Continued battles with respiratory disease


5 Years
Jul 2, 2016
central Virginia
I introduced 2 new ducks to my mixed chicken and duck flock 5 months ago (after a 30 day total quarantine in the shed) and since then have had repeated bouts of respiratory disease in my chickens (never the ducks though). Runny goopy eyes, sneezing, gurgly breathing and decreased laying. I figure Mycoplasma, Pasteurella or both. I really need to get some birds tested though it won’t change what I do for treatment or management. I’ve treated the whole flock twice for 7 days with Tylan in the water, 2 months apart and keep housing and food/ water dishes clean with weekly disinfection. The worst affected got baytril pills directly by mouth. They do ok for a month then a few start having signs again, usually starting with the roosters. I have about 50 birds - 30 adult hens, 5 roosters and 15 chicks and teens. Does anyone have experience with this problem? Do you just live with it, cull the sick birds, total flock depopulation and start over? Some of the hens I’m ok with culling but I really really like my roosters and a number of the hens are special to me. Some of the birds never show signs of illness, perhaps they are resistant. I thought about splitting them into healthy and sickly flocks, not sure how my husband would feel about that though. I don’t really enjoy paying $50/week on feed and shavings to get 6-9 eggs/ day from 30 hens, or throwing eggs away for weeks at a time because of antibiotics. I’d love to hear other’s stories and advise. Thanks!


Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 27, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
If it did indeed come in with the ducks, that does limit which diseases it could be quite a bit, because ducks aren't affected and don't carry a lot of the respiratory diseases that chickens do.

I think you're right that it's mycoplasma. To confirm, you could could get testing through Zoologix and have them do their Respiratory Panel, the cost of which is $98.

MG doesn't ever go away, so the way to deal with it is to either close your flock, meaning no chicks, birds, eggs, anything going out, and no new birds in. You let your flock die off and then wait a month and start over. You also need to treat your birds every time they have a symptom flare up.

Option two is to cull all the birds, wait a month, and then start again.

If you decide to try option one, I'd suggest switching to Denagard to treat them, since it is very effective against mycoplasma.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Get some testing done to find out what disease(s) you are dealing with. MG is best treated with Tylan, oxytetracycline, or Baytril. Coryza can be similar but worse than MG, and is treated with sulfa antibiotics such as Bactrim and sulfadimethoxine. Close your flock to birds going in or out of your flock. Here is a good link to read about diseases and symptoms:

Your state vet might be able to do testing for less money, and they can also do a necropsy on a dead bird that has been refrigerated, not frozen. A national lab Zoologix can do a respiratory panel of tests on 3 swabs that you collect for about $95. Here is a list of state vets:

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