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Time to think about good maintenance

We all get busy and think oh what is another day before I do something. Well this week was one of those for me as I had a college concurrent class teachers meeting Thursday night and didn't get home until late. Friday after school I gave program to FFA students on how to judge chickens and then Saturday was the day teachers had to work to make up for snow days. So my daily maintenance schedule got all messed up. I do not like to use medicated feed for my chicks as I would rather let them get a mild case of Coccidiosis and then treat with Corid for 2 days and move on. It has always worked better for me and the biologist in me just doesn't think it is a good idea to keep anything on a steady dose of medicine. My typical routine is to clean out the young birds brooders on Wednesday and Sunday when they get a clean fresh jar and bottom. Twice daily as I fill the waterers I dip them in a mild bleach solution. and rinse them before filling with clean water. Well Thursday, Friday and Saturday were all crazy and I sort of did things in a rushed fashion and didn't take the time to rinse in a bleach solution prior to giving the young birds fresh water. Jars still looked fine as of Saturday night but I knew better and sure enough by Sunday morning they had the look as is pictured. The nasty slime covering which harbors the coccidiosis causing protozoans had rapidly grown. I always tell people to run your finger on the inside of the jar and if it feels slimy you are asking for trouble. Daily cleaning of the water containers will go a long way in keeping coccidiosis under control. The above jars will soak in a bleach solution in my cleaning tub for awhile. Remember with young birds cleanliness is very important.

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Is it possible every bird in my flocks all these many years could have contracted coccidiosis and not shown symptoms? None ever died ( of my brooded birds and young adults) except a couple of chicks developed belly tumors at the vaccination site (purchased from Murray McMurray- I like their birds, too), a cat killed a few, and some arrived from travel with the usps in a dead or nearly so condition. I stopped having the chicks vaccinated after the tumor thing happened. The chickens in my area (all around) just don't seem to get sick. Because we are so isolated in this valley? We don't really have insect pests either, except for grasshoppers. Have I just been lucky? I…

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