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#11193 - 02/13/04 02:06 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Mycoplasma has a high mortality in turkeys, but not in chickens. I can't remember, but I think MG is found in both chickens and turkeys. I really can't remember, but at least one of the two infects both.

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#11194 - 02/13/04 02:12 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Raven Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
Thank you, Dr. Okimoto. As ever- the voice of reason and science.
If I lose these birds- I'm out of poultry, period. They are pets, not livestock. (in my case)

I've kept no eggs, will do no hatching-- I understand "it's all or nothing", and there's the rub-- there are chicks here I'm simply not willing to kill. (yet) If my dog has a disease, I try to treat it, not destroy him.

This isn't a virus- it's a "weird" bacterium, having properties of both virus and bacteria- but still it's a bacteria, right? (Correct me if I'm wrong here?)
Doesn't that mean we should have the ability to treat it chemically, to a certain extent? It's not like Feline Leukemia, if it were it would be a no-brainer-- a virus we cannot cure or control.

I know "intellectually" that you, Croston, spur, Caveny, and others are right. I do. Just tell that to my emotions... this is really hard for the uninitiated, unprepared. I only found out yesterday- so there's still a huge amount for my little mind to take in frown

We do not have an NPIP program in this province of Canada that I'm aware of- but I didn't realize mycoplasma testing wasn't required in the US states where you do have these programs. That surprises me.

I won't repopulate because-- a) there's probably not a breeder in this province who does not have this problem, & b) there's no way in Hell I'm going thru the heartache twice. I'm done if this doesn't work.

But now, for the next 5 days while waiting for Guelph to give me a definative 2nd answer, I wait, and hope. I can give them these 5 days, knowing I did at least "something", even if it's futile.
Thanks again, everyone.
Raven

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#11195 - 02/13/04 03:39 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I read off of a university web site that the estimates are that 80% of backyard flocks are mycoplama positive. Now I know a lot of backyard chicken owners are like me. I only purchase hatching eggs or day old chicks (never adult birds). There are no other chicken farms super close to me. I don't go to shows or sales. I have no friends who visit that own chickens. I've never had a serious disease outbreak of anything, but I do have birds that sneeze from time to time with no other symptoms. My birds free range during the summer months. I don't sell any live birds to anyone. I have wild birds all over....starlings, barn swallows in the barns that don't have chickens, house sparrows, etc.

I would not be at all surprised if my flock were mycoplasma positive. Would I cull? Probably not. Why? I think the chance of disinfecting my buildings and dirt runs (how do you disinfect OLD OLD OLD buildings with wood siding and cracks and crevices galore?) and keeping my birds totally unexposed to wild birds is ZERO. So the chance of reinfection is VERY high. I would cull any symptomatic birds.

Why kill asymptomatic birds if a new flock will become just as easily reinfected?

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#11196 - 02/13/04 03:58 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Mycoplasma is a weird bacteria that has developed a method to avoid the animals immune system. Other pathogens like the common cold are detected and removed, but mycoplasma seems to just keep on infecting the host at a sub lethal level. It is thought that it may have immune suppression activity and that this may be the reason that infected birds can develop other diseases more easily.

You can treat it with powerful antibiotics. We used Baytril, but this was 5 or 6 years ago. In the US they do not use Baytril on poultry anymore. It is a special antibiotic (a flouroquinoline) that they do not want resistance to develop. We tried another flouroquinoline (Saraflox?), but it didn't clear the mycoplasma. Baytril is being reserved for human use and I think that vets can still use it on pets. Unless you can isolate your birds on clean facilities for a while (I don't know how long this is) They will just get reinfected after you stop the antibiotics.

Once you clear the infection it might be transmitted by wild birds, but as long as you don't let people with fresh poultry manure on their boots on your property you have a good chance of staying clean. It is probably transmitted by bird droppings and body fluids.

A lot of people do it, but it isn't wise to mix chickens and turkeys. Turkeys seem to be susceptible to chicken diseases. They will die from black head while a chicken can survive, and mycoplasma can kill turkeys. I'd bet that most backyard flocks are mycoplasma positive, esspecially if you have obtained birds from various sources like swap meets and from neighbors.

When I was bringing in Junglefowl accessions and various odd chickens every one of them had one or the other or both MS and MG. MS was the most common.

Your chickens are probably going to be alright, but your turkeys will probably have a problem.

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#11197 - 02/13/04 04:42 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Raven Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
Ooh- you guys write too fast for me to keep up with everyone! By the time I reply- someone's already replied twice-- thank you all.

Lorif1- If I remember correctly- Mycoplasma Synovaie does cause more serious troubles in turkeys.
Go to the Merck Veterinary manual online to read about it--

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/203505.htm

Kazjaps- again- thank you.
This is what bugs me: IF there are disease-resistant flocks out there- they had to be made, right?
Survival of species means things need to adapt. Some flocks have developed if not immunity, then resistance, correct?

Most of my birds show NO SYMPTOMS. (We're talking 40 birds, give or take.)
There has never been a death- not one. Except to predation, and that doesn't count.

