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(Chicken got a cold?) Added Info.(MS/MG,ILT,CRD,NPIP)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by spook, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. spook

    spook Songster

    Now I am opening a new subject due to the change in information that I have recently received regarding CRD, MG/MS, and quite possibly other diseases, or, my chicken has a cold...mine too. There are links down at the bottom, so if you do not want to read about the letters from the Me.State vet.
    My intent is not to cause everyone to go into panic or in an up roar.
    As many of you realize I have been questioning through the Maine State Veterinarian about these bacteria/virus', . NPIP does not test for these issues, it only tests for Pullorum/Typhoid and Avian Influenza, once, not each year after having other birds come and go chancing spreading of illness. (Battery hens are carriers)
    Enough from me, this is what the correspondence was regarding these health issues:

    Subject: RE: MS, NPIP Questions

    I wanted to get back to you on this issue. I have checked with one hatchery in Iowa and with the NPIP coordinator, Andy Rhorer on this. Both told me that most of the hatcheries selling exhibition, poultry and game birds to small flock owners are not MG/MS clean. This surprised me very much since I had always assumed they were. Just goes to show you about assuming anything doesn’t it?

    In order to change this situation, we would either need to change our import rule on poultry (this is possible but takes time an we will consider doing this in the future) or bring it up as a proposal at the next NPIP meeting in 2010. Sad to say that the 2008 meeting was held in Portland and it would have been a perfect time to discuss it.

    In the meantime, I think what I need to do is write an article for the Maine Alternative Poultry Assn. newsletter to alert people about MG/MS and that the birds they order from out of state hatcheries are only certified as pullorum/typhoid and AI clean. For buying birds within state or from your neighbors, the old axiom “let the buyer beware” is a good rule of thumb as well as the all in/all out practice.

    Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention.

    Don ( Don Hoenig, Me.state vet)

    Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2008, 11:55 AM

    No, that is no news to me. I have brought this up on multiple meetings with the small producers and nationally. However this said, most of the blood samples from small flocks are MS/MG positive, except for those from isolated egg-layer or broiler flocks purchased from commercial hatchery raised for their purpose and kept isolated.When we tested small flocks (chicken, turkeys and game birds) in the mid 80's during the HPAI scare, most of the flocks were MG positive and negative for common viral infections. Unless a flock owner maintains mycoplasma -free flocks by avoiding multi-age, multi-breed; multi-species flocks, practices all-in, all-out stocking; screens poultry from wild birds, practices basic biosecurity; and regular serological monitoring; purchasing MG/MS free poultry does not do much good. MG/MS does usually not cause much problems in small flocks except when the flocks are stressed (crowding, poor nutrition, cold, ammonia etc).or infected with primary disease agents (ILTV, MDV, Pasteurella etc)Some fancy birds may be mores resistant than others and stay "clean". But I am not sure whether this is true. Flock owners, whether small or large, who raise poultry primarily for producing eggs or meat and are concerned about the economics (whether pennies or million $s) need to maintain certain standards and these are the ones that need MG/MS stock. The NPIP directories list what the breeding flocks/hatcheries are certified for. We have distributed every year directories to each county office. I don't think there are many, if any, pure breed hatcheries certified to be MS/MG-free. Nevertheless, I agree that small flocks owners should be aware of what they are getting.
    Mike (Michael Opitz, prof UMO)

    Don is the Maine State Vet and Mike is a professor at the UMaine in Orono.
    I just would like you to say what you think, but also contact your own state's veterinarian with some of the same questions that I had answered. At the amount of people coming in on BYC, me included, saying my bird has a cold. We have a poultry club where all their birds have "colds" , they are not colds!!! I welcome your opinion.

    Links, my opinions on treatment and awareness, its bigger then we think!

    Here are a few links that may interest you:

    MS aka Mycoplasma Synoviae infection http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/99/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-ms-infectious-synovitis

    (My chicken has a Cold) Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection
    Newcastle Disease
    Infectious Coryza

