Whole flock infected

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Noelg, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Noelg

    Noelg Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2010
    K i posted with a sickRIR yesterday.

    been out to the coop this morning at least 5 more showing signs
    im gonna follow the suggestions on this one and fill in as much as i can

    1) What type of bird , age and weight. RIR,EE's 8 months old, silkies and 2 frizzled polish approx 7 months old

    2) What is the behavior, exactly. goopy eyes for most right now, some sneezing, My worst RIR eyes swollen, some clear nasal drainage.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? 1RIR 2 days, the rest 1 day to just now
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? yes
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.no,
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. We added silkie and polish after quarentine, hawk attack 5 days ago(we lost one silkie). Added bird netting to the top.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. All are on flock raiser with calcium available free feed. Cracked corn,BOSS assorted kitchen treats(apple pear pumpkin bread ends) a quick check... most are eating and wanting to be out in the run, cept for one that her eyes are so gooped up she cant see.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.Normal as far as i can tell, no blood ,no worm segments,nor whole worms

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? for the worst RIR, pulled out of group so i could ungoop her eyes and give supportive measures. Organic yogurt, duramicin-10 syringe fed and pedilyte.with one dose of baby vit during the day yesterday.
    (she seems a bit better this morning). I will be going back out to the coop to un-goop the rest so their eyes can open at least, add the baby poly vi sol to their water and start cleaning.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Its my whole flock of 19 in the yard and also now signs of it in my brooder in the garage with 6 approx 5 weeks old pullets. I am gonna have to treat myself.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. no pic at the moment, but i will get some on here.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    pine bedding,will be changing that out today just in case.

    We just had the first cold snap of the year here in michigan, sounds to me very much like the ms/mg, I though a cold as soon as i saw them, since chickens cant get head colds. this is what im leaning towards. All of the older girls come from our local tractor supply this past spring, my silks came from another backyard chicken member, and my 5 week old chicks are a combor of a my pet chicken order and yet another farm that i now know has questionable husbandry practices.
    Im new to all of this, and shocked at how fast this has gotten outta control. There seems to be nothing i can do for my chickens except supportive care. Should i sacrifice one to find out what is wrong? if they survive this will i ever be able to eat the eggs again? we give the eggs to family and friends, i dont want to get anyone sick.
    Ack! my joy of raising chickens factor just went from 10 to 2.

  2. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Sounds a lot like MG, which quarantine can often fail to discover. Birds that are carriers may show no symptoms at all, but be able to infect healthy ones once put in with the flock.

    A lot of meds are pretty worthless for it, IMO.
    Tylan 50 does a good job, baytril (but is Rx and costly), and Denagard. Actually, I'm liking Denagard a lot for it. It's off label in the US for poultry, but in other parts of the world it's used for prevention and treatment with no egg withdrawal. It's easy to use in the water (but some may have difficulty getting birds to drink the treated water at higher doses-- use sugar or honey to lessen the bitter taste) and it seems more effective than even Tylan or Baytril. It's not *cheap*, exactly (cost about $50 online order...the only place I could find it), but that's a bottle size that will last an average backyard flock 8-12 months depending or more if you use it as a monthly preventative for a few days each month... so, in that respect, it's kinda pricey to buy initially, but per dose cost is very low and it'll last you a LONG time.

    You have a few options. Cull the entire flock and start over after sanitizing and waiting an appropriate time (I'd say a few weeks at least to be safe) before repopulating with a clean flock.

    Cull only those that cannot get over it on their own... survivors very likely will still be carriers and infect healthy birds.

    Or treat them all, knowing they are infected carriers and will be contagious to all healthy birds...AND may 'relapse' when stressed. (molt, extreme heat/cold/other stresses)
    They may not show symptoms again...but it's possible.
    It can be transmitted via egg to chick...but this is a lessor possibility than direct exposure.
    No live bird should leave your property to prevent infecting healthy birds in other flocks.
    Any birds you bring in will be infected, too. (Again, where Denagard preventative/treatment can be helpful)

    It isn't contagious to people at all, and after any medication you use, eggs can be eaten after the called for withdrawal period. Usually 14 days unless you use a medication that has no withdrawal period. Once your birds are over the initial infection (acute stage), they won't appear sick/infected and unless they 'relapse' with symptoms again at some point in the future, you won't know they are carriers. They will be seemingly healthy.

    If you don't want to cull all... then I'd highly suggest Denagard as treatment then monthly preventative. (3-5 days (or up to a week) each month) QC supply (online) has it for $49.95 (that includes shipping) and they get it out fast.
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I agree with ND. It sounds like MG and even if they recover, they will be carriers. If all you want is a flock of chickens as pets and eggs, then treat your flock, cull the ones that don't improve and enjoy your chickens. The eggs and meat are safe to eat because MG is not zoonotic.

    If you wanted to show your birds or raise chicks to sell or sell any birds in the future, you should cull and start over. Any that get over the MG will be carriers for life - hens can pass it to their eggs, so you'd have a responsibility to close your flock and do what you can to make sure it doesn't spread through you.

    I went a round with MG almost 2 years ago and I chose to cull and start over. Ever since, I have never bought a started chick or adult bird from anyone. In my case, I bought birds at a swap and I quarantined them and they never showed signs of illness, but when I released them with my exsisting flock, all of mine got MG from them. It was a devastating lesson, now if I want more chickens, I buy hatching eggs or buy chicks from a reputable hatchery.
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    If you choose to treat, I've heard you can get good results from Tylan-50 injectable or LS-50 water soluable antibiotics. LS-50 was designed to treat MG and MS in chicks. If you're treating a whole flock, I'd probably choose a water soluable drug.

