Mycoplasma in new flock of pullets? Contaminated breeder?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by geowoman, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. geowoman

    geowoman Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Magnolia, TX
    Hi there - Three weeks ago I purchased my first flock of 7 pullets (2 leghorns, 1 RIR, 4 Americauna/EEs), ranging in ages from 12-16 weeks, from what seemed to be a reputable breeder. At the time, my girls all appeared healthy and happy with bright eyes and clean vents, etc. 48 hrs after bringing them home my first chicken fell ill (named Liz Lemmon). She was roosting all day, had one eye closed and developed a wart-like growth on her open eye. I put her in quarantine and spoke with the breeder, who said immediately that it was mycoplasma and sort of insinuated that *I* had brought it on by letting my children be too crazy and chase the chickens (which they most certainly did not) and it was all from undue stress. She also said it was no big deal, that the chicken would get over it, but that I could give her antibiotics if I wanted.

    After talking to some feed store people, the breeder again, and looking on the forum I opted to get Tylan soluble for Liz Lemmon as she was still drinking. (Yes, I probably should have purchased the injectable, but what's done is done.) Soon after, I noticed bubbles in the eyes of my RIR. Off she went to quarantine with Liz, who was happy for the company. I freaked a little, decided my whole flock must be carriers for mycoplasma, and were just waiting to exhibit symptoms, so everyone got a 3 day round of Tylan in their water, along with vitamins and electrolytes. Liz and my RIR recovered well, I kept them together for another week, and just reintroduced them to the others 5 days ago. (My decision was/is to keep a closed flock rather than to cull, sterilize, and start over, mostly because my 2 and 4 year old girls picked these 7 out as their pets.)

    Everything has been going swimmingly, until today. My 19 week old black americauna, Maya, started looking droopy. Her tail is down and she's lethargic. She's eating and scratching with the group, although not as much, but would sit and close her eyes on occasion, which is not like her. I inspected her for mites and any other sign of illness. Her eyes looked fine, no bubbles, no sign of a respiratory infection (although Liz never exhibited those symptoms either). Her vent is clean and there are no signs of mites. I put her in quarantine tonight so that I can inspect her poop in the morning.

    Should I assume that this is mycoplasma, that perhaps she was NOT a carrier as I had believed, and picked it up from Liz or the RIR who I introduced this week? I already gave Maya the Tylan soluble in her water tonight, as I can't imagine what else this could be, and I'd rather nip it in the bud. Is that hasty? I'm absolutely not a big fan of antibiotic use, but I just don't know what to do.

    The breeder offered to replace the sick chickens... with more mycoplasma-carrying chickens?? Live and learn, I suppose.

    If I am to maintain a closed flock of myco-carrying birds, do I put them in quarantine as they get sick and administer Tylan for the three days, then reintroduce? I can't imagine that I should give a prophylactic dose in the water to the others?

    Any help would be great! I can't believe how much I've already learned in three weeks. :)
    [​IMG]

    (I've added a picture of Maya, the black one, looking droopy and Liz's odd eye growth from a few weeks ago.)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Since you purchased all your birds at once, unknowingly to you they had mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG.) It only takes one bird to easily spread the disease thoughout a flock. Too late for quarantine; survivors will be carriers for life, maintain a closed flock and treat them accordingly or cull them. Stress will bring out the symptoms, example; you brought them home and placed them into a new living environment that they were unfamiliar with. It sounds like the breeder KNEW they had the disease and was pushing the blame onto you and your children...that is a false accusation. Birds with MG is a big deal and they never get over it.
    If in fact it's MG, I recommend that you continue with the tylan, however your birds will eventually build resistance to the tylan. Consider purchasing Denagard from QC Supply, Denagard specifically treats mycoplasma diseases.
    There is an initial treatment dose of 16cc's per gallon of water for 3-5 days, then a monthly preventative dose of 8cc's per gallon of water once a month for 3-5 days for the rest of the their lives.
     
  3. geowoman

    geowoman Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Magnolia, TX
    Hi - Thanks so much for your response. Unfortunately, I came home this morning to find Maya dead. It was much quicker with her than with the other two. Now I get to discuss mortality with my 2 and 4 year olds.

    This makes me very angry that this breeder is selling sick chickens. Should I be? How common is it for breeders to carry MG? I want to know if my outrage is founded.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Sorry you lost Maya. I understand your frustration. Lesson learned and time to move on. I havnt dealt with breeders, the majority of my birds have been hatchery birds.
     

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