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OTF 005 - Defeating Cocci - Natural Treatment

To start, I am NOT a vet. I'm simply learning what I can from others as well as my own trial & errors. My methods may not be perfect, or the only way. I'm still learning. If you have an issue with your bird, please do your research & consult a vet if necessary.

This knowledge is meant to be a stepping stone on the way to good chicken health, please feel free to improve upon it & share it freely with others.

The method AND recipes for this treatment is below the initial OTF story. Look for "Defeating Cocci - Natural Treatment"


Early on in the year, I had ordered some straight run Ameraucanas from a hatchery. They turned out not to be Ameraucanas, but rather basic Easter Eggers. Ah well. As they grew I also began to suspect I had not even one female out of the bunch of 5. This wasn't going to do, considering I wanted them for their eggs. Though I did keep the best of the bunch, and if you're a regular +watcher, you already know him as Moon.

Side of Moon by Ebonsong Focus by Ebonsong

A couple months passed before I had the time to try again with another batch. I purchased some Easter Egger hatching eggs from a local farmer. It turned out to be a scam. Their little single combs & pink legs were a dead giveaway when EE's are known for green/grey legs & pea combs.

EE Hatching Eggs by Ebonsong Fluffer Mutts by Ebonsong

After confronting the farmer, he admitted the eggs weren't even his, but from a neighbour who let his other breed roosters mingle with the hens. It was upsetting to know I had spent a month incubating & hatching eggs into chicks I couldn't even use in my breeding program. I'm happy to say those little birds were given away to a local 'farm & petting zoo' who didn't care about egg colour but very much appreciated variety in their birds. They were given access to a free-ranged area with plenty of kids to cuddle them.

September finally came, and I found someone in the area who had Easter Egger chicks as well as Silkie x EEs. I wasn't too interested in the latter, but I was intrigued, so I thought I'd have a look at them anyways. Chicken math, and all.

  SilkEE [With Video] by Ebonsong Chicken Math [Picture Version] by Ebonsong

There were a few warning signs from the start; the way they rushed purchase, the woman never looked me in the eyes, how the man weakly shook hand & quickly pulled back, the way he was way too agreeable...but alas my desperation to get the chicks I needed before winter set in was far stronger than the warning bells.

We had driven those 4 hours into a nearby province to meet up and purchased five of their dozen chicks. I noticed the chicks had a bit of diarrhea, but sometimes birds have that. Considering even I don't travel well most times, I figured they'd be fine the next day.

I was wrong - very wrong.

Around the second afternoon I noticed their stools were turning more orange-hued, and still had diarrhea. Normally chickens poop is varied in tones & thickness, especially their cecal poop. But I had never seen orange before...

I was aware the colours you need to watch out for were green, yellow & red.

  • Green meant they haven't been eating much since it's the colour of their bile. You see this often with newly hatched chicks, until they've eaten enough.
  • Yellow can mean liver or some other issues, which needs to be treated asap.
  • Red is the worst colour you could see, since it means fresh, internal blood.

Now, I hadn't heard of orange stools before, so I began wondering if this was going to be an issue, or if it was just an adjustment to new food or that they were eating some really weird stuff at the last place. I kept going back to the brooder to stare at their feces. By that second evening, the orange finally turned pink. "Oh no..."

I now suspected cocci might very well be an issue. I've read a plenty about cocci, but never experienced it before with any of my birds. I started reading up on it again to refresh my mind. And again, nobody mentioned the orange stools. Just that if you see blood it's a problem.

Cocci has a few days incubation & can kill a chick within 4-7 days after infection. It's not like "There's a chance a chick might die..." but rather "Expect huge losses, you'll be lucky if any survive."

So now I was faced with a potentially huge problem. If it WAS cocci, I'd need to treat these birds fast. The other problem was that I wanted to avoid using commercial medications & vaccines on my flocks. My dream flock was one which built up immunities naturally so that with each generation they would become stronger - not weaker & more dependent on medication. At this point I reasoned I was already fighting a losing battle & might as well just medicate them so I could keep them alive. Besides, I could just keep them as egg layers & not use them for breeding purposes.

It was already getting late that night, so there wasn't anything I could really do other than keep them comfy. I put a bit of polyvisol (no-iron) children's vitamins in the water, just to give them a bit of a booster before bed. But I was determined to phone the local farm supply stores the next day to see if they had Corrid.

