OTC Antibiotic treatment options for Mycoplasma


Jun 13, 2020
Virginia, USA
(Please skip to second paragraph for the actual question, if you don’t want to read about my whining situation …)

So, my flock has been sneezing for a little while now, with some hens sounding congested sometimes. No nasal or eye discharge or eye bubbles. Maybe a little wetness around the nares. No facial swelling. I did have three hens die (may be connected also with the awful heat and they were large foot-feathered breeds), as well as one cockerel about three months old. The juveniles are mainly separated, but still plenty of chance for indirect contact. The juveniles showed no symptoms except an occasional sneeze. I had not figured out yet, or timing was off, that I could mail a whole body for necropsy to the state lab until after the deaths. Well, the last one I could have, but there was already fly eggs inside her closed mouth and sorry, but not putting that in my fridge til next day. Anyway, talked to state lab and was able to send off oropharageal samples from up to five birds for mycoplasma PCR. Results came back very promptly- positive for MG and MS. Very frustrating, as I am not going to “depopulate”, especially because the infection could have from a myriad of different sources, many of which I have no control over and basically if I were to start from scratch the new chooks would probably get infected anyway. And they are kind of pets too, so no. Also read that mycoplasma in backyard chickens is not monitored or tracked in any way, but is estimated to be in at least 50-60% of backyard flocks in the US, if not more. A small part of me is regretting finding out rather than staying in blissful ignorance, because I can’t in good conscience rehome the extra pullets I have this year …

ANYWAY, main question - I would like to treat with an antibiotic. I give away the majority of my eggs to a local food bank, as well as family and friends. The only antibiotics FDA approved for laying hens in the US is Aureomycin and Duracin (both chlortetracycline). These are by prescription only. I have a non-avian vet that is willing to get a prescription for me, but it MUST be approved for laying hens. These antibiotics come in 50 lb bags, not sure the cost, and dosage is 100-300 GRAMS per TON of feed. Completely not reasonable for my situation. Just to note, as perhaps someone may be thinking it - Tylan has 1 day withdrawal in meat birds only, not FDA approved for layers at all. I am personally okay with following egg withdrawal times for medications that are approved in other countries such as Australia, UK, and Canada, as I have no reason to believe that their regulating bodies have not done due diligence. BUT I would need to be able to get it OTC in the US. Also to note, it would be very difficult to administer meds to each individual bird. Not impossible but very very difficult for me. Is there anything available for me that does not require a prescription but has an established egg withdrawal somewhere reputable?? Thanks so much for any input!


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida

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