And the diagnosis is …

Coccidiosis. The chickens have coccidiosis.

I’m a little bit impressed with myself for actually tracking down the info and making a diagnosis, and knowing that I needed to see a vet.

Unfortunately, our vet doesn’t see chickens so I had to go to a vet who sees – get this – exotic pets. Yes, a chicken is an exotic pet. And because a vet can’t prescribe medicine without actually seeing an animal, I had to bring a chicken with me.

The entire visit took almost two hours – an hour plus in the waiting room and then almost an hour from the visit to check out. With a chicken in a cat carrier.

Coco seemed to be OK on the trip. She sat still on the scale to be weighed – 4.6 pounds. And she wandered around on the floor in the examining room while the vet ran a test on her poop.

He said, and I quote, that they are “loaded” with coccidia.

The vet gave me some called Albon that I put in the chickens’ drinking water for three days, stop for three days, and then treat again for three days.

The biggest problem? The dosage is 1/2 teaspoon per liter. I have a 2 gallon waterer. So how much medicine do I put in? No one told me I’d need to know how to do math to own chickens.

In the end I figured it out – a gallon is 3.79 liters, so 2 gallons is about 7.5 liters, so I put in 3.75 teaspoons. Right? Right?

We can’t eat any eggs for 10 days after the hens finish treatment, but any eggs they’ve laid already are fine, the doctor said. I don’t know; I’m a little squeamish about it.

In the end, the visit cost me $113 to treat 8 hens that cost about $2.50 each.

Visit my new blog, Notes From The Funny Farm, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

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