    Hopefully these will help, all I did was search and gave you these links. Of course nothing can compare to a veterinarian's advice, yet most of us do not have that luxury and are looking for someone with good advice.
    Recently I was confronted with the firings of the use of Antibiotics, culling and all of that. Well, to MY knowledge, and I am not a pro or Vet, so please I only speak from my point of view and give you what I would do as in my flock I have untested MG at this point.
    For MG, CRD and many other conditions, these bacteria/virus' are permanent, antibiotics will not rid your flock of such recurring disease, so all you would be treating is the secondary infections. SO if my bird is coughing, clear, no odor sinus discharge, then I will let this run its course, even some wheezing. When the bird begins to slow down, act dumpy, shivering (fever/cold), I would treat with Terramycin or its generic Agrimycin Powder.
    Separate this bird and treat only the one bird, but, realize that once your birds have been exposed to these conditions, they are now contagious and will infect the remaining flock.
    Let me also mention that you can obtain these problems by bringing in new chicks from the hatchery, wild turkeys, hawks, and it can be already in the soil from previous chicken lovers.
    When we bring in commercial birds from the local auction, people that buy and sell birds, one bird is all it takes to contaminate your "bio-secure" area.
    There are just so many turns and twists in how to do this, that and the other. Some health issues cannot be removed from your property, so your best bet is to have birds inoculated before you bring them in for your own personal use.
    From what my Vet mentioned was that with Terramycin or generic equivalent it needs to be 30 days after your last dose for meat birds, and 50 days for selling or personal consumption. (personally from what I gather is that commercial feed is part Terramycin crumbles and how many eggs to they throw away?)
    So I do agree with the rule of thumb, do not use antibiotic until you absolutely have to. Place yourself in that birds place, is it uncomfortable enough to medicate?
    Some of these health issues you will never no you have them until it rears its ugly head, which is what happened to a fellow chicken lover that took birds to the local show. Brought them home, so proud until a short while later when her birds began to drop. Finding that after taking a bird to a local University to euthanize and necropsy a beloved bird. Mycoplasma Synoviae ran rampage through her show flock, loosing 50%.
    Sadly the incubation period for this particular condition went back to one show. Open bars, tight quarters and when there are no symptoms, just contagious...no more needs to be said other then it can be us next.
    The National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP) tested flocks does not mean a thing. False security. This program was designed to eradicate Pullorum and Typhoid. It has not been updated to test for some of these debilitating illness that are in today's world. We need to make changes, we need to relearn basic Bio-Security and write your States Veterinarian, you can find many ways, including your local vet that you have for your other animals, or online.
    Lets see if we can't better the poultry in USA, at this point many hatcheries are not testing their own birds for these conditions, spreading it through the ovum to the chick to us and our flocks. Upgrade NPIP, remember that only commercial birds are tested, certified and taken note to if testing positive. (thus we bring a commercial bird into a show...and everything they have had for immunizations is now what we have!)
    Thank you for reading this far, protect your flock, BE AWARE.

    1-7-09 Update

    Well, I received a call from the man that tests poultry in my area, he was given my name by the State Vet Dr. Hoenig. The testers name is Bill Morrison and a very informative guy! Needless to say, when I was extremely worried about the health of the poultry that we back yard folks own, the show birds , what to do and how. Interestingly, Bill claims that all poultry in the United States are positive for MS/MG and its something that is passed in wild life. The only way you can insure your birds to stay negative (once tested to know for 100%) is to keep them confined to a building with screen in the windows, not permit them from standing on the ground.
    Apparently the only bird that is negative are the turkeys that we bring in from a hatchery. For instance, in my yard, I have the layers and Bantams, they cough, sneeze and went through this at one point, mending with no antibiotics, yet, when I bring in meat birds, they only live 8 weeks, only allow them to live 8 weeks, not 9 or 10, they are meant to die. But turkeys that have not had their parents exposed to poultry, they have no immune system to fend off this tragic condition and will waste away and die. We do not want that.
    But, as for myself, I can bring new birds in, yet do I want to jeopardize my flock with something else that makes it through quarantine.
    If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in message or email. Hope you are having a good day.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, you know how I feel. I heard a year ago that some of the largest hatcheries, who shall remain nameless, are not free of these diseases. Scary thought, that. I will be over time allowing all my hatchery stock leave, either through natural causes or I will sell some of the few hatchery hens that I have. None here have ever shown signs of respiratory illness, thank goodness.
    If I could drum it into everyone's heads, I want them to understand, once and for all, that chickens are not mammals and do not get "head colds" like we do. We dont become permanent carriers of the "cold germ", able to infect others even when we seem well---chickens do this.
    Thank you for continuing to research this issue. We will all benefit from your findings.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Badhbh

