________________
Kaz
140 chooks including standards (Australorps, Sussex & SL and BLG Wyandottes), Pekin bantams including Buff, Black, Columbian, Blue, Mottle, Mille, Mealy grey, Furness, Cuckoo, Lavander cuckoo & frizzle. Belgian D'Uccle in Blue & Mille.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:25 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31505
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
Finally, found what I was looking for in Merck Vet Manual. I was after the temp at which the oocysts will sporulate. 21-32 degrees & humid is the danger range. In warmer moist conditions it can still be high risk as in shaded or moist ground the temp can still be prime. That pretty much explains why we have a lot of trouble with coccidiosis here around the coastal SEQ area.

Quote:
Fresh oocysts are not infective until they sporulate; under optimal conditions (70-90°F [21-32°C] with adequate moisture and oxygen), this requires 1-2 days. The prepatent period is 4-7 days. Sporulated oocysts may survive for long periods, depending on environmental factors. Oocysts are resistant to some disinfectants commonly used around livestock but are killed by freezing or high environmental temperatures.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:28 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31505
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
Raf, it can take them quite a while to catch up. They not only lose a huge amount of condition, but their digestive tract is damaged and they have limited ability to catch up. That's why a lot of people put them on vitamins after a bout of sickness. They can easily have nutritional deficiencies.

I don't know about the wings. I think they drop from weakness. I would have thought they would return to normal fairly quickly.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:15 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31505
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
I've added my spin on the coccidiostats and coccidiocides.

If anyone has any suggestions to improve it or can spot any errors I should change - just let me know.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:30 pm 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:48 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Mt Tamborine, Scenic Rim Region Qld
Is it therefore a good idea to put young chicks on a preventative dose of say something like Sulphaquin until they reach a certain age when they might be less susceptible to it? I have 8 chicks of 3-4 weeks old who have not been put on the ground yet.
Elli


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:36 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31505
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
I wouldn't. They will have already been exposed to a low level. Just watch them closely over the next few weeks as they enter the typical age where they get it. Now you know what to watch for you will be able to spot it early if they get it. Keep them dry, warm and clean. That's the best early defence. I find it useful to always keep medications at home so I can treat quickly if it becomes necessary.

Over-medication or unnecessary medication can slow down the development of immunity, so I prefer the therapeutic approach, rather than the preventive approach.

If I know conditions are bad (temp & humidity) and I'm putting chicks down in a contaminated area then I put them out for one day, then bring them back into their wire cage again. Then I wait and watch them for 4/5 days to see how they deal with the load they picked up. If they need treatment I do it, then wait a few days, then put them out again. It's just a matter of allowing them to catch it and deal with it, but not get too bad along the way. You DO want them to get it. That's how they gain immunity.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone