Coccidiosis is the most important protozoan poultry disease; unlike viral poultry diseases, coccidiosis can be treated and cured naturally with herbs.
Coccidiosis in poultry is an acute poultry disease that renders farmers helpless; this disease can ravage a large flock of chickens within a few days of infection. Apart from ensuring proper sanitation within the farm environment, the use of herbs is part of the natural treatment for coccidiosis.
Coccidiosis In Chickens Natural Treatments
As a poultry farmer, you have two natural ways of treating coccidiosis disease. These are:
- Proper litter or bedding management
- Use of Ayurvedic medicine.
#1. Proper Bedding Management
Proper litter management is one of the natural ways of treating coccidiosis in poultry. This method can also be termed organic treatment of coccidiosis because it involves no use of coccidiosis drugs; it is just a method that makes the immediate environment of the birds unfit for the survival of the pathogen causing coccidiosis disease in chickens.
Before any disease can emerge, three conditions must be satisfied; they are:
- A favorable environment
- A virulent pathogen
- A susceptible host (Chicken).
Of these three conditions, two can be controlled by the farmer, the environment, and the host. The environment must be favorable for any disease to emerge; this is why sanitation in poultry house must be taken very seriously. Naturally, the chickens have a self-defense mechanism. called immunity, that combat any imminent pathogen.
The welfare of the chicken determines the strength of their defense mechanism; if the immunity of the chicken is weak as a result of poor nutrition and feeble health status, the chicken is said to be susceptible to pathogen attack. The immunity and the environment of the chicken can be made unfit for the pathogen by feeding high-quality poultry feed, rich in vitamins and minerals, and ensuring a keeping the environment clean always.
Even when other conditions are satisfied but the environment remains unfit, the disease might not occur because the pathogen causing poultry diseases have preferences for the type of environment to thrive. The environment of the birds includes; the bedding, feeder and waterer, farm personnel, and other birds. The causal agent for coccidiosis disease in poultry thrive best in moist bedding; this is why the bedding material used in poultry house must be absorbent to take up moisture always.
Care must be taken when selecting a bedding material; the litter material must be able to absorb moisture as it drops making the pen dry always. A wet litter is a good place where coccidiosis causal organism thrives; this must be avoided at all times.
Other bedding hygiene management tips include:
- Regular removal of droppings and wasted feed
- Avoid feeding on the ground
- Design feeders and water systems that minimize fecal contamination
- Provision a clean source of water
- Cleaning water tanks and feeders regularly
- Ensure watering systems do not leak
#2. Ayurvedic medicine for coccidiosis
Ayurvedic medicine involves the use of herbal materials that have been tested and proven to be an effective treatment for coccidiosis in birds. There are some herbs that have been used over time; they are non-toxic and can be used as preventive and curative measures of coccidiosis. You would get to know more about these herbs, their preparation, and dosage for treating and preventing coccidiosis as you read through.
These two methods can greatly be considered as natural treatments for coccidiosis in chickens.
Causes Of Coccidiosis In Poultry
It is very imperative you know the causes of coccidiosis before finding ways to treat it. Knowing the causes of this disease is the first line of natural treatment of coccidiosis in poultry.
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.
The pathogen that causes coccidiosis, coccidia, thrive best in a wet litter or bedding material; the chickens pick and ingest the pathogen from the litter material. After ingestion, the coccidia multiplies in the chicken’s system. The coccidia produces eggs, which are passed out from the chickens as droppings; other chickens pick up the eggs and the cycle continues.
Coccidiosis is very common with young chickens between the ages of 4 and 6 weeks; these chickens are in there brooding and rearing stages, hence, they have direct contact with the litter or bedding material. Caged chickens are rarely infected by coccidiosis because they do not have direct contact with the beddings.
If you are brooding day-old chicks or rearing chickens in a deep litter system, you need to take good care of your bedding materials. Ensure they are not wet and are regularly changed; I do recommend every week but every two weeks is not bad too. The earlier, the better.
Signs Of Coccidiosis In Poultry
Signs are the indicators of diseases; chickens show arrays of signs when diseased. The major signs of coccidiosis disease in chickens are:
- Severe diarrhea that can be watery, bloody, or contains greenish mucus
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Decreased in water consumption
- Ruffled feathers
- Depigmentation or pale comb and wattle
- During post-mortem, intestines are inflamed and filled with blood.
- Death in as short as 24 hours
The major sign of coccidiosis in poultry is bloodstains in the droppings of the chickens.
Another operational tool you need as a poultry farmer is “close observation”. Before feeding your chickens and carrying out other management practices in the morning, walk around the pen to determine the physical state of the birds, the color, and the texture of the chicken’s dropping.
If you have over 200 birds in a pen and you observe just one bloodstained dropping, quickly change the bedding and treat the chickens for coccidiosis.
Coccidiosis can be controlled on early detection of these droppings but in most cases, mortality makes most poultry farmers conscious of coccidiosis.
Herbs To Treat Coccidiosis
When you observe bloodstains in the droppings of your chickens, it is a sure sign of coccidiosis. You can treat coccidiosis naturally using these herbs:
- Bitter leaf
- Cayenne pepper
These are the natural ingredients needed to make ayurvedic medicine for coccidiosis in poultry.
Blend 500 grams of garlic, 2 peeled lime, 30 grams of cayenne pepper, and 200 grams of bitter leaves, all in 2 liters of water. Strain the mixture and collect the liquid portion separately.
Dosage: To treat coccidiosis naturally, serve at 10ml per liter of drinking water for 5 days consecutively, and then change the bedding material. However, you can serve occasionally for prevention, maybe weekly, at a rate of 3ml per liter of drinking water.
Coccidiosis is best treated naturally by adopting preventive measures such as; keeping the bedding material dry always, changing the bedding material regularly, and using this organic treatment on a scheduled basis. If possible, fumigation of the pen and bedding should be done before stocking and brooding. It kills the Coccidia present in the poultry house.
You may also find these helpful:
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- 7 Best Herbs For Chickens (Organic Poultry Farming)
- Poultry Medications: Routes Of Administration Of Poultry Drugs
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