Prevention and Treatment of Coccidiosis in Chickens
#1
Coccidiosis is parasitic disease that affects bird's intestines. There are different species of this parasite. When they infect chickens, they multiple quickly in the intestines and damage the intestinal lining, preventing the birds from absorbing nutrients from their feed. Chicks are mostly affected. Most older birds have already develop immunity against it. However if the environment is full of coccidiosis eggs, even adult birds can succumb to it.
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Among the many species of coccidiosis, the 3 that cause the most damage to chcikens are Eimeria (E) acervulina, E. Maxima, E. tenella. Immunity is species specific, that is, birds that are immune to E. tenella may not be immune to other species. So for complete immunity, the birds have to be expose to all the species (e.g. through vaccination).
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Symptoms includes:
1. Diarrhea and/or blood in feces and/or mucuos in feces.
2. Lethargy (weak)
3. Weight lossand watery, whitish diarrhea in older birds and hens at point of lay.
4. Poor growth.
5. Drooping and huddling together.
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Control/Prevention
1. Give chicks probiotics. The good bacteria in it will kill most of the bad bugs in the chicken's intestine, keeping the gut healthy and making it difficult for coccidiosis to cause damage.
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2. Vaccinate day old chicks with any coccidiosis vaccine. Non-attenuated coccidiosis vaccines like Cocciva, immucox and Advent can cause lesions and occurence of coccidiosis in birds because they are not attenuated (i.e. not weakened). So you may have to treat for secondary gut diseases (like necrotic enteritis) at 16-17 days using antibiotics or probiotics (fishmeal in feed predispose birds to necrotic enteritis). On the other hand, Paracox, Livacox and Viracox are attenuated (weakened) coccidiosis vaccines but they're more costly. To avoid vaccine failure, make sure that you strictly read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Note that for coccidiosis vaccines to work, the chicks need access to their feces. So they won't be effective if the chicks are on wire floor. To prevent failure, place boards on the wire floor and leave it their for up to 16 days.
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3. Use medicated feed for chicks until they build immunity against it. Only do this if you did not vaccinate the chicks against cocci. Giving medicated feed to vaccinated chicks will render the chicks unprotected from cocci. Vaccination is more effective and preferable.
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4. Keep the brooder and pen clean and dry. Wetness and warmth enourage cocci multiplication. Prevent wet litter.
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5. Keep water and feed free from droppings.
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6. Avoid overcrowding
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7. Practice good biosecurity
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8. Place drinkers on wire frames so that chicks will not have access to wet spots where cocci easily multiply.
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Treatment of Coccidiosis
First you have to make sure it is cocci that your birds are suffering from. You need a lab test to confirm this. The test can be done on dead chicks or abnormal chick droppings. Once you've confirm it is cocci, don't waste time. Start treatment immediately. There are many drugs for coccidiosis. Your vet will recommend one after the lab test. It is important to know that coccidiosis can develop resistance against drugs. This is another reason why a lab test is important.
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For coccidiosis that causes blood in dropping, some farmers who can't afford paying vets treat with amprolium. Blood usually disappear from the dropping within 24 hours. After 2wks the treatment is repeated to kill newly hatched eggs that escaped the first treatment. This second round must be given after 2wks and not within. There are many brands of amprolium drugs, so follow the manufacturer's instruction. After second treatment (esp. when using amprolium), give the birds multivitamin to replace the vitamin B1 lost during treatment. Vitamins must not be given when treating with amprolium because it work by depriving the parasites of vitamin B1 which they can't do without.
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#2
Edit: To prevent vaccine failure for chicks in cages, cover about 40% of the wire floor with trays, boards etc and leave it there for up to 5 weeks. This way the chicks will have access to continuous supply of cocci ocyst that will help them develop immunity.
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#3
@henlus, thanks for d info, pls sir, are u saying dat on arrival of ur Doc(either broiler or pullet), dat same day it arrived we need to vaccinate against cocci? And secondly sir, if i'm self milling my own feed what kind of coccidiostat do i add to make it medicated(preventing coccidiosis)
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#4
I think for Immucox, it is given to chicks from 3-5 days old. Follow the manufacturer's instruction. If you mill ur own feed, adding antibiotics will render the vaccine useless, so don't use it.
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#5
@henlus, thank u sir, what if i choice to go with medicated self milling what do i add as coccidiostat in d feed
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#6
You can find a list of coccidiostats here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccidiostat. But it is not advisable because the parasites can develop resistance to them. Vaccination is far better.
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#7
@henlus, thanks a million. U are awesome. Thanks for d info and advice.
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#8
Welcome. Are you raising layers?
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#9
@henlus, pls sir, with d maternal antibody still "passively" active within 5 to 7 days in d chicks will it not negatively affect d immucox(cocci) vaccine dat should be adminstered on day 3. (I learnt vaccinating within dis period can be affected by d maternal antibody) pls what is ur take on this?
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#10
Marek's vaccine is also given at day old. The maternal antibodies don't affect some vaccines due to the way they were produced.
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#11
Detailed and nice info. I love this forum. This will become the largest naija agric forum. Amen.
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#12
I like the probiotic idea. Thanks.
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#13
@henlus, thanks for d info
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#14
(03-30-2015, 12:20 PM)Manihot Wrote: Detailed and nice info. I love this forum. This will become the largest naija agric forum. Amen.

A big AMEN. Thanks everyone.
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