That evening, as a friendly update, we sent an e-mail to the people who sold us these birds. We let them know their birds might already have cocci and that ours were starting to show signs. [They never did respond, but in hindsight, I think they knew they were already sick...which is really saddening.]

The next morning the birds were bleeding from their vents & looking lethargic. It was a dramatic change from the night before. We found one chick dead that morning. While a vet is needed to 'officially' diagnose cocci, to me it was clear they had it. We did call around the local farm supply stores looking for Corrid & even Sulmet variations. Unfortunately we discovered not only did they NOT sell medication to treat (or even prevent) Cocci, brand name or not - they didn't actually know what cocci was. I couldn't believe it.

The only alternatives we had at that moment was to either order online, and potentially wait at least 3 days for the medication to arrive (too late, they'd all be dead) or start medicating via natural herbals. I decided to pursue the latter.

Again I looked online & the only information I found on treating cocci was either "give them yogurt" which doesn't really cure anything like cocci [but does help coat the intestines], or a "special blend" of oils marketed like it was some magical snake oil. Can't they even tell us what's in it? or would they rather our chicks died so they can get paid by desperate owners who buy just in case the 'next time' cocci comes knocking?

I researched what I could, scouring forums, obscure sites, dog/cat forums & even human natural treatment websites. I compared cocci to other bacteria, viruses, etc out there. I felt much like an alchemy student preparing for a critical final exam, trying to figure out the best combinations I could, in the shortest time possible. Only that the failure of this exam meant the birds would die. How horrible.

This is where I started with Stage 1 - Recipes #1 & #2 to follow. Including changing them off from shavings onto ceiling grate (explained below).

The first night of treatment (less than 12 hours treating) the second chick was on death's door. We decided to cull him since he could barely lift his head anymore, I was sure he'd be dead overnight & didn't want him to suffer further. He was the only chick we culled.

I was now left with just 3 of the smallest chicks; the Silkie x EEs. They looked very fatigued, barely moved, but their eyes were still focused the times they did open them. I honestly didn't think they would make it, but my heart cried & begged me to not even consider that.

The next morning of Stage 1, after giving the first two recipes, all 3 were still alive. They even looked a little more alert. And though they were bleeding with every watery stool they passed, they were holding out. Something in my mixture was working. However, I didn't want to celebrate too soon - after all, day 4-7 was coming up; the worst of the worst for cocci.

Through the first week on this recipe, their energy levels increased. They began to eagerly eat their food, even playing with each other by the end of that first week. But they were still bleeding internally. It was surreal & scary to see them running, eating & drinking as if nothing was amiss, only to watch them defecate droplets of blood.

By the end of the week, I reasoned that the continued bleeding must have been due to accumulative damage from the cocci. I took the risk to assume cocci was defeated & changed from their anti-cocci diet (Stage 1), straight to full on anti-inflammatory & nutrient boosting food. We were now on Stage 2, recipes #3 & #2 (repeat)

It was official - we had beaten cocci!

At day 9, these chicks were very stunted in growth. It's like they never had never grown at all since the first day they hatched, with the exception of their wings. It made them look like small flight-capable birds, like colourful robins ready to soar. They could even fly up & out of their pen, and boy did they attempt that often. Their feces at this point was a combination of reddish stools, followed by black (old blood) stools, but no more oocysts showing. To me, oocysts look like tiny little groupings of clear glass marbles, a bit bigger than the head of a dress-pin. If any chick eats that (esp one not infected) they will then get cocci & the cycle will start a new.

At around day 15 they had doubled in size, finally catching up to their overgrown wings. With as much energy as their size had increased. The daily bleeding had also completely stopped, quickly going black & then to a healthy brown with white urates. YES!

Around the 20th day I adjusted their diet again (Stage 3 - Recipe #4 & #5). From the super high nutrient & anti-inflammatory, to a fermented feed diet with a powdered supplement. It was at this point they drastically increased their food intake. Not only were they doubled in size, but their feces were getting very large & looking perfectly healthy.

They also increased their appetite dramatically, like little piggies. Eating upwards of 3 cups of FF a day for only month-old chicks.

So here we are now, a month later (Day 30ish). I want to say I'm sad I lost the two chicks, but I'm still happy I was able to save the remaining three. I am very certain though, that I didn't do anything at all that none of them would have made it. And I'm so very glad I gave it my all, because they are the most wonderful, sweetest birds I have ever had.