    Badhbh Songster

    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    This is VERY distressing. I've been trying to figure out where the *&(@#*& this infection that I have came from. I still don't know what it is, but I thought it was CRD at first. Wow. So how do we find out which hatcheries are free?
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    You have to also remember that not all hatcheries are hatching eggs from their own flocks. They may have contracted out with breeders, who sell their eggs to the hatchery, who sells the chicks to you.
  5. spook

    spook Songster

    Mrs. Puff, that is true, never thought of that. I am glad to see that a few of you have read the lengthy letters. I have a whole poultry club to inform.
    I called my local Vet to fill him in on the details of this and like he had said (not quoted) that it was to bad its gotten this far and there really are no ways of getting rid of it.
    I have not had any more correspondence from the good people of Maine, but will continue in this search for truth.
    If any of you want to contact your State Vet with questions, he/she should be able to tell you who is MG/MS free. The other part of that request, how are you able to keep your home flock free of it? Screens like window screens to secure the area? I cannot do that, these birds deserve to be out and about, yet it was mentioned that these diseases are transported via chickadee, turkey, hawk, owl.
    Also, most hatcheries have a phone number available, ask if they test for the CRD/MS/MG, if they say no, ask if they can hatch you some disease free birds that you will have tested.
    I am unsure of the lab costs to test the birds. After the holidays I'll be looking into that, so hang in there with me. Discuss these illness' with as many folks as you can that own or don't own birds.
    Oh, and some types of mycoplasma can be passed to us. I am horrified by this as I have auto immune issues. A whole 'nother subject!!!
    So again, thank you for your replies, I appreciate the notes you left.
  6. spook

    spook Songster

    people are asking more often "cough, swollen eye and sneezing"
    Chicken do not get colds, they have CRD, MG or MS. It is contagious, and most of the hatcheries and private breeders have some of these diseases. Its become more prevalent in this country.

  7. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Quote:Interesting. We have the Nebraska Poultry Convention in February. I will be sure to ask about this
    Thank you for sharing your information

  8. spook

    spook Songster

    PLEASE BE AWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Birds that are bought at any public place or breeder has/may have been exposed to all types of diseases. If you purchase Commercial layers, you will be bringing a multitude of contagious diseases home to your birds. ILT, CRD, MG,MS etc are the vaccines these girls have, your birds have not, so the commercial bird will show no signs of illness, but your birds that are purists can/will die from these diseases and become carriers.
    Please just use your head when bringing any new bird onto your property, along with your shoes, clothes and grain bags etc.
    If you do purchase, place them in a different coop, not touching the soil, and always wear a different pair of shoes, dipped in bleach, new clothing and do the well birds first, then go to your "new birds" 2nd.
    BIO-SECURITY plllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeaaaase!

    (added)The one thing with vaccinating your birds (please do, but..) if you do not have these conditions prevalent in your area or your flock, you will be introducing some things that you may not want.
    Please let your vet know that Maine is also having these intolerable issues...but, how can you avoid them? Vaccinate, treat and yet if another bird, wild ones, pick it up, become carriers, then they have changed the disease and passed it on through their territory, creating a new condition. Ugh.
    The only way to create a Bio Secure area, and this is what we have got to do, protect our birds from the wilds, and the tame, just keep that area that you keep your birds in free from kids, cats, dogs and elephants if they live in your yard- ha ha
    Feel free to demand testing to incoming birds, its nuts, but it will prevent new birds from contracting, and old birds from becoming ill too.
    Please feel free to pass on anything I have written, dunno if its worth much, but its so important that we better our flocks and the future birds.
    Glad you know what you have, can treat and ignorance really is bliss!~just not realistic.
    Take care and good luck!

    PS- coughing, clear liquid from nasal passages, dumpy but will continue eating and active isn't always MG. It can be MS, CRD, etc.
    Follow my link and read about the Maine side of things, I did find a hatchery in Maine that can say they have never had any reports of illness in their birds. So hmmmm!
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  9. lesterlu

    lesterlu Songster

    Oct 26, 2008

    this is so depressing.

    please tell where the maine hatchery is. i am looking for two more birds, i had been planning to buy at the NE Poultry Congress in two weeks, but it would be nice to explore my options with someone on top of the issues here.

    you can pm me if you like.

    thanks for all of your hardwork.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  10. terrif

    terrif In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2008
    Warrensburg, MO
    Last week I learned that my girls and guys had something. I'm a new chicken owner with my first babies coming in October last fall. None of my birds came from a commercial hatchery. They all came from small breeders of what I believed to be special breeds/flocks. But, last week when two died, I had to figure out what was up. I gathered everybody up and handled each one by one. There were a few mites, which we sprayed for on the spot, and a few were 'chesty'. After reviewing some info on the web, I put them on Terramycin, via drinking water. If its CRD, I wanted it cleared up. I did it for everybody, since it appeared to be extremely contagious and they were all drinking from the same fountain.

    I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how the birds became sick. At least now it appears they may have 'come to me' with the disease and I didn't do anything to give it to them.

    Thank you for the info contained here. I've been scouring my state information for a vaccination schedule, etc., but have yet to find anything.


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