Treating Parasites in Layer Chickens

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How one can deal with parasites comparable to coccidiosis rapidly and successfully in egg-laying chickens to forestall extreme sickness and dying.

chickens with parasites getting treatment with medicated water

In my a few years of holding a small flock of chickens for recent eggs, the first sickness I’ve needed to take care of (fortuitously hardly ever) is coccidiosis.

Coccidiosis is a parasitic illness the place the coccidian protozoa invade the intestinal tract of birds. It can also occur with different livestock as properly.

The illness can unfold rapidly within the flock by way of contact with soil or contaminated feces.

In my expertise, the first early signs are lethargy and diarrhea. Affected chickens might also have a pale comb and stroll slowly and awkwardly with their tails down like they’re in discomfort.

If not handled rapidly, the diarrhea can turn out to be bloody with dying a really actual risk (I misplaced one hen to coccidiosis earlier than I realized the best way to deal with it successfully).

Avoiding Coccidiosis

There are a number of methods to greatest keep away from parasites like coccidiosis in egg-laying hens in my expertise.

Free Ranging Rotation

An important strategy to keep away from coccidiosis is by rotating your laying hens to a recent patch of floor every single day free of charge ranging.

Maintaining them within the coop or small run 24/7 is a recipe for parasites!

No marvel business operations have them on medicated feed continually.

Sadly, recent sections of yard every day for free-ranging just isn’t all the time potential if the plot of land you employ to maintain your hens is of restricted dimension.

Even when you have fairly a little bit of room, chickens can nonetheless turn out to be contaminated because the protozoa are within the soil in addition to feces.

In my expertise, the danger of an outbreak is highest during times of stress comparable to summer time warmth or extreme quantities of rain.

Thus, whereas rotation will certainly decrease parasite danger, it’s most likely not going to be 100% efficient…not less than in my expertise.

Heritage Breeds

One other strategy to decrease parasites in egg-laying chickens is to maintain heritage breeds.

A heritage breed comparable to Buff Orpington is extra proof against illness (and stress typically) than hybridized breeds which might be favored for business manufacturing.

An instance of a combined breed bred for increased laying capability is the Black Rock which is a cross between two heritage breeds (Rhode Island Purple and Plymouth Rock).

Whereas it is a good technique, as soon as once more, it won’t be 100% efficient.

Whereas I’ve solely had 3 outbreaks of coccidiosis in 10 years, all of the chickens affected had been heritage breeds.

Construct Pure Immunity by Avoiding Medicated Feed

Most chick starter accessible for elevating chicks incorporates added treatment for parasites.

Nevertheless, using medicated feed as a chick starter solely works as a preventative in case your chicks are concurrently uncovered to coccidia protozoa (there are a number of sorts).

Most individuals new to holding chickens don’t notice that holding your chicks on medicated feed really impairs the event of their immune system. This leads to grownup hens extra susceptible to illness.

Avoiding medicated feed permits the chicks to develop resistance/immunity to coccidiosis. The method occurs progressively as they develop.

Thus, as soon as the chicks develop into pullets and grownup laying hens, the possibilities of having an outbreak in your flock are minimized.

I’ve by no means used medicated feed and have by no means had a coccidiosis outbreak in my chicks or pullets in over 10 years.

I’ve solely had three coccidiosis outbreaks in my hens in the identical time period, solely in grownup layers and it was rapidly eradicated on an as-needed foundation.

There’s actually no want for fixed use of medicated feed!

Hatch Your Personal Chicks

One other strategy to have a flock of layers that’s most proof against illness is by hatching your personal chicks.

Most individuals purchase chicks at a neighborhood feed retailer the place they’re shipped in from giant hatcheries.

These chicks are subjected to medicated feed, vaccinations, and the undo stress of delivery in a field with out meals or water (some don’t make it to not point out the sheer inhumaneness of the method!).

Avoiding all this stress by hatching and elevating your personal chicks will invariably produce a sturdier flock.

If that is one thing that pursuits you, this text on the best way to construct an affordable rooster egg incubator might assist.

Hen-Raised Chicks

Chickens which might be raised by a hen virtually by no means get coccidiosis. The one time this may occur is when they’re uncovered to a brand new pressure of oocysts within the soil.

I’m hoping to embark on doing this with my subsequent batch of chicks within the Fall.

Now that now we have a rooster, I’ve fertilized eggs {that a} broody hen can hatch and lift.

I hope for an excellent sturdier flock than I’ve had up to now as time goes on!

Treating Parasites in Laying Hens

If, regardless of your greatest efforts, an outbreak of coccidiosis happens in your hens, be ready that you will need to act rapidly.

In my expertise, the perfect treatment for treating an outbreak of coccidiosis in a laying flock is Amprolium.

You should buy Amprolium liquid or powder on-line very inexpensively.

I deal with instantly when indicators seem of an outbreak, as there isn’t any time to waste. This parasite can kill a weakened rooster rapidly particularly if the climate on the time is including to the stress.

The excellent news is that I sometimes see outcomes inside a day or so. It really works very quick!

Be aware: Amprolium is identical drug that’s in most forms of medicated feed (it’s not an antibiotic, it’s an anti-parasitic). (1)

Nevertheless, on this state of affairs, you might be ONLY utilizing it whenever you want it.

The chicks/pullets/hens will not be on it continually which might impair the pure improvement of resistance.

I’d LOVE to know a pure different to this treatment (I’ve tried garlic and DE), however I’ve not discovered one as of but that works as rapidly.

