Dandelion remains the most vulnerable of the girls to the mycoplasma during frosty spells. The sneezing throughout all the girls is only very occasional now and has almost disappeared. Freckles who along with Dandelion was the worst effected has shown no symptoms apart from the very occasional sneeze along with the rest of the girls.
But with Dandelion the frosty weather brings back bubbles to her eyes. It’s as if it is just there under the surface waiting for the frost to bring it out again. During the last frosty spell she had a crusty right eye for just one morning.
We have recently experienced, a prolonged, frosty spell. Yesterday Dandelion came out of the chicken shed, in the morning, with both eyes looking crusty. It’s almost like this has left her with conjunctivitis. As I watched her she scratched each eye in turn with a claw and removed the crust. I am thankful that she is able to remove it herself.
I decided to give all the girls tylan again, for five days, to be on the safe side. I am once again putting it in their water and making them mash from the tylan water to get as much as possible into them. This morning was frosty again and Dandelion had a little bubbling in her right eye. She usually just has it in the right eye and only occasionally in both eyes.
Dandelion seems to get the bubbles when at rest, overnight, or perching in the sun. As soon as she starts to preen she is able to blink her eyes clear.
Dandelion’s right eye has a slight bubbling
Dandelion’s eyes are clear again
I realised after I had taken this shot that it is actually her left eye but both eyes were as clear as this.
Dandelion isn’t showing any other symptoms so I think that this eye problem is just, stubborn, rears up when it’s frosty, and will go with the better weather. I really hope that this is the last frosty spell. I feel that if we could just get to the better weather we could get free of this.
Dandelion is fine in herself and dust baths, eats and drinks and does all the usual chicken things so I am not overly worried. I think that she will always be the weakest link in the flock but I think having come through this far she will be okay once we get through the cold weather.
My husband delivered a lunch yesterday to a lady who said that her husband was giving the speech at the meeting. She said that he was a specialist, bird vet and he had brought along one of his parrots.
My husband told her about our chickens and she said that her sister had chickens and that her husband was always looking at them for her. They talked about mycoplasma and Dandelion’s eye bubbles and she said that was a sign that Dandelion was the carrier. She agreed that tylan was the treatment of choice.
I am not sure if this is true. I have read everything I can find on mycoplasma and haven’t come across this theory before. It doesn’t really make any difference though because once you have had mycoplasma in your flock you have to treat all the chickens as potential carriers. I thought it was interesting enough to give it a mention though.
The encouraging thing is that the girls all look happy and healthy whereas in the past I could tell things weren’t right when they were dosing and looking unwell. If I didn’t check on the flock so frequently I could easily have missed Dandelion’s eye bubbles as they are only there for a few moments. I am just repeating the tylan as a preventative measure. It is better to be on the safe side.
As I have said many times recently, roll on spring!