Testing your chickens for mycoplasma

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amaugans, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. amaugans

    amaugans Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone ever do blood tests on your chickens to see what they may have or have been in contact with- disease wise. (Like mycoplasma)

    I got a rooster that was sickly. On purpose because I fell in love with him and I wanted to fix him. I'm a sucker for those.... so I took him to the vet where we did a blood test for salmonella, and multiple different mycoplasma tests. The rooster came back positive for one of the mycoplasmas that is basically an upper respiratory agent ... this may or may not ever cause him problems. He can pass it along to other chickens." - which those other chickens may or may not ever have symptoms from it.

    It's the May- or may not that gets me.

    Should I never put him around any other chickens just because of this??
    Should I test my other chickens to see if they're positive too- then if so they can all live together?
    Should I be testing every single chicken I get, along with a 30day quarantine?

    I want to one day breed heritage breeds. If I knowingly have a chicken that had this mycoplasma- is it responsible of me to be breeding birds ?

    Aye aye aye.........
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Many avian diseases can be carried, and spread, asymptomatically.
    Only when a birds overall health decreases, due to stress, poor nutrition, or exposure to other diseases, might these diseases 'bloom' and become debilitating or fatal.

    I believe that many are very common and if we all had the access, resources, and inclination to test our birds like you have, we might be rather alarmed..... and overreact by treating all with antibiotics for the bacterial caused ones, which IMO would not be a good thing at all. In the long run these things are really controllable, you can't kill all the 'bugs', just keep immune systems healthy with good basic care.

    I do not bring any new birds into my flock for this reason, except a few hatchery chicks and chicks hatched here from my own stock. But my birds are not pets, they are for food. If they get sick they get euthanized.
     
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  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    If your new bird has either of the mycoplasma organisms that cause illness in poultry, and he hasn't yet been on your property, don't bring him home! I tested many of my birds a couple of years ago, and they were negative for those diseases. I plan to keep it that way! Only birds hatched here, or from good hatcheries, come onto my property. Ever. Having a chronic illness that can't be eliminated without killing all your birds, and starting over, isn't worth the life of one sick bird. Let any guilt fall on the previous owner, not on you for protecting your birds at home. Mary
     
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  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    This is my take:

    Mycoplasma is a contagious respiratory illness that has no cure. It can be "managed" IF you are planning on having a closed flock. This means that no birds leave your property. Yes, some birds may show signs of illness (have symptoms) while other may never show any sign of illness. The whole flock is considered carriers. Mycoplasma is transmitted both vertically and horizontally. This means it can be transferred from bird to bird and transovarian (transmitted into eggs that are laid).

    Responsibility of breeding:

    IF you plan on having birds for your own pleasure, then you could breed within the flock, just keep in mind that all birds stay on your property and die on your property (all in/all out). You will need to have very good biosecurity plan in place and practice it religiously.

    IF you plan on ever selling/giving away hatching eggs, chicks, started pullets or adult chickens in any way it is very irresponsible. Knowling doing any of these things would be unethical IMHO.
    You need to do some reading and research and do some sound educated thinking about your long and short term goals. If there is ever a possibility your breeding plan includes birds leaving your property, then you really need to think about culling, sanitizing, going through a waiting period and starting over with "disease-free" birds. This is something you don't want to knowingly spread to other chicken owners.

    The may and may nots are just a part of life - we encounter them in almost everything we do everyday. Taking ownership and doing the right thing is part of good animal husbandry, not just passing it along.

    I agree with the aart and folly's place a lot of informed chicken owners are very cautious about sourcing new birds, either by hatching their own or acquiring through reputable hatcheries. Not all will be perfect, but less chance of illness that way. The unsuspecting and those who take your word are the ones that usually pay for it in $$ and heartache.

    Just my opinion.

    Here's some info to get your research started:
    http://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/files/201395.pdf

    Info on quarantine and bio-security:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2016/08/biosecurity-for-backyard-chickens.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/quarantine-of-backyard-chickens-why-and.html
    https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/tips.html
     
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  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It may seem cold hearted, but I would never intentionally bring a sick chicken into my flock. I have too much invested in the chickens I have to expose them to a sick bird - especially when that bird has a chronic illness. I'm with Aart - sick chickens are culled from my flock.
     
  6. amaugans

    amaugans Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for your input. I really do appreciate it.

    My sick rooster is completely quarantined.

    The sad and scary part to me about all of this is that this rooster was bought at the Ohio national poultry show.....

    He is loving life and seems healthy/happy now. I do love him and will make sure he has a good home. But after reading all of your posts so far - it will not be with my chickens.

    I felt in my heart that the best and right thing to do is have my birds tested. Knowingly putting a positive bird with others did not feel right to me. BUT I did not know if I was just over reacting...
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Are you going to give him to someone else?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  9. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here in nh none are clear of mycoplasma but some exhibitors who went to the show might be and thus the reason you should let the show organizers know
    There are many mycoplasma clean npip breeders in some areas, though I suspect those that are maybe don't show to avoid risk
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Passing him on to someone else is a very bad idea!!! And how 'isolated' is he, really? Separate building, downwind 100' or more? Completely different garments and booties out there? I'd never think that I could isolate a bird here, and wouldn't ever try. Mary
     

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