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 Post subject: Coccidiosis
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:30 am 
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Coccidiosis Scientific name Eimeria spp

DescriptionCoccidiosis is one of the more common and costly diseases in poultry. It is characterised by droopiness, paleness of the comb, diarrhoea and occasionally blood in the droppings. The death rate may be quite high, both in chicks and in adults.

CauseCoccidiosis in chickens is caused by seven different species of coccidia (genus Eimeria), which are single celled parasites that live in the gut wall of their host. These coccidia are host specific: turkeys and other species are not infected by fowl coccidia and vice-versa. The different species of coccidia live in different parts of the gut and can be divided into those causing intestinal coccidiosis (the majority) or caecal coccidiosis (one species).

Spread Coccidiosis is spread when one bird eats faecal material from an infected bird, which contains the infective stage of the coccidia (small egg-like bodies called oocysts). The oocysts in the droppings need moisture and warmth to mature before they can infect other birds, but in the right conditions, can do so very quickly (24 hr). Oocysts can remain alive in poultry sheds for more than a year and they are very resistant to most disinfectants.

Nature of the disease Birds of almost any age may be affected, but problems are not common in chicks under three weeks of age because the parasites take time to build up in sufficient numbers to cause problems. Affected birds become depressed, lose condition and are very pale. The feathers are ruffled, the wings droop and the shanks become pale and dry. A slight whitish soiling may be present around the vent. There is usually diarrhoea and there may be blood in the droppings. Often, a large percentage of the chickens are sick. Birds may die suddenly before the above symptoms are obvious or the performance of birds may be affected without the disease causing obvious signs.
Post-mortem findings will vary depending on the type of coccidia responsible. In caecal coccidiosis, which is caused by the species Eimeria tenella, the blind gut (caeca) are swollen and filled with blood and cheesy plugs. In intestinal coccidiosis, the damage will vary depending on the species of coccidia. Findings may include: white streaks or spots in the upper part of the intestine, a ballooned and blood-filled intestine, or reddish spots, inflammation and dead tissue in the lower part of the small intestine.

Diagnosis Definite diagnosis can be confirmed only by laboratory examination. Material scraped from the lining of the gut is examined under a microscope and the coccidia are identified based on shape, size and location in the gut.Coccidiosis can be confused with similar diseases such as blackhead, salmonellosis and necrotic enteritis.

Prevention - management aspects Because coccidia require moisture to become infective, the litter must be kept dry. Ventilation must be good and the birds should not be overcrowded. Birds gradually become immune if they are exposed to a low level of infection, but clinical disease occurs if the coccidiosis challenge is too great. Immunity to one species of coccidia does not protect poultry against other coccidial species.
It is very risky to rely on hygiene alone to produce satisfactory control.

Vaccination Effective live vaccines are now available in Australia. These ensure the birds are exposed early in life and develop immunity to the most virulent species of coccidia. For effective vaccination, it is essential to closely follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

Medication Medication programs may be used as an alternative to vaccination. A wide selection of drugs (coccidiostats) is available for prevention and treatment. The choice of drug will depend on the type of flock, the type of coccidia and the aim of the medication program. Most coccidiostats have withholding periods and medication programs must take this into account. Low dose rates of coccidiostat may be used to slow down a major build-up of coccidia, reducing the challenge to the bird, and thus preventing outbreaks while allowing immunity to develop. Minimising the build-up of oocysts using other management strategies will greatly assist the efficiency of a coccidiostat program since coccidiostats can be overwhelmed by heavy infections. Outbreaks of coccidiosis may occur if the level of coccidiostat in the feed is too low, if the birds are not eating enough or if the coccidiostat is withdrawn too early (before immunity has developed). Lack of vitamins A and K will cause the outbreak to be more severe as will other diseases which reduce the general resistance of the bird.

Treatment Treatment should start immediately when coccidiosis has been diagnosed. Whichever drug is used, the manufacturer's instructions must be followed.

Coccidiosis will often respond to treatment using coccidiostats delivered in the drinking water. These are available from veterinarians, chemists or produce merchants.


