Coccidiosis is a protozoan disease caused by Eimeria spp. There are about 7 species but only 5 are common. Of these 5, Eimeria tenella is more fervent and common in poultry. Others are E. necatrix, E. mitis, E. brumet and E. acervulina. Coccidium (plural: Coccidia) is the pathogen that causes coccidiosis in poultry; it is hardy in nature and can stay in the soil for a very long period provided the environmental conditions are favorable for its survival.
How chickens get infected
Thousand of eggs or oocytes can be passed out as droppings; chickens raised in a crowded or high density rate are at greater risk of getting infected as the pathogens are virulent and are readily available in the environment. The ambient temperature and normal condition that favor the chickens also favor the survival of coccidia.
Signs and symptoms of Coccidiosis in poultry
The symptoms of coccidiosis in poultry varies with the specie of the Coccidia. This is because the pathogen affects different parts of the chicken. The early symptoms are not usually determined or let me say they are difficult to determine as the egg or oocyte has a very short incubation period of 2-3 days.
- Blood stains in droppings
- Loss of weight and droopiness.
- Less consumption of feed.
- All intestines swell during post-mortem.
- Also during post-mortem, the intestines become filled with blood.
Treatment for coccidiosis in poultry
- Amprolium 20
Prevention of Coccidiosis in poultry
- Avoid overcrowding or high stocking density rate.
- Ensure the litter is dry always.
- Keep feed and water away from droppings.
- Anti-coccidial drugs like Amprolium can be mixed with feed.
- Pawpaw seeds
Vaccination is another effective way of preventing coccidiosis; it helps to increase the immunity of the chicken. Vaccines for coccidiosis in poultry are:
These vaccines should be administered to the chicks between day 1-5 orally, through drinking water.
Coccidiosis is best treated using preventive measures; it can be prevented by keeping the litter dry always and keeping excess moisture away from the farm. If possible, sterilization of the pen and litter should be done before stocking and brooding. It kills the Coccidia present in the poultry house.
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