Warriors Three [Link + FA Update] by Ebonsong

Looking back, what really upsets me most, is the fact those people who sold us the chicks never responded to the e-mail we sent them. To me, it confirms they knew they were selling us sick chicks. Maybe they didn't know why they were dying, but they should have let us know. Even if they came clean & said "Okay so, we sold you sick chicks, we're sorry." I think I still would have said "We'll deal with that later, here's what I'm trying to do to help heal mine. Please try with yours as well!"

It's possible those remaining chicks we didn't purchase from them are long-dead by now, so I can't do anything about that. But what I CAN do, is share the information I've learned from this experience with you. It's not complete, and I can't say I ever want to deal with cocci again, so please take the information below as a starting point. Expand upon where I started, and share this with every chicken-keeper you know. Please.

Do what you can to make sure others don't have to struggle with finding a cure & ending up with no available information, or even dealing with farm supply stores who have no idea what cocci is to begin with. We need more information, more treatment options, more love.

To remind me of the battle they fought, the remaining three have taken on names related to some of the ingredients in their treatment. They are as follows:

Clove by Ebonsong "Clove"
Garlic by Ebonsong "Garlic"
Yogurt by Ebonsong And little "Yogurt"

Defeating Cocci - Natural Treatment

The first thing I've learned about cocci is by the time you see blood, it's possibly already too late. Especially if you don't have medication on hand. You need to nip it in the bud FAST.

If your chicks have brown diarrhea, it's possible it's just that. But if you see yellow, or orangy stool or diarrhea then assume it's cocci. Don't wait for the pink & eventual red to show.

Please read through all the stages & recipes before trying this method, so you understand how they work together.

Stage 1

Brooder Requirements

First thing you need to do is get them away from their feces ASAP. They will curiously peck at poop or scratch their beaks with their feet & reinfect themselves or others. You do not want potentially healthy chicks to eat the oocysts (ie, cocci eggs) of the other chicks. And though one chick might look healthy, you'll have to suspect they're all contaminated.


I used ceiling tile grate for their floor, but you can use metal wire grate around 1/4" gaps. Don't make it smaller than this or the poop will stay on top & they could eat it.

Clean their brooder at least every 24 hours. Wipe their feet or soak them in tepid water to clean them off. They will likely be dirty, the grate will be 'gritty' as well from the clove powder.

Also, please note: Your house or garage (wherever you keep them) is going to smell like Christmas time due to the spices. It's gonna be weird.


They need a practical diet which can destroy the cocci, as well as something to help protect their intestines & slow the damage. You need to be on top of this. There is NO slacking or just skipping either recipe. All recipes below are made for only a few chicks, you'll need to up the dose for more birds.

Recipe #1 - Fighter

  • 1 cup of Water
  • 1 tsp powdered Cloves
  • 4 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Tumeric (anti-inflammatory)
  • 1/4 tsp Grapeseed Extract (oil)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup to 2 cups of high protein (19%+) crumble feed (not pellets). Non medicated.

[* Add 1tsp Mustard - at the last 5-7th days. It acts as a final surprise attack, in case the cocci tries to overcome the other fighting herbs last minute.]

This is the main fighter mixture for cocci. It will be doing all the grunt work. It may seem like the dose is high but it's needed. Add ingredients except feed to water, mix well, then add the dry feed. If it's not moist enough, add a bit more water. Don't just add water to the feed & then the ingredients.

Recipe #2 - Healer

  • 2 tbsp Yogurt (I used plain goats)
  • 1 tbsp Brewer's Yeast (Niacin/VitB)
  • 1 Acidophilius capsule (Human grade - emptied, cases tossed)

This is going to soothe the birds intestines. Yogurt will coat & reduce the cocci from doing much damage, it also gives them a break. Keep in mind the probiotics don't DEFEAT cocci, they can't replace it. It's just that they are bleeding so much that they keep losing the beneficial bacteria inside their guts as they bleed out as well as the fighter recipe will be killing the good bacteria. You need to keep replacing it so their guts have something to work with.

I do not recommend committing this (or using it solely in place of #1). This is also a treat which they look forward to. I find when they eat #2 they will cry less from the pain & bond with you as the giver of soothing. They see you're trying to help & will learn to like the other recipe (#1) so don't feel guilty & omit either. Please.

