We have had a pretty grim weekend - another round of mycoplasma in my growers pens, which has resulted in the culling of about two dozen young birds - a big thank you to Coffeeslut and B for helping - I wouldn't have coped without them. I am a bit tired and wrung out. However, I HAVE found a solution.
So here's what was said:
- I have spoken to Libby at Retford Poultry Practice, who is going to do some bloods for me - four different samples from birds that have no overt symptoms. Cost is £15 including VAT. I am taking them to my own vet tomorrow to take the samples, as I've never done it before.
- In the process of organising that, I have had a very informative chat with my own vet, who turns out to have an interest in poultry. She says, treat for Myco in the meantime, ALL the stock at once, with two injections of Tylosin 200, 48 hours apart. That should clear it out of the flock.
- Bad cases with abscesses should preferably be culled. But if they are very precious, keep isolated and keep injecting every 48 hours, until they are better, then put back in to the flock.
- New additions should be treated with the two Tylosin 200 injections and then kept in quarantine for a week to ten days so that if they ARE carriers, they don't reintroduce it. (This is advice my vet has read from Victoria Roberts, the vet who used to run the Domestic Fowl Trust).
- It doesn't make them immune, so it can come in with the wild birds or on the wind or infected stock - but, my vet did say that 30 feet was the infection distance between pens.
- The implication is that they are completely clear - so infection via the egg is not an issue. I will double-check this, though, and report back.
- Tylan soluble is 'not enough' to ensure that they are all clear of it, as you cannot ensure how much each bird has had.
She was really on the ball about all of this and I feel much better. I hope that laying it out like this helps anyone else who might have the same problem.