The most common issue is Coccidiosis and generally affects chickens 3 days old to 6 months old. This is a condition caused by the Coccidial protozoan organism, an internal parasite called Eimeria that lives in the cells that line the intestines and causes bleeding and swelling. This will also cause the birds to lose a lot of fluids and nutrients from their food will not be absorbed. If left untreated coccidiosis will cause them to die. Coccidiosis is normally only seen in young, growing chickens because older chickens develop immunity to it.
Symptoms: The first sign of this is blood or a reddish tint in their droppings. They may also have a hunched up appearance and ruffled feathers. You will also begin to see weight loss and white diarrhea around the vent feathers.
Coccidiosis Treatment: We are aware that in the absence of licensed alternatives, veterinarians do sometimes prescribe drugs such as Coxoid under the “cascade” to treat Coccidiosis in poultry. However, it is only a veterinarian who can advise on such use and we would be in the breach of the veterinary medicine regulations and NOAH code of practice by supporting, or encouraging the use of a product on a non-target species. Coxoid is administered in water. For it to be effective, it is important to do this quickly at the first signs of Coccidiosis infection. Coxoid contains 3.84% of the drug Amprolium Hydrochloride which is a structural analog of Thiamine (Vitamin B1). Amprolium Hydrochloride mimics its structure inhibiting Thiamine utilization by the parasite. It should be noted that Coccidiosis is not caused by bacteria and therefore does not respond to antibiotic treatment.