Let #2 warm up at room temperature, or warm up in the palm of your hand first. I left mine out beside their brooder during the day. It's probiotic so is fine.

Water - Clean & fresh multiple times per day. Keep it at room temperature, never cold. Same with the food - very important! Cold food/water will make it harder on their healing.

Again, give them free access to #1 Fighter, as much as they want. At this stage it may be hard for chicks to want to keep eating, so you need to give them as much opportunity as possible. They might get bored & peck at the food, only to eat more anyways. So having it there 24/7 is good.

You need to give the #2 Healer every few hours to re-coat their intestines. As stated, it helps give their bodies a much needed break & soothes the pain they're undoubtedly in. Give them about a half teaspoon each chick & let the yogurt stay at room temp. They can also get very excited about the yogurt mixture, so it lets you see how much energy they have gained or lost.

If they aren't wanting to eat, you will need to entice them. Try to liquify their #1 food further, wiggle the mixture on your fingertips like it's a worm, or something. Do anything you can to entice them to eat. If they don’t eat, they won't heal. Period.


Stage 2 - Anti-Inflammatory & Nutrient Boost

After about 9-10 days of treatment you'll notice they've got their energy back & aren't dropping oocysts (tiny clear batches of eggs) in their stools. By then, the cocci is likely defeated. Congrats - but your work isn't done yet. Now you have to repair all the damage they've taken internally & help them further overcome nutrient deficiency as well as anemia.

Recipe #3 - Strengthener

  • 1/4 cup Yogurt (as water)
  • 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Juice (human grade) or more Yogurt/water as needed.
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 cups of high-protein feed (or what you've been using the week prior)
  • 4 tsp turmeric (anti-inflammatory)

Use the yogurt in place of water, add aloe vera to soften the feed (if you can find it) after mixing the other ingredients. The key is to serve the food soft, like a porridge.

REPEAT: Recipe #2 - Healer (See Above)

This doesn't need to be fed as often as before, but the chicks will still look forward to the treat & you can use this opportunity to bond with them further and give them rewards for fighting the worst battle of their lives. The probiotics are more likely to stay in their guts this time, since they're not being flushed out by blood & herbal anti-biotics.

Give access to fresh, tepid water at all times. Never cold.


Stage 3 - Adjusting to a Normal Diet (Finally)

After about a week after Stage 2, you'll be able to put them on a more proper diet. They'll be nearly a month old by now. Still, you should keep the food wet & give nothing which has sharp edges (other than a bit of grit) because it will potentially cause them to bleed again & slow healing.

Recipe #4 - Fermented Feed

Ferment feed as you would normally; you'll have to research this since there's a few ways to make FF. I use the lacto-fermented breaded version with air-innoculation. Sprinkle recipe #5 on #4 FF just before serving.

Fermented Feed is very good as a post healing food for three reasons. One is that it is wet & won't dehydrate them by sucking up moisture internally. The second reason is that it's already been softened & won't scratch up their insides. The third reason is it lessens the anti-nutrients in the grains & the birds are far more likely to absorb the nutrients they need from them.

Recipe #5 - Powder for FF mixture

  • 1/2 cup Brewer's yeast
  • 1/4 cup Oregano
  • 4 Acidophilius capsules (emptied, cases tossed)

This is a bulk mixture, which you sprinkle about a tsp on each serving. You only put this on AFTER you've poured it into their food bowl. Do not let this mix with the FF in the bucket as it's fermenting or it'll just make a spoiled mess. Store in the fridge.

Access to fresh water, as usual.

Keep this food routine up (#4 & #5) until they're about 2 months old. You can then either go off the FF, or just keep the FF going like you would with the rest of your flock (if that's what you do anyways.) Do not keep the high protein feed going after about 16 weeks.

At this point your birds are finally healed.


Below are individual cautions & mentions I would like to state, as I feel they are important to note.

Grass & Soil Exposure Caution

After a month & a half you can risk putting them on grass as you would with your typical chicks. Normally I put my healthy chicks on grass a week after hatching, or give them dirt clumps to try their immunities. But these chicks were the exception.

I would never give them grass clumps in the state they were in either. Even if I have nothing bad in my soil, that is just extra stuff they'd have to deal with. Imagine yourself getting a cold on top of a flu, then bronchitis or pneumonia. Now imagine your health is already compromised somehow. Not fun, not fun at all.

