I might have mycoplasma, am I screwed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by brothfeder, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys,

    I'm a young farmer that had dreams of starting a small poultry breeding operation as a side job. I spent hundreds of dollars collecting the breeds I wanted to focus on. I'm about to apply for a microloan to expand my facilities. Well, as soon as the weather dropped I noticed some sneezing in the flock. I don't notice any discharge, but two Sumatras (that didn't even seem sick) died within a short period. I have not wormed my flock yet, but I dusted them for lice last week.

    From all my reading if a chicken starts to sneeze, its usually some kind of mycoplasma. Did I just waste all my savings? Am I out of the business? You have no idea what this has done to my morale, I feel horrible.

    On the other hand these mycoplasma infections seem so common and are hardly a serious threat to the flock. I'm noticing a lot of non NPIP breeders on backyard chickens/online that seem professional. They MUST be spreading this around like crazy. What do you all think? What should I do?
     
  2. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I apologize for the multiple posts. I did more research and many people say cull your birds. But the facts seem to say that most backyard flocks have this disease, and if they are showbirds - forget about it, they have it. Poultry shows are a mjaor avenue that spreads this disease. So another question to you breeders is, if I were buying your eggs/chicks could you promise me they don't have Mycoplasma?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  3. Renee97038

    Renee97038 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I looked into MG free certification and it's one of the tests that is optional with the NPIP certified flock. So, unless they have that test any NPIP flock can have MG, one of the most common Mycoplasma diseases. MG doesn't usually kill healthy birds but it does pass on the disease to the baby chicks through the hens eggs so you never get rid of it unless you cull your flock and clean up and wait a while before beginning again. But, my vet didn't recommend culling my flock because she believes MG is so widespread that your new flock will probably get it too eventually. I was just like you, devastated when I found out my flock got infected. I had brought in some new birds from an NPIP breeder and even though I did a 30 day separation from my flock they still brought in the disease. Time will tell if my birds remain healthy or if they will get symptoms yearly. A few of my flock had symptoms of eye secretions, sinus draining and head shaking. Others got just a sneeze and shook their head a bit, sinus drainage. I now have a closed flock, no selling chicks or giving away my older layers. I think other farms just ignore having it and pass birds around to others without guilt. I am not one of those people. It's interestong to hear that yours happened just after dusting your flock. Mine did too, within 3 1/2 weeks of using pyrinthins dust is when the first MG symptom came in. I've had chickens over 20 years and never dusted them before. I told the vet that too and she thought it was a coincidence. Now I wonder since it happened to you too.

    Have you had your flock swabed and tested already?
     
  4. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excuse me if this post is confusing, I don't use forums much and I don't think I got the quote system down. The bold is all Renee's writing.
    Quote:
     
  5. Renee97038

    Renee97038 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Swab testing for MG should be done when a bird is displaying symptoms. My vet did it below the eye near the sinuses. Then there is another test done later by blood test that isn't used until at least 2 weeks after symptoms begin and up to 3 months later. The blood test checks for antibodies. This test would tell you if your bird will be a carrier for life I am told. Our state University Lab does this test for just a few dollars per bird but you need to have a blood draw done by a local vet to send in to the University. I have not done that since I don't plan to sell any of my flock.
     
  6. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday i spoke to a vet at the Cornell animal hospital. She agrees with you that swab testing is only for birds with symptoms. However, according to her blood testing is always reliable regardless of how long ago they were sick barbecue they are looking for antibioties, which should be present in a carrier.
     
  7. Bristow

    Bristow Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2014
    Im in a boat right next to yours. My current flock is almost a year old, no issues at all. A few months ago I added some barred rock and silky pullets. They lived in my house for 30 days then in an isolated coop for 30 days then introduced to the flock. About 2 weeks ago now a dog mosied over and had a go at all of birds and killed most of them. Of the 8 left 3 started sneezing 2 days after the attack and then 1 of the 3 went into respiratory distress and died. I took that one to a diagnostic lab and while I awaited results started all on an antibiotic. The results came back as mycoplasma.
    So..... Cull or keep? 8 out of 10 people have told me to cull and start over. But I've been told it's carried silently by up to 90% of birds and my flock could have got it from a wild bird. My flock is closed and purely for my enjoyment and I can't justify just killing them when they all responded and are doing so well. All of my birds went through the appropriate quarantine process after being purchased from reputable breeders. so I literally don't know where the hell it came from.
     
  8. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well,,, since you aren't selling eggs/chicks so I say keep them. As long as you practice basic biosectury (clean neighbors equipment and yourself) there is LITTLE harm. I spoke to a Cornell vet and she confirmed what I thought be true. Wild turkeys and regular birds like sparrows are carriers. These birds visit my operation regularly (my run in large, but fenced in). So whats to stop MG from coming back after If I cull my all extensive, rare genetics? The breeders I bought from were all NPIP cert, but not for MG (yes, it is true you can get MG from a NPIP cert flock). All NPIP breeders are listed state by state and what they have NPIP cert for. Click this link.

    http://www.poultryimprovement.org/statesContent.cfm

    It seems to me that MG is in most small flocks, maybe we should be testing for more serious diseases...
     
  9. Bristow

    Bristow Out Of The Brooder

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    It's just hard to believe that this disease is so prevalent yet there isn't a true vaccine for it? I've always heard the vaccine available just lessens the symptoms? And doesn't actually protect new birds? I could be wrong?
     
  10. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    According to Cornell there ARE vaccines, however they are expensive and only economically practical for huge operations where an outbreak CANNOT be tolerated. I can't testify to how effective they are. What I can say is that I've worked as a Vet TECH. The one Dr. I worked for recommended feline FIV vaccines for any outdoor cat or non-infected cat living with a positive one. The business was bought out by a younger Vet who was more current. He said feline FIV vaccines (on average) are only 50 percent effective! Sometimes is depends who you ask and the brand of vax, but no vaccine we gave out was 100 percent.

    In case anyone cares, I suspect I may just have a "chicken cold" in my flock. I'm just not seeing the advanced symptoms of MG, newcastle, or anything of the like. In humans there are over 200 viruses that cause the human cold. So when a chicken comes down with a 'cold' is responsible (but not absolute) to say it could be many things. I'm still having NPIP over ASAP however. Got to be safe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014

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