Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by the protozoan parasite Coccidia and is being passed from one chicken to another through physical contact and ingestion of contaminated feces. It can also affect an entire flock of chickens in a very short time. The parasite damages the gut tissue and causes bleeding.
Chickens under six months are known to be the most susceptible to the disease. This is because they have no enough time yet to develop natural immunity. Once ingested, these tiny parasites attached themselves to the intestinal tract. This is where they reproduce and form small cysts, which will later exit the body through feces. They also prevent the host from absorbing nutrients necessary for survival.
Among the notable symptoms of acquiring coccidiosis include appetite loss, weight loss diarrhea, weakness, ruffled feathers, pale comb, and skin, huddling, and a huge reduction in egg production. Unfortunately, these signs are also applicable to other diseases. This is why you should consult a vet before taking an action.
Extremely cold temperatures can kill coccidiosis. Nevertheless, preventive measures include basic hygiene practices, making sure that the water is fresh and clean, and keeping the feedings area dry. Coccidiosis can be treated and the popular medicine is Amprolium, which is added to drinking water. But if the chicken seldom drinks, you can give it to them orally.