WARNING: You should NEVER put cocci-infected chicks on grass or soil which can go back onto your farm & infect your flock. The last thing you want to do is introduce a new strain of cocci (there are many) to your garden & future chicks you will have. Cocci can survive in the soil a very long time. Just don't risk it. Do NOT compost their litter at all either. Toss it straight into the garbage or burn it in a controlled manner.

Practice safe biosecurity measures here, please.

Note On Ingredients Use

All of the ingredients I mentioned above can be used for your adult & other birds at any time, as a immunity/nutrient booster & even probiotic (depending on what recipe is used).

In fact, I've begun keeping recipe #5 in my fridge in bulk for a weekly booster for my adult birds. Usually I just give them this stuff separately in random batches (eg, brewers yeast sprinkled over feed), but it's sure nice to have a pre-mixed version already on hand.

Warning & Disclaimer for Other Herbs

There are other anti-inflammatory herbs out there, but not all are safe for birds. For this reason, I chose to not mention the ones you SHOULDN'T be using, just in case their names stick in your mind & you think "Oh it was this, right?"

I Am Untrained; I Am Not A Certified Vet

As I said from the start, I am NOT a vet. This is all from personal research; what has worked for me. It may not work for your situation. But I really hope it does.

I'm sure I could be more efficient with doses or items used, but this is my only experience with cocci so far & I hope to never have to deal with it again. Please don't think this is the one & only way to deal with cocci naturally. In fact, I'm posting my experience online with great hope it can be used as a starting point for others to find BETTER ways to heal their birds.

Please Share My Experience

I couldn't imagine any chicken keeper who would want to be in the situation I was. Stuck without a treatment at the 11th hour, unable to find anyone who has a natural or even commercial treatment. So please share this.

If you deal with cocci often (although I hope you don't) please do try to expand upon my method. Try to help others find a natural way to defeat it. There is word out there that some strains of cocci are now building immunity to the drugs on the market. It's scary to think this will make our chickens dependent on medication & weaker over future generations. So if you can help in any way to make a healthier future, please do so.

Money or Credit is Not Necessary

A link back is appreciated though; whether here or on my BYC page (here). I do hope you'd let me know if my method any recipe mentioned works for you, and/or if you've found a more efficient method than I did. It would make me very happy to know others are giving cocci a solid boot.


Best of luck, and may Chicken Math be ever on your side.

Comments left open for people to share & discuss this topic. Keep it civil, please. This is your one & only warning. :)


Did you like this chapter? Please leave a comment and check out the rest of my series!

On The Farm Series Folder:…

Add a Comment:
Maj0rMareMolester Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Did you tell the people in or near your area who sold you the batch of chicks? The information you posted will help a lot (it's a lot faster to look at this one page instead of having to search for hours to find it yourself), but not everyone will see it. The people near you would be better off not even dealing with that seller.

Your chicks are beautiful, by the way.
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
I have, but nobody really cared. I don't really want to toss a blanket statement but this area sucks for the amount of ignorant people who will gladly give their birds a crappy life to raise profit. (Just as with any other animal) There are exceptions (always) but they're very few & far between. :(

Thank you very much.
Deztrokk Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
Interesting... I know the birds took a while to find but I think culling them off is more efficient. ;p
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014
Hey, Oli! Well it's efficient in the short-term to cull, but long-term is anyone's guess. I've a feeling about these though; they may end up being really valuable on the farm. Time will tell.

Nice to see you again, btw. :)
Deztrokk Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
Oh crud, you figured out it was me, aha. Was hoping for more of a surprise!
I see you have lotsa birds though, wow! What about fish? Hermit crabs? No more fish for me, well I am going to stick to just goldfish at least. I'll get back into them someday, they are such a huge cash investment to keep though..
We have some buns coming in a few weeks. I have to move momma inside because I am not risking losing baby bunnies to the cold. It's taken a ridiculously long time to get a rabbit pregnant as it is (who would have thought...)
I know the pain of having a hard time to find good livestock of the variety you want. I'm heading to the Royal Agricultural Fair in 2 weeks to try and find some breeders. I've been contacting various rabbit groups and breed clubs but can't seem to find any of the breeds I want. :/
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
I checked your profile; said "Olimpia" and I only know one of those. ;)

I'm actually down to a small flock of chickens & one turkey due to health reasons. The ducks & quail have been sold to other farms. Nice, loving farms though. :)

