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Managing a mycoplasma flock

post #1 of 3
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We have about 25 birds-- mostly chickens, with a few guineas and ducks. We recently lost a few young birds in a row, so I took them to the state lab for a necropsy, which turned up mycoplasma. The tech said it was likely the whole flock carries it now. I've decided against culling since this is a free range flock part of an environmental education program. We're working on plans for bio-security and public education, so we don't have people visiting our flock and bringing it home to their backyard chickens. Moving ahead, any tips for managing a mycoplasma flock? Some particulars I am still trying to think about:

 

How to educate our guests without raising alarm bells?

 

 

We hatch our own chicks each spring, and typically give away or sell cheap the extra roosters once they're old enough to be sure they're roos. Are mycoplasma flocks common enough that someone might be willing to adopt a bird from my infected flock?

 

 

Should I keep hatching chicks in the spring, thus perpetuating the virus-positive flock, or should I let this flock die out and start over? We're pretty rural, but I understand mycoplasma can come from wild birds, so I suspect we're always at risk.

 

 

Any thoughts on this appreciated! 

Summer Camp and Outdoor Education in central VA, home to a mixed flock of chickens, ducks, and guineas. Fun times!
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Summer Camp and Outdoor Education in central VA, home to a mixed flock of chickens, ducks, and guineas. Fun times!
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post #2 of 3

I am very sorry for your troubles.

 

At the end of the day, it's up to the flock owner to make the best decision for their birds in terms of how they handle biosecurity, and there's no 100%, fool-proof method. If you do have people that want to visit or buy from you, I feel it is absolutely necessary that you inform them of the risks associated with the disease, which it sounds like you already want to do.

 

If you are up front with people and they are willing to take your birds, I see nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when breeders/sellers do NOT disclose diseases (either through ignorance or pure bad business practices) and cause other flocks to become infected. Nothing boils me more.

 

Since you asked, I'd let that flock go and start over, since I read you are still interested in selling. Being able to sell to ONLY MG-infected flocks greatly decreases your market.

 

Even if you do start over, please bear in mind that MG can live in the soil for a while (as I'm sure you know), so it would be wise to give it some time after disinfecting everything (maybe twice) before you reintroduce birds.

 

Also, figuring out ways to decrease wild bird traffic would behoove your flock, too! :)

 

Hope that helps. Good luck!!

 

MrsB

Australorp Chickens | Nigerian Dwarf and mini-Alpine Goats | American Blue Rabbits

 

"If not now, when?"

 

Luke 22:36

Then said He unto them,

“But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it

and likewise his pack; and he that hath no sword,

let him sell his garment and buy one."

 

How I lost 70 lbs (and kept it off!): www.marksdailyapple.com

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Australorp Chickens | Nigerian Dwarf and mini-Alpine Goats | American Blue Rabbits

 

"If not now, when?"

 

Luke 22:36

Then said He unto them,

“But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it

and likewise his pack; and he that hath no sword,

let him sell his garment and buy one."

 

How I lost 70 lbs (and kept it off!): www.marksdailyapple.com

Reply
post #3 of 3

Also, if you choose to medicate to control symptoms, I've found that TerraVet will treat mycoplasma.

 

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MrsB

Australorp Chickens | Nigerian Dwarf and mini-Alpine Goats | American Blue Rabbits

 

"If not now, when?"

 

Luke 22:36

Then said He unto them,

“But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it

and likewise his pack; and he that hath no sword,

let him sell his garment and buy one."

 

How I lost 70 lbs (and kept it off!): www.marksdailyapple.com

Reply

Australorp Chickens | Nigerian Dwarf and mini-Alpine Goats | American Blue Rabbits

 

"If not now, when?"

 

Luke 22:36

Then said He unto them,

“But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it

and likewise his pack; and he that hath no sword,

let him sell his garment and buy one."

 

How I lost 70 lbs (and kept it off!): www.marksdailyapple.com

Reply
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