With spring around the corner, everyone has baby chicks on their mind! But with warm weather and spring showers comes… coccidiosis. Do some reading NOW so you understand the symptoms and treatment regimen.
Coccidia is a protozoa, a single-celled organism, found in the environment. It multiplies quickly in wet, warm conditions- like you might find in a brooder. It multiplies and takes over the gut of baby chicks that have not yet developed an immunity to it. There are 9 species of Coccidia that affect poultry. Not all of them cause the telltale bloody stools, so do not depend on blood in the droppings for diagnosis. You need a vet to run a fecal float test to check for coccidia eggs. I recommend EVERYONE keep Corid onhand for treating Coccidia. It is a thiamine blocker, not an antibiotic, so it will not hurt anything to run a course for 5 days if you suspect your chicks have been exposed.
Medicated chick feed has a TINY amount of amprolium in it, which is the same thiamine blocker found in Corid. This is used to help prevent coccidia, but it is NOT 100% protective. Even chicks on medicated feed can develop coccidia in certain cases, so do not dismiss coccidia just because you use medicated chick starter.
Be sure and treat for five FULL days with Corid or the coccidia can rebound. Any chicks too droopy or ill to drink on their own should be given drops of medicated water on the tip of their beak every hour until they are well enough to drink. Follow the 5 days with a few days of poultry vitamins in the water to help replenish the B vitamins that were blocked by the Corid.
Where does coccidia come from? It’s out in the soil, so often people will bring it in to the brooder from their yard or from visiting feed stores or other places where chicken germs might be carried. I highly recommend washing hands before and after handling chicks and birds for both your health and theirs. You and your family, and your cats, dogs, and other livestock, are not at risk of getting coccidiosis from your chickens. Coccidia strains are species specific. Cat/dog coccidia are different from poultry coccidia.
These are the source of lovely brownish pink eggs.
The Langshan is assumed to originate in China. In the late 1800s Major F. T. Croad of England imported some of these birds to England and began working with him. He was such a strong force in championing this breed that his line kept his name for generations; in fact they are still sometimes referred to as “Croad Langshans.” The stock in the US that was imported is from his line, so all US birds source back to the Croad Langshan line. They are a large, soft feathered breed of fantastic size but very calm temperament.
We have a SQ black rooster over blue, black, and splash hens, and recently added a very nice blue cockerel to the breeder flock as well, the son of the black rooster. We mainly hatch blue and black chicks from them but do on occasion get a splash. These birds are magnificent and huge, you cannot tell from pictures how much presence they have. Our Langshan are very calm birds, they are the gentle giants of the chicken yard.
Some Langshan lay a brown egg with a plum or pink bloom on them. We have some light brown and some pinkish brown layers in our flock. Please note Langshan do NOT lay plum or purple eggs. Those that you see online have been digitally altered.
The Marans breed is the source of the famous “chocolate” eggs, favored by gourmet chefs. Black Copper Marans are known for having some of the darkest eggs of all the Marans varieties.
Black Copper Marans, bred to APA standard, should have feathering down their leg and lay a deep chocolate brown egg. Other features that we breed for include a solid toned copper hackle and a breast with minimal chest spotting. Our flock is a work in progress but we are very pleased with the direction our egg color and conformation are heading. Marans are considered a dual-purpose chicken.
We have black and blue copper marans hens in our flock and eggs and chicks can be either color. Black Coppers are APA approved and can be shown at any poultry show. To learn more, including standards and photos of show quality Black Copper Marans, visit The Marans Club of America.
Frisian Gulls are an old land race from Germany. They come in three colors, Gold, Lemon, and Silver. Silver is the rarest variety of the three but all three varieties are considered severely endangered in their native lands.
Frisian Gulls are excellent layers of medium to large white to cream eggs. Chick markings resemble seagull chicks which may be part of the reason for their name. The chicks have been very hardy for us and we are excited to offer these for sale beginning January 2017.
One caution- these birds are EXCELLENT fliers and need either a safely contained area or a trimmed wing to keep them cooped. However, they are also excellent foragers and well able to take care of themselves.
These have been our best layers this winter and we have a bumpercrop of chicks available! So we are offering a special deal on them this month in our Chick Packs!
We are having gorgeous weather this week in Oklahoma! So to celebrate that spring is on its way, we want to offer FREE SHIPPING on any order that includes 10 chicks, two of which are our new EAST FRISIAN GULLS! Remember the free shipping is ONLY if your 10-chick order contains at least 2 East Frisian Gulls! Happy Spring!