I've still got my 20GL shrimp tank & a few guppies. Plus my partner's betta. I haven't done much with the other tanks lately. Huge one just sitting empty in the Lroom teasing me every day. Just not enough time & much less motivation. Miss Kmas but I've nothing to contribute there, so haven't really been back. Maybe in the Spring. :shrug:

Your buns are for food or fur? I think you mentioned it before but I've forgotten. That's amazing yeah, I thought all rabbits were born pregnant. ;)

Definitely. I've been trying for over a year for my Swedish Flower Hens. Even had a lady offer to send me one this very weekend, but it was already 12+ weeks old & I can't do quarantine for a month in winter. Too hard on the birds and me. We'll see what next Spring brings though. I'm thinking of just mixing it up a bit & going with my super mutt breed. Tempted to bring in some big breeds though to counter my smaller birds.

Good luck with finding your rabbits!
Deztrokk Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014
Have you tried joining a local poultry club?

Amazingly enough, a lot people in my rabbit groups are having trouble breeding this year..

Ideally I'd want dual purpose rabbits, but not sure... The "meat mutts" I'm raising are dispatched at around 10 weeks, while fur doesn't get into best quality until 20 weeks.. but by then the meat is not as tender. If I find my #1 breed, Champagne d'Argents, I'm definitely going to go more into the fur direction, and older rabbits are still good if you roast them for a long time... From the younger rabbits I can have some lower quality fur, but I wouldn't know what to do with it even. Practice tanning I suppose...
If I could find them I'd might also want to invest in some Belgian hare stock, or maybe import them in a few years once the rabbit thing is more settled... Look them up, they are really only good for pets, sell at a high price tag, super rare. They're also big, fast, and flighty. Bred to look and act like a wild hare. But I think I could probably make some money selling them at a high price to fanciers. To sell rabbits in Kingston though you have to buy a permit and each breeding female needs to be health certified by a veterinarian, so it's a lot of money just to sell rabbits. O_O Can't even sell "meat rabbits" in city limits. I get that they are trying to do a good thing (these laws were for dogs/cats and they threw rabbits under), but they are really inconvenient for me. But if there's no breeders in Ontario, I may be able to sell a pedigreed kit for +$100 so it may be worth it to bring some in from the states... Could bring a litter up to Guelph with me to sell to Toronto folks every now and then... (my parents have taken up the rabbits as well back home aha). However my imagination sure loves to run wild with these ideas. O_O
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014
I'm part of PSO, the provincial chicken club. The other clubs are paid memberships and/or not really active. PSO is know how it goes with groups like that. Cliques & high hens. :S

Whoa. I wonder if that means there's going to be a bad winter, since baby rabbits would be competition to their parents in the winter months. Hmm.

I see. Do old rabbits stew well? I know when I have an old tough bird I can stew it in the crockpot for a day or even three & the meat is so soft by the end of it. Never had rabbit before (well, had one as a pet but that's a wee bit different...).

Oh I see. Have you looked through kijiji? (I'm sure you have)

Wow, I didn't know that about Kingston. Makes sense though, there's already a pretty good population of 'wild' rabbits out there. At least, my old garden was a popular hangout. :XD:

I bet you'll figure it out, but for sure try to keep your hands busy. Gain some xp & before you know it you'll have the rabbits you want. :)
Deztrokk Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014
Hehe yes old rabbits are good in the crock pot...

I found the rabbits I -want- but they are probably not the best for my situation (meat production) but oh well. Emailed a guy in New York who used to be one of the top breeders about a pair.. told me he's been thinking about retiring and we are picking up his last 7 rabbits from two lines in a few weeks for $500 (usually they go from $125-150 each).. Looking through the club sweepstakes, he had placed 9th in 2012, 17th in 2013, didn't show in 2014, random email asking for breeding stock was probably a sign for him or something... His kids showed the rabbits too and they also did really well in the youth divisions.
Sigh.. Belgian hares, 3 does 4 bucks.. most unique rabbit breed out there for sure, and getting to start with some really good stock. So adventuring into rabbit showing, still alright for meat..
Also going to try an experiment in Guelph, see if I can market some as pets to Toronto folks, get some fixed, charge $100 + surgery costs. Can't just let unaltered very rare rabbits wander off into pet owner's hands, only way I could sell pets with peace of mind is if I made sure they were fixed first. Don't even think there's over 100 of them in Ontario.

