No culling keeping a flock positive with Mycoplasma

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shaneensmith, May 16, 2019 at 2:12 AM.

  1. shaneensmith

    shaneensmith Chirping

    Nov 26, 2018
    Quesnel, BC
    I had a cream legbar hen drop dead on me...on a Thursday so could not even send it fresh enough for a necropsy and I refuse to kill a cream legbar on a Monday for a necropsy.

    I foolishly took in some birds from a friend (never again will I do that). Pretty sure my precious cream legbars are infected with Mycoplasma (i am unsure if its gallisepticum or synoviae) in any case its a Mycoplasma.

    I quarantined for 30 days when i got these birds.

    I noticed a bird sneeze. Removed it from the group.

    Then found a cream legbar dead a few days later (unsure if this situation is related)

    I REMOVED ALL birds from my "friend" away from my cream legbars.

    i have 3 (of my friends birds) that are visibly sneezing one has coughed and 2 have noticeable rattled breathing but u can only hear at night when sleeping and one has small eye bubbles barley noticeable) I am slaughtering them tomorrow obviously. It's a shame because they lay eggs DAILY!!! and overall seem very happy.

    Next question is. Obviously it's too late my cream legbars have Mycoplasma. So now what? Do i KILL ALL birds? And my cream legbars? OR can I have a flock positive with mycoplasma live out their lives happy on my farm? Is having Mycoplasma Positive hens a major investment? They r all laying and I've raised them since 3 days old.

    If i treat often (low dose) with tetracycline how long is the withdrawal? I keep reading mixed info on withdrawl times. I sell eggs so if i would be constanlty treating sick birds and withdrawals are 30 days.l snd i have to treat often...i might as well slaughter them all they will be of no use.

    To kill them all or to keep them all? But slaughter the obvious sickies....

    So my question is. Should i keep my Mycoplasma Positive birds? Or just OFF them all??
  2. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

    Feb 22, 2019
    Western WA
    You don't have to kill them if you don't want to (your friends birds included). Treating with antibiotics will get them back to normal. Won't be cured, but should still have good lives.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 4:27 AM
  3. Missythechickenlady

    Missythechickenlady Chirping

    Sep 12, 2018
    Yes you shouldn't cull them. How to you even know that it is Mycoplasma? Are you just assuming based on 1 death? There could be many other reasons and if your unsure or cannot have them tested I would see how everything goes. Just watch them all even your friends bird because of you just cull all you will not know. So if you plan on culling all anyway just let them go together and if they start other symptoms or die then cull. But don't just cull without knowing. Birds die for many reasons. So if it were me if you plan to cull anyway what's the point of separating and then culling. If you keep them together and watch for other symptoms and death then you know you have to cull.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Only a necropsy of your sickest bird will tell exactly what you're dealing with. Then you can treat or cull accordingly.
  5. shaneensmith

    shaneensmith Chirping

    Nov 26, 2018
    Quesnel, BC
    I know. The bird died on a Thursday and i live in Quesnel BC and have to SHIP the body courier to Abbotsford!! And not one courier company moves stuff on weekends...ugh!

    I defiantly have 3 birds that have respiratory issues. Rattled breathing...snot...eye bubbles.

    Just last night went to the coop listening to my birds and another cream legbar has raspy flemmy sounding breathing.

    Of the 3 chickens that have rattled breathing and sneezing their ankles look knobby....i believe that is a sign of mycoplasma synovie from what I've read online. I am wondering if i should just get rid of those ones?

    Maybe i am stressing too much about this.
  6. GaryDean26

    GaryDean26 Chicken Czar

    Dec 22, 2011
    McAlester, OK
    My Coop
    In 2014 I got Mycoplasma Synoviae in my flock. We took birds in for necropsy and were advised that the low cost test would only test the blood for the antibody to the Mycoplasm so all it could tell is if the bird had ever been exposed to the mycoplasm but could tell if the mycoplasm was still in the bird or if it had been able to rid the Mycoplasm. There is a higher cost test they required a scraping to be taken from the respiratory track and cultured. That test it required if you want to know if a bird has got rig of the Mycoplasma completely (again rare).

    Yes, there are a dozen medications out there for respiratory illnesses. None of them are strong enough to be very effective at getting rig of mycoplasma. They help suppress the mycoplasma but it usually stays in the bird. Mycoplasm if extremely difficult to rid fro a flock. Outside a host it can only survive for about 4 days so if you depopulate (kill) your flock you can clean it up very quickly. In a commercial flock Mycoplasma is not tolerated. It will lead to a slight reduction in utilities. When your profit margins are 3% and you lose 1% of you egg production that cut 33% into your earning. That is a huge deal for commercial farmers. If you have a back yard flock and your production goes down a few percents you might not even notice it. Many backyard flocks live with Mycoplasm. It is generally not lethal. It, however, weakens the birds and makes it susceptible to secondary infections. The secondary infections are where most of the losses come with MG or MS positive flocks.

    We had MS hit our flock towards the end of the Summer of 2014. We decided to cull everything that shows any signs of respiratory illness or any other weakness. The 140 Juveniles were hit the harders. We ended up culling about 80-85% of them. We had 4 plus some cross breeds and some breed took a lot more loses than others. The mature breeding stock over 2 years old only had about 15-20% losses. We culled pretty much daily for 2-3 months then we stopped seeing any signs of the Mycoplasma. Note: We didn't medicate anyone in the flock with anything. Some birds were resistant the Mycoplasm and others weren't We selected breeding groups from those that never showed any signs of illness or weakness. In the spring we collected eggs for three weeks. We then treated the eggs with a strong solution that would kill the mycoplasm. We then threated the eggs a second with heat to make sure we were though. The heat method required the eggs to get up to 118 deg F if I remember correctly we put them in the incubator for 17 hours (again if I remember correction) at something like 118 degrees F to get the egg temperature to the internal temperature required to kill the MS. Bot the heat method and the stong solution indicated that hatch rates would be about 10-20% low due to the treatment. I think out hatch rate was something around 15% We had set a few hundred eggs though so we had something to work with. We raised the chicks away from the mature flock and then let the mature flock go and started over the new group on clean ground. We never tested the new batch for MS/MG but I am confident that we got it all. Unfortunately, it is still a struggle to keep the flock clean. We show birds at local fairs and APA shows, free range our birds, outside, have other chicken owners to our farm, bring in new stock, etc so even after cleaning the line it can come back a few years later and you are right back to where you started. If you are going to live with MS/MG in your flock you can. If you want to clean it up then following something like what we did is recommended. You typically depopulate, clean all the pens with oxine, let them sit empty for 2 weeks then bring in new birds.

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