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 Post subject: Disinfecting equipment
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:10 am
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Location: Chuwar, Ipswich, QLD
Any disinfectant with ammonia should kill oocysts. Not a very pleasant chemical to work with so be careful (ie PPE) and use in a well ventilated area. Garden variety 'cloudy ammonia' from any supermarket will do the trick.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:25 am 
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Location: Western, N.C.,U.S.A.
Copper Sulfate works very well in curing Coccidiosis. :idea:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:22 pm 
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Location: North Maclean 1/2 between Brisbane and Beaudesert
Hero wrote:
Copper Sulfate works very well in curing Coccidiosis. :idea:


Hi Hero, How does one use the copper sulphate in this situation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:51 am 
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Location: Hunter Valley/Port Stephens, NSW
I'm pretty sure my 6 week old chicks have a coccidiosis outbreak at the moment.

This is a photo of the droppings of one of them - does this look like a cocci poo?

http://paforumphotogallery.com/displayi ... t=10&pos=0


I am treating them with a sulphur based drug in water and the really sluggish ones I am also feeding bread soaked in the medicated water. They are getting stuck into the bread so should be getting a good dose of medicine with it.

I checked them yesterday and saw one chick laying down with its legs out straight, getting trampled by the others, and went to pick her up assuming she was dead. She sat up! :shock: And she is still alive and going okay today.

I am trying to spread the chicks out a bit as they are pretty cramped at the moment (bad, I know). I haven't been able to move any to outside pens because of my ILT outbreak, and hence this has put pressure on my brooder situation. Also, because it has been raining and freezing cold they can't be put out into the little tractor-type playpen I built for them to use while they are isolated from the main flock. I'm off to try to come up with some other solutions. :-?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:51 pm 
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Location: North Maclean 1/2 between Brisbane and Beaudesert
Looks a bit like cocci to me as well. I use sulphaquin. I have had problems with it with all the rain we have had lately but I haven't lost a chick yet and they have recovered. Keeping my fingers crossed. I think it is going to happen at some time and all we can do is manage it until they build up an immunity.

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Slave to 3 dogs, 4 horses, 1 foal, and of course, hubby. Keeper of Light Sussex, Cuckoo pekins, Lavender pekins, multicoloured pekins and silkies and now at long last Gold Partridge Brahmas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Location: Hunter Valley/Port Stephens, NSW
Yes, trying to manage it is the trick. The sun is out here at the moment so I've popped most of the babies outside for a play in the sun. I think I've been lucky before because in prior seasons I only had a few chicks at once making it much easier to house them and keep everything spotless. It's a bit of a juggling act here at the moment as far as housing is concerned! I haven't actually had any die from cocci yet (touch wood!) so hopefully they can hang in there and recover.

Deb :-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:30 am
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Location: Western, N.C.,U.S.A.
Sorry it took me so long to reply. :oops: Dissolve one pound of Acidified Copper Sulfate into one gallon of water. This is your base solution. Before I go further, never use metal water containers with Copper Sulfate :!: Take one ounce out of your base solution and put into one gallon of drinking water. Use as the only water source for seven days. It will clean them out and help to worm them also. I have used it for years with good results.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:12 am 
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Location: North Maclean 1/2 between Brisbane and Beaudesert
Thanks for that Hero. I have granulated copper sulphate (blue in colour) can I use this??? I use it to get rid of proud flesh in horse wounds. I have even used it on myself when I rip a pice of toenail away from my big toe and ended up with proud flesh as it healed. I just used a little copper sulphate on a clean dressing and changed it everyday. It worked fine. That is why I am quite comfortable using it on my horses as I know it doesn't hurt but very, very effective. Reduces scarring heaps

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Slave to 3 dogs, 4 horses, 1 foal, and of course, hubby. Keeper of Light Sussex, Cuckoo pekins, Lavender pekins, multicoloured pekins and silkies and now at long last Gold Partridge Brahmas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:01 am 
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Location: Western, N.C.,U.S.A.
The granulated will work fine, just mix as above.


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