Have you ever had one of those times when you are walking along, pretty confident. Things are going your way. Maybe you even have a bit of a swagger or a skip in your step and then something comes out of nowhere and hits you right behind the knees. Your down, the wind knocked out of you and until you are able to suck in that first breath of air, you think you’re done for. We’ve all been there.Well, last Spring, that was me on my homestead(metaphorically speaking) on the ground, in the mud, trying to catch that breath. No, I didn’t have my homesteading dog yet, so she hadn’t knocked me down. It was a silent killer that had crept on to my homestead, while I was sleeping, and done it’s work. I would learn later that the killer had a name; it was COCCIDIOSIS!I woke up one morning last Spring, just as the weather turned wet and humid and warm. It was like walking out into a dogs mouth, yuck! I had my rabbits in a large ground pen so they would have room to dig, run and jump. To my surprise, there was my favorite rabbit laying there dead with her babies gathered around her. I was blindsided with no idea what had happened. No wound, no blood, no sign of predator entry.
I had named her Lucky Silver Dollar because she won best of show right after I had picked her out and purchased her
Wait for it, because it gets worse; over the course of the week her babies dropped one by one. Hold on, it gets worse; some of the wee babies were visibly suffering so I had to put on my big girl pants and put them out of their misery. Here is where the Lord stepped in and kissed me on the cheek. I say this because my son, I call ” The Quiet One”, John, who really isn’t into this homesteading thang, came beside me and helped me. He loves me with his whole heart. It isn’t every teenager that will wade in beside you into the mud and the mire, the ugly side of life. I am so thankful for him.
It was a HARD time on the homestead. I can easily say it was the hardest thing I have ever experienced on my little farm. It wasn’t too long after that when I had some chicken losses. It was like a heavy dark cloud hung over us for a time. I didn’t even write about it because I wanted to get some answers before I included everyone.
Well in the weird warm weather of this Fall/Winter we have had a reoccurrence of this deadly parasite on our homestead. We sadly said goodbye to our rooster Bo this week. We are wiser now and know the enemy coccidiosis inside out. I think the losses will stop there.
We made a video about this parasite so that you will not be blindsided, like we were, that warm Spring morning. Watch and get to know what I think is the #1 enemy of urban homesteading in the South.
If you have any questions please scroll down and leave them in the comments. Or if you have had experience with this parasite on your homestead and want to share your experience it would be welcomed.
This post was shared on The Simple Homestead Blog Hop