overcrowded birds are more prone to coccidiosis

Coccidiosis Disease of the Lazy Farmer

Coccidiosis Disease of the Lazy Farmer

Coccidiosis is a fairly common disease. That is most prevalent with birds kept in confinement it is often called the disease of the lazy farmer.


It is usually associated with either negligence of the flock. By the poultry owner or complete ignorance by the farmer on how to prevent the disease.


normally coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals. Usually caused by coccidian protozoa. It is usually connected with high relative humidity moisture in the air, dampness, and wet litter.  


The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected feces or ingestion of infected tissue. Diarrhea, which may become bloody in severe cases, which is the primary symptom.


Most animals infected with coccidia are asymptomatic. But young or immunocompromised animals may suffer severe symptoms and death.


overcrowded birds are more prone to coccidiosis

Overcrowded Birds are more prone to coccidiosis


Recommended for you:

Paralysis, Lameness in Broiler Chickens, Causes, Prevention and Treatment

6 Solid Ways You Can Take Care of Your Baby Chicks and Reduce Mortality to the Barest Minimum.

Brooding Day-old Chicks During Wet and Raining Season Successfully


Mode of Transmission

It is a highly preventable poultry disease, when stringent measures are put in place from day one on chick’s arrival.


The parasitic protozoan that causes coccidiosis is called Oocyst. Cannot survive extreme high temperature, freezing temperature, and dryness.


Poultry farmers especially the newbie are advised to start their new flock during the dry season. This will reduce the incidence of coccidiosis.


Before placing order for your day old chicks. You have to provide ample space for your chicks, ensure dryness of the litter good ventilation outlet and inlet for fresh air.


The disease becomes a cause for concern. When birds are reared, under conditions that permit the build-up of infective oocysts in the environment. The intensive rearing of domestic chickens may provide these conditions.


Young chickens kept under intensive conditions pick up the infection from contaminated premises (damp litter, overcrowding condition, etc.).


These premises may have been contaminated previously by other young infected birds or by adult birds that have recovered from the condition.


Oocysts remain viable in the litter for many months. In this way, they can contaminate a farm from year to year. They are usually killed by freezing, extreme dryness, and high temperatures.


It is therefore very necessary after each batch of chicken. That the chicken shed should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and allowed sometime before placing the next batch of chicks.


Wet areas around water fountains are a source of infection. The areas with wet litter should be scooped and replaced with dry litter. The farmer or the poultry keeper should periodically check for such areas.

coccidiosis is more prevalent with birds kept in confinement

Coccidiosis is more prevalent with birds kept in confinement


READ ALSO: Noiler Farming In Nigeria, the New Game Changer


Symptoms and Diagnosis                     

Visible signs of coccidiosis in chickens include droopiness and listlessness, loss of appetite, loss of yellow color in shanks, pale combs.


And wattles, ruffled, unthrifty feathers, huddling or acting chilled, blood or mucus in the feces, diarrhea, dehydration, and even death.


Other signs include poor feed digestion, poor weight gain, wasting away, and poor feed efficiency. Some symptoms can be confused with other diseases. For example, necrotic enteritis is a gut disease that also causes bloody diarrhea.


Very sick Birds

Very sick bird, Suffering from coccidiosis


Related: Brooding Day-old Chicks During Wet and Raining Season Successfully


Coccidiosis Prevention

Extreme dryness, Freezing temperatures, hot and dry weather are unfavorable conditions for coccidiosis, which is good news for most farmers.


Farmers could target such a period of the year to start brooding their day-old chicks. However, in many parts of Africa, we have basically wet and dry seasons.


It is best to start your brooding during the dry season, especially for inexperienced farmers. Basic hygiene is your first step for prevention.


Make sure your coops and pen are clean and dry with a good ventilation system.


READ: Broiler farming, how to engage in profitable production


The following points will help prevent coccidiosis

  • Ensure a constant supply of clean and fresh water.


  • Keep feeding areas clean and dry and don’t throw food on the ground where it can be contaminated.


  • Ensure dryness around drinkers, water trough, and channels.


  • Ensure your birds have enough space and good inlet and outlet ventilation system.


  • Provide adequate space, coccidiosis will take off in an overcrowded area. Chickens need four square feet of space each in their coops.


  • Provide medicated starter feed for chicks. If your chicks have been vaccinated against coccidiosis, don’t give them medicated starter feed, it will simply cancel out their vaccination.


  • Give Amprolium at a preventive dose. If you live in a particularly wet area. You can buy it over the counter from vets, product stores, or pet stores.


  • If introducing new members to your batch of chickens, keep them quarantined for a minimum of two weeks. For the protection and safety of every chick in the chicken shed.


READ: How to ensure good hygiene and bio-security in your poultry farm


Most chicks are vaccinated against Marek’s disease and/or Newcastle disease as well as respiratory infections than coccidiosis.


Vaccines cannot guarantee complete immunity and protection from the disease. Given that its only introduces a strain of the infection. And there are several strains that your chicks are likely to be exposed to in your environment and will be at risk anyway.


Starting your chicks with medicated starter feed is probably your better option in this case.


You might also want to READ: Poultry farming why some people fail.


Treatment Coccidiosis in Chickens

One’s coccidiosis have been discovered in your flock. The whole flock must be treated. The sick hens must be Isolated immediately. Make sure you clean out their coop, checking to ensure their living space and feeding areas are clean and dry.


You’ll need to apply anticoccidial drugs such as Ambrolium to block the ability of the parasite to uptake and multiply. Amprolium is commonly administered orally by adding it to the hens’ water supply.


You may find this interesting to READ: Chickens why your family needs this amazing birds



Amprolium is available over the counter. But if you have concerns contact your vet for professional advice about how to medicate your flock. It’s likely you’ll have to keep treatment up for about seven days.


 If the environment that your chickens are kept in is wet, humid, and warm you may need a second dose of treatment. To ensure it’s completely eradicated. Try and ensure dryness, ample space, and good ventilation in your chicken pen.


Amprolium interferes with the coccidia oocyst’s ability to metabolize vitamin B. So you may need to provide your chickens with a vitamin B supplement following treatment. But don’t give them this during treatment as you might render it ineffective.


At times practical methods of management cannot prevent coccidial infection alone. Poultry that are maintained at all times on wire floors to separate birds from droppings have fewer infections. Clinical coccidiosis is seen only rarely under such circumstances.


free range birds are less prone to coccidiosis

Free-range birds are less prone to coccidiosis


Using wire floors or cage system of production comes with its own disadvantages. Disadvantages such as:
  • Lack of physical and psychological space for the hens to exhibit natural behaviors.


  • Unable to exercise resulting in a higher incidence of metabolic disorders or cage fatigue.


  • No nesting opportunities resulting in severe frustration for many birds each time an egg is laid.


  • Lack of dust bathing opportunities that help in removing lies and ticks.


Other methods of control are vaccination or prevention with anticoccidial drugs. Most importantly the farmer should strive to provide a conducive production atmosphere for his birds. And be sensitive and vigilant to arrest the situation early before it strikes a blow to the entire flock.


  1. Ezenwankwo Samuel October 21, 2020
    • Bnet October 26, 2020

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest