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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3992
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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How do you treat hens that are already laying for coccidia

Customer Question

How do you treat hens that are already laying for coccidia? All the sulfa drugs state you cannot eat the eggs. Is that just during the 6 day treatment? Everything I read is for baby chicks not older hens. HELP! I have 1- 4 year old hen that has weakness in her legs too caused from this parasite that has been confirmed in a fecal check today.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 4 years ago.
Read the label on the medication, it is required that the egg withdrawal time be stated. It really depends on the drug, as some require that the eggs NEVER be eaten, and some have a time period. You can look online for "egg withdrawal times" appropriate to your country and drug that you are using.

Many of the common ones in use have a 7-10 day period, but please check more specifically. I would have you check with the local veterinarian or even poultry club to see what procucts are available in your area. If your vet diagnosed the parasite, it is important that the prescribe the most effective drug to save the life of the hen first, and only secondarily have ok eggs. Coccidia can be resistant depending on your geographical area, so I cannot recommend specific medications to help out you and your bird.

Edited by Dr. Pat on 10/3/2009 at 4:48 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The drug that has been reccommended is Sulmet-Sulfamethazine sodium 12.5% and it has on the label ...Do Not medicate chickens producing eggs for human consumption.It does not state when eggs would be edible again. I cant seem to find a drug that is labeled for use in laying hens other than Amprolium-p 9.6%oral soulution and that I cant find anyone that even carries it
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The drug that has been reccommended is Sulmet-Sulfamethazine sodium 12.5% and it has on the label ...Do Not medicate chickens producing eggs for human consumption.It does not state when eggs would be edible again. I cant seem to find a drug that is labeled for use in laying hens other than Amprolium-p 9.6%oral soulution and that I cant find anyone that even carries it

Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 4 years ago.
That means you can never use the eggs for human consumption. Amprolium is actually worse and probably off the market in most countries. It may be difficult to find any alternatives at all. In my area it would be fairly impossible to find a safe and effective alternative drug for which withdrawal times are known. Most chick starters have coccidiostats and that's why none are allowed in hens. I am sorry to say that she may have to become a pet hen and her eggs go to dogs and cats.

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