Please share your methodology in case you hold hens for eggs and have a very good technique for rapidly resolving coccidiosis as soon as it has contaminated your flock!

Watch out for False Info

Whereas there are lots of sources on the web for the best way to dose amprolium to egg layers, under is the dosage and size of remedy that has labored greatest for me over time.

I’ve seen a number of sources the place the dosage is just not sturdy sufficient to do the job.

Thus, I’m documenting what actually works right here as a result of I’ve observed that some actually credible sources for this kind of info look like disappearing from the web.

You’ll discover that the 2 references I’ve listed under are each from an online archive. This implies the unique supply is now not accessible!

Might or not it’s that utilizing amprolium for yard chickens is being suppressed? I don’t know, however I did discover that the luggage/bottles of amprolium that you just purchase on-line now say “for calves”, whereas the EXACT similar product I purchased 8 or so years in the past (these items lasts eternally in case you use it as-needed solely) says for POULTRY as properly.

Hmmmm. Positively appears odd, not less than to me!

Whereas of us wish to say that “the web is eternally”, an online archive can really be “wiped” on the drop of a hat. I’ve seen it occur over time when info is taken into account “inconvenient” to a selected narrative.

Thus, I needed to have this info particularly detailed on this weblog for my very own reference sooner or later in addition to for these of you who would possibly want it too!

Correct Dosage

When treating coccidiosis in my very own birds (don’t neglect roosters too!) I take advantage of the “regular” outbreak dose for five days, adopted by the minimal preventative dose for a further 7 days.

It’s because I do know what to search for and I deal with instantly at any signal of an outbreak. Thus, the state of affairs has not risen to the extent of “extreme” but.

Liquid dose

The liquid dose of Amprolium is 9.6%.

This interprets into two teaspoons per gallon for a extreme outbreak and one teaspoon per gallon for a traditional outbreak. (2, 4)

One-half teaspoon per gallon is the minimal post-treatment dose for use for the next one or two weeks.

Powder dose

The powder dose for Amprolium is 20%. That is what I take advantage of.

A small bag of Amprolium will final you for years in case you heed the outbreak minimization steps described above. You gained’t want to make use of it a lot!

For a extreme outbreak, the dosage is 1.5 teaspoons per gallon of water.

Use 3/4 teaspoon per gallon of water for regular outbreaks.

I administer the traditional outbreak dose for 5 days, then I take advantage of the minimal dose of 1/3 teaspoon per gallon for a further 7 days. (3)

Right here is the particular math for varied strengths of remedy.

20% Powder

Use this quantity of amprolium powder primarily based on the extent of sickness in your flock.

0.024% = at least 1.5 teaspoons per gallon (extreme outbreak)
0.012% = at least 3/4 teaspoons per gallon (regular outbreak)
0.006% = at least 1/3 teaspoon per gallon (minimal dose)

9.6% Liquid

Use this quantity of amprolium liquid primarily based on the extent of sickness in your flock.

0.024% = at least 2 teaspoons per gallon (extreme outbreak)
0.012% = at least 1 teaspoon per gallon (regular outbreak)
0.006% = at least 1/2 teaspoon per gallon (minimal dose)

Consuming Water Entry

Whereas it’s urged to supply no different supply of ingesting water on your chickens throughout remedy, my methodology is to supply medicated water within the coop and run solely.

I don’t separate the contaminated chickens as I don’t have a secondary coop. I deal with the entire flock directly.

They do have entry to recent water (from a close-by lake and/or rain puddles) when they’re out of the run free-ranging. This has not appeared to inhibit the effectiveness of remedy.

The medicated water ought to be combined recent every day.

Do You Have to Toss Eggs Throughout Therapy?

You do not want to toss eggs laid in the course of the remedy interval.

Some individuals don’t really feel comfy doing this, nevertheless.

Our household eats the eggs from hens present process remedy provided that the quantity they ingest is tiny.

Maybe you need to cut up the distinction and toss the eggs from the energetic remedy interval (5 days) after which resume egg consumption when they’re on the minimal post-treatment dose (7-14 days).

Do no matter makes you probably the most comfy!

Nevertheless, I’d recommend that any eggs you purchase from the shop even when pastured and natural could be far much less wholesome (the natural egg washing course of alone is poisonous) than eggs from your personal natural-living hens getting a brief spherical of amprolium.

Submit Therapy Care

Amprolium places a dietary pressure in your flock as a result of it really works to kill the protozoa by blocking the uptake of Vitamin B1.

Feeding scrambled eggs to your hens or small items of chopped uncooked liver for a couple of days post-treatment will compensate rapidly and assist them get again to their regular stage of vibrancy once more.

Pure Coccidiosis Therapy?

As I discussed earlier than, I’ve tried garlic and diatomaceous earth as a pure different to amprolium. I’m not a fan of ingesting important oils (I take advantage of externally solely), so I’ve not tried that method.

Sadly, in my expertise, this didn’t work rapidly sufficient to forestall additional unfold and severity within the flock.

Maybe these strategies would have finally labored, however I didn’t really feel I had the time to attend and see as this may have doubtlessly risked dying.

If you understand of a remedy that works properly and quick, please share within the feedback!

chickens with parasites receiving treatment


(1) Antiprotozoal medicine

(2, 3) Anticoccidial remedy in livestock

(4) Amprovine 9.6% Resolution, CORID® 9.6% Oral Resolution