So those guys are coming, we are going to at least double our rabbit shed this spring, making it bigger, if I can save some money from the hares somehow I'll probably be investing in Czech frosties next, which are still pretty new to North America.

And my own meat doe is due any day now, but I brought her inside and I think I stressed her and she's holding them in now... Seeing 5 posts a day of frozen newborn rabbit nests on a facebook group freaked me out and I was not letting her have them outside. :/ She is goodness awful, lunges and growls at me any chance she gets, sounds awful but can't wait until I'm able to chop her, hopefully I can make her kids a lot nicer..
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014
Wow! You got incredibly lucky with that find. I hope the absolute best with all that.

Yeah I'd definitely say put out the money to fix them yourself first. Cervical cancer is so strong in rabbits, it's not worth the risk to ignore it. Plus temperament improves in both genders after fixing. And yeah even if they don't go out as pets, they'll fatten up well enough for meat.

Awe I see about your girl. Just leave her be & she'll let them go. Hopefully they survive. But even if some do drop, it could have been worse if you didn't bring them in. It's -17C out up here, I'm sure a bit warmer for you but not warm enough for some newborns.

So you'll be breeding for temperament then? Meat is your #1 focus otherwise?
pinkandpurple13 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's good you cured the 3 chicks! I do find it sad that they never responded to your email though. It's like they didn't care about the chicks enough to get them better before selling them, or reply to your email and see how the sick chicks were doing or anything like that. No, I disagree! 
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014
Thank you. Yeah I'm sad too. They could have just as easily been a part of this journey & made some efforts to help others defeat cocci. That could have been a wonderful way to gain new insights into chickens & even friends in the community. But instead they've gained nothing other than a few dollars from selling sick chicks & burned bridges. :/
pinkandpurple13 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
Don't worry, there's plenty of other nice people & opportunities out there. :hug:

The 3 SilkEEs btw, are doing very well. They look like miniature adults now. Fluffy & playful. :)

Here's a recent photo of them (with a video linked in the page):

SilkEEs at 9 Weeks [With Video] by Ebonsong
pinkandpurple13 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Good to hear they're doing better!
razorg456 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This just serves as another reminder that I need to get off my depressed behind and draw these special little guys.
I can't wait to see what they look like when they are all grow up :3
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Me too. And no worries. :hug:
SkittleRocket Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredible read as always. And it's such a miracle that those three fought through their sickness. You have some seriously strong birds on your hands. And sharing your medication methods, perhaps there may be a cure for cocci someday in the future. ^^
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
Thank you. I really tried to condense it, and even then it felt wordy for me. It was 9 pages long pre-photos!

You're right, they are amazing warriors & I'm sure I couldn't have done this without their strength. I'm hoping though that my treatment actually helped & I didn't just get lucky with them being awesome. We'll see how things go over time, hopefully others find it useful.^^
SkittleRocket Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh, wow! I think it would have been fine, regardless though. ^^

Well, the only way to tell for sure, is to try that same treatment again if it ever happens again (and I truly hope it never does). 
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014

Me too. I posted my story on BYC in hopes that if someone is ever in my situation [cocci without meds] that they at least have an alternative option to try. With hope, they'll post their successes (and/or failures) so that we can all gain more information on fighting cocci.
SkittleRocket Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well that's really nice of you to do so, and I'm sure if anyone else who ever experiences such horrors of cocci will appreciate you sharing your story and your treatments. ^^
Forestilling Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was a long read but very interesting. I'm glad three of the little babies survived, they're so adorable. 

I didn't even know what I was reading when I started reading this but I ended up learning something!
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
Yay! :)

Yeah it was a long read. I didn't want to make this two separate articles but also needed to condense it. I'm glad you found it interesting!
ZeroMcHero Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You forgot something seriously kr1tical Ebon!!!
... Love :O no one can get better without love! :)
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014
It's already there: "We need more information, more treatment options, more love."

ZeroMcHero Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
..okay maybe i didnt read EVERYTHING... there's a lot of wooooooooorrrrdddsssss..... ;) lol
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
There would have been more. Thankfully I managed to cut it down to ONLY 9 pages. ;P
ZeroMcHero Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You go Ebon! lol
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
ZeroMcHero Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i would say girl/boy..
But i have no clue to which of the following you are, or if your trans... WHICH IS FINE IF YOU ARE!
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
Well I did already explain it in my latest journal. And no worries. :)
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