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Coccidia Oocyst cycle a brief outline
Treatment method using BayCox below
This article is included here as Coccidiosis can be a problem for breeders at certain times of the year. It is only a simple explanation.
Please refer to attached page for an in-depth explanation presented by Yvonne (with written permission)
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 hrs).
Oocysts can remain alive in poultry sheds for more than a year and they are very resistant to most disinfectants.
Oocysts are ingested when birds scratch and peck at the litter or consume contaminated feed or water.
Each Oocyst breaks down in the gut to release eight organisms that invade the lining of the gut.
They then multiply through several cycles to produce thousands of parasites, damaging the gut and causing disease that may lead to the fowl's death.
Beginning five to seven days after infection, thousands of Oocysts pass out in the droppings of the bird to continue the life cycle. It is impossible to prevent this spread unless birds are housed so that they have no contact with faeces.
Signs to look for regards infestation :-
Initially an infected bird may only look listless so you have to watch it closely. They will often continue to eat and drink normally until they are near death when they fluff up and just ‘sit and wait’.
Loose motions or diarrhoea with red spots in the motion are a sign of infestation, with large amounts of blood loss via faecal matter showing a serious infestation.
A noticeable weight loss, some birds will become so thin they are ‘keel boned’ = no obvious breast meat is present only the breast bone can be felt = at this point it is kinder to put the bird down = do not think you can save the bird as it is very near to death at this point.
Pale comb, wattles, facial skin are also signs of infestation as the birds often become very anaemic from the loss of blood via faecal matter, but this usually only displays in a serious infestation.
Serious infestations can and usually do cause permanent damage to the gut, some birds that survive a severe infestation are left immuno suppressed and although they recover tend to be more susceptible to disease, most often the respiratory ones.
They do not thrive as others do, due to the damage and the inability to properly absorb nutrients from their feed, these birds tend to live a shorter life than hatch mates that are either not infested or not seriously infested.
Birds can also get Respiratory Diseases with Cocci so be very aware of this and watch for the various respiratory symptoms; I
f unsure take the bird to an Avian Vet. You may only be treating for Cocci when you should be treating for both.
Treating Coccidiosis with Baycox
by Sue @ The Cuckoo Orpington Stud
# The reader needs to contact their countries suppliers for the brand names used in that country. The product metioned here is available in Australia, no knowledge of other countries products is known by the author.
This is just my own opinion and a guide only - you don’t have to use this information - but it may help someone one day. It is my own work and opinion and has been published prior to being published here. The medication mentioned here is a treatment only,
it is not a means to help birds build up a resistance to the Coccidia.
Baycox isn’t cheap (abt $240-$280 /L Aust $) but it goes a long way as you use so little –
If you use Baycox to treat your birds – this is an instant kill treatment and is becoming very popular as a preventative as well, with many breeders using it once every month (free range birds) or 2nd month (deep litter birds) to help stop any re-occurrences.
It says to treat the birds for 2 consecutive days – with no mention of the overall treatment needed not just of the birds but the pen as well ! If you do not treat the housing as well your birds can be reinfected in days as the Coccidia Oocysts will still be present in the deep litter or soil / sand / what ever you use. Ingesting only one Oocyst will reinfect a bird.
I suggest the method below and am quoting for deep litter – I also suggest a 3 day regime not a 2 day one, day 3 being the final blow to the ‘infection’
When Cocci is diagnosed = the night before treatment starts remove all water sources from the pen – then -
Day 1 – once the birds have emptied their bowels in the morning – usually not long after daybreak (give them ½hr after they start scratching around) – for deep litter = clean out the pen THROUGHLY – for soil / sand clean out to the depth the birds dust bathe to – do this quietly and calmly so you don’t upset the birds too much (removing the faeces and Coccidia Oocysts contained in it) and replace with a partial layer (not as much as you would normally use) of fresh clean deep litter material or soil / sand – also scrub clean and rinse all water containers before refilling them using cold water with the treatment in it = dosage is 3ml per litre - use approximate amount of water that all the birds in the pen would drink in one day plus an extra 1litre – check water levels during the day and top up with more treatment water as / if needed - remove the water right before dark and clean the container again – then re-clean out the pen replacing the deep litter material or soil / sand with another small amount of fresh – (again removing the faeces and the bulk if not all of the Coccidia that have been purged from the birds – most, but occasionally not all Coccidia purged will be dead)
Day 2 – give fresh water with treatment in it at daylight – remove this water right before dark and clean out the container as above also clean the pen again and replace with more flooring material as above
Day 3 – give fresh water with treatment in it at daylight and leave this water in the pen until consumed - usually by mid the next morning – then replace all the flooring material again and put the amount you would normally use in the pen and supply the birds with fresh drinking water with no treatment in it
After this initial 'knock em dead' treatment it is recommended to use other methods / medicants as preventatives such as Amprolium (Australian brand name) or even Copper Sulphate in the water and the Baycox for treatment only when needed
# subject to copyright laws of Australia