Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sick Buff Orpingtons

At least I know what was wrong and how to fix it.  Even so, I ended up with three dead birds.

I had noticed that my young Buff Orpingtons were cold when the weather changed.  I thought that they were being weenies.  My mistake.  They were sick.  I had one die and thought that maybe it was an accident (she had gotten caught between the crate and the pen).  A week later, another one died.  That was followed by another dying the next day.

I didn't bother calling the USDA on the first death, but did on the second.  The veterinarian called back and did a diagnosis over the phone of either worms or bird coccidia.  Neither would cause problems to humans, but could be deadly to my birds.  Not highly contagious, but it made sense because the Buffs were so young.  I treated them with wormer and then started them on Corid. 

Coccidia is a protozoan that lives in bird intestines.  There are other kinds of coccidia, including those that affect humans, but the protozoans are actually species-specific. All birds have a colony of them inside their intestines, but they can take over and kill young birds without treating them.  Usually the chicks don't get it because they're on a low dosage of the medication in Corid

The good news is that the puffed up look combined with being cold has stopped.  The bad news is that I lost three birds who were on the verge of laying eggs.  Not only that, but I treated everyone in the pen to be on the safe side and have had to throw out all the eggs from that one pen.  Oh well, better safe than lose the rest of them.  Now, I have to find more Buff Orpingtons.  Sigh.

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