Health Problem Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma (Gallisepticum and Synoviae) is a bacteria not a virus. Both can affect the kidneys and hens are not routinely vaccinated to prevent them catching it. Infected birds become carriers, remaining infectious for life, although some birds may become immune.

Should new birds be brought into your flock?

Ideally no, unless the infected birds can be kept well away from new birds and the owner is prepared to use ‘barrier nursing’ (change clothes / boot dip between the two groups). Some birds die, some birds are only carriers and some birds are sick and recover, but repeatedly have bouts of illness (not normally as bad as the first time though).

Symptoms

  • Swollen eyelids and sinuses.
  • Rattly breathing.
  • Sneezing.
  • Bubbly clear fluid / foamy discharge from the eyes (Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, Figures 1 & 2).
  • Thick yellow pus in the eye sockets and sinuses (Mycoplasma Synoviae, Figures 3 & 4).
  • Swollen joints (Mycoplasma Synoviae, Figure 5).
  • Thin shells at the round end of the eggs (Mycoplasma Synoviae, Figure 6).

Causes

  • The stress trigger can be insignificant as moving birds to different housing, adding new birds, a change in diet, parasite infection or even a sudden change in the weather (snow for example).
  • As it can be carried by wild birds, free range hens can come into contact with it easily.
  • Mycoplasma can be transmitted in dust (fomates), on bedding, on shoes and clothing.
  • The infectious agent survives for only a matter of days in the environment.

Guidance

Note that this home remedy is not intended to offer a cure or replace veterinary treatment, but may alleviate symptoms where no professional support is easily available. The suggestions are based on experience gained with our own hens.
  • If you wish to seek veterinary advice, this may result in a prescription of antibiotics.

Prevention

  • There is no home remedy.
  • Always employ good biosecurity.
  • Try to minimise stress.
  • Feed the right diet to maintain a strong immune system.
  • Providing fresh crushed garlic in food or water helps boost the immune system.
  • Providing apple cider vinegar in drinking water (5ml per litre) which acts as a natural immune booster (do not use in a metal drinker).
  • Thorough disinfection of coops, equipment, and isolation of sick birds, will help to contain an outbreak. Coops should be left empty for two weeks following disinfection.
  • Diagnosis can be confirmed with a blood test.
Health Problem Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Bubbly clear fluid/foamy discharge from the eyes
Figure 1: Bubbly clear fluid / foamy discharge from the eyes, image courtesy of poultrykeeper.com
Health Problem Mycoplasma Gallisepticum
Figure 2: Bubbly clear fluid/foamy discharge from the eyes, image courtesy of poultrykeeper.com
Health Problem Mycoplasma Synoviae Thick yellow pus in the eye sockets and sinuses
Figure 3: Thick yellow pus in the eye sockets and sinuses
Health Problem Mycoplasma Synoviae Thick yellow pus in the eye sockets and sinuses
Figure 4: Thick yellow pus in the eye sockets and sinuses
Health Problem Mycoplasma Synoviae Swollen Joints
Figure 5: Swollen joints
Health Problem Mycoplasma Synoviae Swollen Joints Thin shells at the round end of the eggs
Figure 6: Thin shells at the round end of the eggs

Share with your flock

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp