Chicken with Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

Common poultry diseases and conditions, advice on what they are and how to treat them.
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Chicken with Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

Postby SpeckledBird » Tue May 07, 2019 6:06 am

I have 4 Orpington hens. A couple of years ago one of them became sick with respiratory problems so I took her to the vetrinarian who told me she had either Mycoplasma or Coyza. He gave me some antibiotics and she recovered. Then she got it again. After researching it online I found it was highly contagious and birds that acquire this vicious bacteria would have it for life and be carriers. Of course all 4 of my hens have contacted it and I haven't brought any more hens into my home.. I have spent so much money trying to get this under control. I know it cannot be cured but at least find an antibiotic that will cause remission. These are much loved little pets and I have tried everything. Baytril, Tylan, Tetracycline and many more. They become symptomatic with the least stressor. I think that is because it has never been brought completely under control. I have one hen who is particularly ill right now and I think she must have a secondary infection as well. In the last couple of weeks I have spent a good deal of time researching treatments. At the National Instutes of Health (in US) I read of different studies and the only one that had a remission rate of over 40% was Doxy-Ty powder. A teaspoon of this powder is to be added to fresh water daily (that is to be their only source of drinking water) and it would equal 20.0 grams Doxycycline and 5.0 grams of Tylosin. I ordered it online and had it overnighted to me. It was not available locally or from a vet. I have had the hens on this medication since I received it -3 or 4 days. They seem only a little improved but not as much as I had hoped. My question is this. I believe this medicine is for pigeons since there is a picture of one on the jar. Aren't most medication doses calculated by body weight? My hens weigh 6+ lbs each. Should their dosage be higher than a pigeons? I have tried researching this online and I just seem to go in circles. I emailed the company I bought it from yesterday and they responded saying yes it was for pigeons and the only thing they could tell me to do was double the dose. I know this is a long convuluted post but would anyone here know of this medicine and the corrected dose? Many thanks for any information or advice
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Re: Chicken with Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

Postby Marina » Tue May 07, 2019 4:18 pm

Sorry to read about your plight. I have never even heard of this disease.

As to pigeons versus chickens: Racing pigeons in particular can fetch a lot of money - $1500 for a good one is a normal price. Chickens are not that expensive. I think this is reflected in the supplements and medications that are available. I have frequently bought dietary supplements that are registered for pigeons but not for chickens. I can still buy them for my chickens and it's my risk whether they work or not. In general they do, I haven't had a problem yet.

Like for humans, supplements and medications go by weight. As you haven't had a good result I'd adjust the medication to a hen's weight. Most Orpington hens weigh between 3 and 4kg, a pigeon weighs less than 500g. So 6 pigeon doses could be acceptable.

One important thing with antibiotics: if you use a dose that is too low, all you do is give the bacteria an opportunity to develop resistance. It's important that you give your hens an appropriate dose to kill off the bacteria. You have seen for yourself how hard it is to have it come back - a possible sign for multiple antibiotic resistance.

On a different note: I've been breeding Orpingtons for 25 years now and know what lovely hens they are. You say your plight started 2 years ago. 5 to 6 years is a very good age for an Orpington hen but most only make it to 3 or 4. They are not a long-lived breed in my experience. Some people say they have 10 year old Orpingtons but I have never seen the big fluffy ones getting that old. So maybe your hens are getting old and with that disease resistance gets lower. It may be something to think about. It's autumn now with the challenges of winter ahead :cry:
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