Cocci?

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Cocci?

Postby Ninjamonkyy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:05 am

I have two quails that are about a week old. There was a third one that died suddenly. He started to huddle up in a corner, his eyes closed and head droopy. He would even do this in my hand. His walking was fine until towards the end when it suddenly became unbalanced. I also noticed some weight loss. He died later on. My other two are now starting to show some of the same symptoms, and they are also standing on one leg which I've never seen them do (not sure if relevant). They're still eating and drinking, but I've not noticed any blood or anything in their poop, which I read was one of the symptoms. They haven't lost any weight either (yet). Could anyone say what this is? What could I do to treat them?
Thanks
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Re: Cocci?

Postby Marigold » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi Ninjamonkyy, and welcome to the Forum - I'm sorry it's in such worrying circumstances.
Are your quails coturnix, or the even tinier Chinese (button) type? It's really hard to diagnose illness in such wee little birds, but you're right, it could possibly be cocci. It's hard to keep them clean, and the bedding dry, and as you know, contamination of the water supply by the cocci virus is only too possible with such messy little birds.
Are you feeding them on chick crumb, and if so, is it medicated? If unmedicated, you might try adding Coxoid drops to their drinking water, though if you haven't already got some in your first aid kit, it will be less effective as it needs to be given as soon as you see the first possible signs. Also, I wonder what kind of drinker you're using? A dish of water gets paddled in and contaminated - I found it worked well with quails to use one which clipped on to the side of the cage and had a little lip which stuck through the wire, so they could drink but not get into it. This sort of thing;
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Blue-Anti-Alg ... _cLJSj-O4Q
(Actually I have some spares of these now I'm not keeping quails, and if you P.M me I will be happy to send you a couple for free.)
Change the bedding as often as you can, at least once a day - I used a pile of several layers of washable J-cloths or cut-up old cotton pieces, and then gently rolled up the top layer as soon as it got messy, saves removing all the chicks and other fittings from the brooder, and then machine-washed the lot. Make sure you haven't rolled up a chick by mistake, though!
What sort of heat do you have? Have they got enough space to get away from the heat source when they need, and are they spreading out satisfactorily to show they're warm enough?
I hope they pull through, - good luck, and do keep us posted.
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Re: Cocci?

Postby Ninjamonkyy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:30 pm

My quails are coturnix, I'm feeding them unmedicated chick crumb, and at the moment I'm using a dish, but you're right, it gets dirty very quickly. A bottle would be very useful :) For the floor I'm actually just using anti-slip mat material, just because I'm going to have some more chicks hatching out soon. I might change to a more convenient bedding for now so I can change it every day at least instead of every other day which is what I'm doing now. I have a brooder which is like a plate that heats from above (something like this https://www.electric-fence.co.uk/cover- ... b4EALw_wcB) They do have enough space but I'm going to upgrade soon into a larger enclosure, so that won't be a problem. They often go in and out from under the brooder so I think the temperature is ok.
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Re: Cocci?

Postby Marigold » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:27 pm

If you are soon going to hatch another brood you'll have to take extreme care to avoid cross-contamination, as cocci is so very infectious. As they can't go in together, you will of course need a second brooder and a separate set of equipment for the second brood, and preferably keep it in another room. Always scrub your hands after handling one brood before moving on to the other, and take great care to sterilise feeders and drinkers every day. Try to create a really absorbent floor and bedding for them - line the brooder with several layers of newspaper, topped off with soft absorbent bedding of your choice, either cotton layers as I mentioned, or wood shavings perhaps. The danger of infection is much greater in the presence of a damp floor, because the heat and humidity in the brooder will spread the infection. Also, as you know, they are terribly messy little things, scatter food all over the floor, poo in it, and then eat the food which is contaminated with cocci oocysts. If possible wih your heater, reduce the heat a little every day, once they begin to feather up, which they do very fast as you know. Cooler conditions will help harden them off and infection will be less able to take over. I think the main thing is to sort out the drinker, thus reducing the risk of wet bedding. The best disinfectant for cages and equipment if cocci is suspected or diagnosed is called Bi-oocyst, which is the only one that will effectively and safely deal with the microscopic oocysts which are shed by infected birds and passed on to the others. It's potent stuff, use only with care and wear rubber gloves. Wipe the heater and all round the cage, as well as cleaning up all the equipment, and repeat the process regularly when you change the bedding.
You might like to consider changing to medicated chick crumb, at least for the second hatch, rather than giving them Coxoid. But don't do both!
There a good article on coccidiosis on the main Poultrykeeper website, https://poultrykeeper.com/digestive-sys ... -chickens/
There's a link to this invaluable site at the bottom of each page on the Forum.
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