So I thought that meant they were resistant or immune after the first exposure, not carriers!

I'm sure there are chickens in my flock who will NEVER show any hint of disease.
If they had offspring, and their offspring showed no hint of disease, down for several generations--even if the blood test said they were positive as being exposed to Mycoplasma- isn't that what goes into creating a resistant strain of animal? What about If they had it and fought it off, does that work?
Am I close?

Please, people- forgive me if this is a hot potato issue. I understand how different people have extremely valid arguments. But right now it's affecting ME- and I have the world wide web to ask questions of. So, I ask... smile and thankfully accept ALL answers.

It is VERY serious to me, gravely so- and I don't embark on treatment except to contain and save MY PETS.(Though hypothetically, we could eat one if needed...)
-Not to breed. There are only hens left.
-They will all die here.
-I have 10 acres for them to run on, if they survive the winter.
-They will continue to lay eggs and feed our family. There is no risk to human health, I understand...
-There are no other chickens within miles.
-They can be contained.
-I have enough medication to do this flock several times over, I have the time, and the no-how.
-They will have quality of life and perform their purpose in life, scratching at bugs in the sunshine, without roosters.

Is it really so wrong to attempt this?

If it's out there in our environment- the wild birds will re-infect a new clean flock. That seems pointless to me...just heartbreak for the same results.

Thank you all so much- your imput is invaluable!
cheers,
Raven

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#11198 - 02/13/04 04:52 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Raven Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
Again- thank you, Dr. Okimoto. You explained in simpler terms EXACTLY what I wanted to know in my above posts.

If they stay alive- I'll perpetuate this disease, biosecurity or not. Not great odds is it?
Thank you again,
Raven

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#11199 - 02/13/04 06:28 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm so sorry you are going through this Raven, through no fault of your own. I've been doing a little research on mycoplasma since reading this thread; very scary, very interesting. I would like to ask a question of the experienced poultry folks who have kindly provided help on this matter. Since these birds are pets, infected yes, but pets nonetheless, and since she will not breed or sell them, and will contain them within her property, is there any reason she should not keep them alive? I ask this sincerely. She loves them, and is obviously ethically minded to the point she has considered killing them all. If there were even a remote possibility of contagion from HER birds, the answer would be clear. But, under her specific circumstances, it seems she's doing no harm to anyone, including her chickens. They have it, it's incurable, and apparently, they can live with it. So, with these thoughts in mind, I'm inclined to think it's o.k. if she keeps her birds. In the end, Raven, it's your call. I wish you much good luck and peace of mind.

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#11200 - 02/13/04 07:28 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Raven Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
Thank you, mare.
I do have a place to separate them, the perfect place. If I were to try that route...

Biosecurity? You have to go thru two overly friendly horses, and a hefty electric fence twice, to get where I'm considering moving them. No one gets in there, it's large and sunny and most importantly- no fowl has ever lived there, it's a new addition on the other side of the barn, separated by a horse barn.

Thankfully, I have the luxury of some time, to consider this...
Not deluding myself, just still thinking it all out.
cheers,
Raven

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#11201 - 02/14/04 12:09 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
MS and MG are not a dire threat to Poultry. It is a threat to commercial operations because egg production and growth rate are compromized and it would cut into their profits.

Several universities have nearly all their research lines infected with MS. I know of two. For some odd reason Arkansas is still clean. I had to do back flips to clean up birds and bring them onto the facilities.

If you have the mycoplasma in your chickens that will kill turkeys, you shouldn't raise turkeys. You can still raise chickens.

Mycoplasma will open your flock to be more easily infected with other diseases. As long as you are careful you won't bring these diseases onto your farm.

If I had Mycoplasma in my flock I'd just check with your local extension agent to see what diseases are common in your area and vaccinate your birds for the diseases that you can. I wouldn't kill them. I'm pretty sure that the show lines that I used to raise as a student were probably mycoplasma positive, but everyone's birds were.

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#11202 - 02/14/04 06:38 PM Re: My chickens have Mycoplasma G and S, now what?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I went through the same crap about MS and MG that you are going through. The best anitbiotic I tried was LA-200 (.5 cc intro. musc.) It knocked the symtoms down the quickest. Stress seems to make it rear its ugly head. None died from this. I have read that 70% of all backyard flocks will test positive for one if not both, and 90% of all commercial flocks would test the same. Mine tested positive for MS only. I purchased my birds 11 months ago from a VERY well known hatchery. I've had no other chickens before them, and no other chickens have ever been brought in after them. That leaves 2 ways they contracted this. Either from wild birds, or they hatched out with it! Either way means they are carriers for life. You can't go around testing or culling every wild bird you see. Unless you are raising chickens for more than just eggs, why cull them? I'd never let them leave the property. They remain healthy if they are well cared for and not stressed out, they lay great and are fun to have around. Seems to me that if you have chickens you are sure to run into this at some point. You could have chickens that carry this and never know it!

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