    Also wanted to mention, our state vet did the testing for free and I didn't need to sacrifice a bird - they did a saliva swab and blood draw on living chickens. You should be able to find your state vet through your state's Dept of Agriculture.
  5. Noelg

    Noelg Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2010
    Great [​IMG]
    this whole thing makes me sick, The ones i have brought in arnt showing nearly the severity of my older girls,
    It doesnt matter if i cull the ones that are showing sickness,...very single one is now infected at this point? Im gonna look for state vet to do the swab.

    Hubby says we are not culling them all till we have a firm answer.
    thanks for the info, i was just hoping you all would say something else,something curable....
  6. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    The ones you brought in either won't get sick OR if they 'relapse' and show symptoms, they should be much more mild... any 'relapses' due to stresses are usually much more mild. The initial 'acute' stage, when they are first infected, is generally much more severe.

    All have definitely been exposed. Morbidity is usually high (most exposed birds will be infected but incubation can be SLOW moving, some strains incubating 6-21 days...so a bird may not appear sick for quite awhile after actual infection), mortality, depending on the strain of MG, is usually very low to nil.

    It's nothing curable, even if it isn't MG... they will be carriers at least. (otherwise, the seemingly healthy birds you introduced wouldn't have infected them with whatever it is!)

    Testing is up to you, of course. The outcome changes little, IMO. Your birds have been infected with a disease that remains as a carrier status. (obvious from being infected by seemingly healthy carriers of it) IF you wish to breed for selling, sell hatching eggs, or anything else where a bird leaves your property, culling the entire flock and sanitizing and waiting a bit is the responsible thing to do. IF they are just pets/for eggs... treating them IS entirely fine and once 'recovered' and moved into carrier status, you likely won't know they're infected. (except for the risk of possible flareups/relapses of mild symptoms. May or may not happen)

    If you plan to show, the responsible thing to do is make sure you have a clean bird... HOWEVER, the stats aren't good that a show bird will remain clean when exposed to so many birds at shows. IMO, show birds should NEVER be reintroduced to a healthy flock... they should have distant separate housing with strict bio-security between the individuals. It's pretty much not IF your birds will become infected (with something) in a showing type situation but WHEN and with WHAT. Because it's impossible to tell if a bird is a carrier, without required testing and strict bio-security, show birds ARE going to be exposed to....everything. If a bird leaves your property, even to show, it should NOT return to a healthy flock.

    MG is extremely prevalent in backyard flocks. Completely unnoticed or unknown by many owners. Keeping a flock clean can be done with strict bio-security... never bringing in a live bird UNLESS from a good hatchery as day olds or by hatching eggs is preferable. There is some threat from wild birds, though... which can infect your flock despite your biosecurity. Probably not a high risk, but certainly there...

    Basically, what it comes down to is WHAT is your goals for your flock. Selling chicks, birds and hatching eggs? Even showing? The responsible thing is to cull every single bird, sanitize, and wait several weeks before repopulating with a clean flock (hatching eggs or day old chicks only)

    If they're just for your personal enjoyment and eggs/meat? There's no compelling reason to cull birds that can recover to carrier status if they will remain on your property.

    But ultimately, it doesn't matter WHAT they test positive for really. Obviously, you have a carrier status disease infecting them based on the sickness happening after introduction of new birds AND because the carriers are showing the least severe symptoms now, too. They're just in a mini-relapse because of the stress of the move/introduction and probably because of the weather stress at the same time combined with the high shedding of the virus that's going on with the rest of the flock.
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    I went a round with MG almost 2 years ago and I chose to cull and start over. Ever since, I have never bought a started chick or adult bird from anyone. In my case, I bought birds at a swap and I quarantined them and they never showed signs of illness, but when I released them with my exsisting flock, all of mine got MG from them. It was a devastating lesson, now if I want more chickens, I buy hatching eggs or buy chicks from a reputable hatchery.

    Like stated in above post, the trouble is that not all infected birds will show symptoms.

    I realy can think of much of a way to sort out the carriers. Maybe by setting up quarantine groups and using new sacraficial birds from a MG free source exposed to each quarantine group, but that would take a huge effort and if quarantine was not very strict it might be all for not anyway. Likely getting a bird tested will be worth while to know exactly what you are dealing with.

    Given MG can pass through egg I guess even getting gatching eggs from here and there is a risk. That makes it tough up here to get much flock variety. Reputable hatcheries within a reasonable drive here give only a choice of production RIR, BR, WLH, sex links and a few rock crosses.​
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  8. Noelg

    Noelg Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2010
    ok color me confused....

    Just got home from work and went out to check on the girls, the RIR that seemed so terribly sick yesterday, eyes red,swollen and nasal drainage, has improved considerably in the 7 hours i have been gone.

    Her eyes have gone down quite a bit,not gooped up anymore, she is wondering, eating and drinking. Do they recover from MG this quickley?

    Im gonna do more reading yet tonight, try to find a vet that can do a swab or blood draw and then take it from there, I was under the impression that this chronic phase with newly infected birds would have a much longer recovery rate then 2 days and their on the mend.
    Thanks all for the info, im gonna continue to read and learn, in the morning i will take a pic of the worst one i can find and send it here

  9. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    OK.. a rookie question I know....but what the heck is MG ?????

  10. Noelg

    Noelg Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2010
    MG Mycoplasma Gallisepticum
    GS is mycoplasma Synoviae
    and MM is mycoplasma meleagridis

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