I have been fighting mycoplasma for three years now, since it came into my flock, with Caramel and Pebbles. I have lost so many of my girls to this horrible respiratory disease.
I have been advised by my vet that I must let my flock die out as that is the only way to be rid of it and that I cannot go on treating it indefinitely. I have balked at this suggestion.
With the painful loss of Cinnamon and the ongoing symptoms with Salmon I am having to have a difficult rethink. I can only say that just writing this has me in tears.
I am no longer allowed to treat with tylan in the water and I don’t believe that baytril is as good. I treated Cinnamon with baytril ten weeks ago and it seemed to improve her instantly. Three days later she started laying eggs again. She laid eight eggs and then took a break of three weeks as she had started moulting.
Cinnamon then started laying eggs again and laid six eggs in two weeks. Every one of these eggs had a blob of poop on them. Looking back I think that this shows something was adrift inside of her.
It was two weeks after Cinnamon had stopped laying again that she showed the same symptoms as before. This time treating her with baytril had no effect at all and the next day she was gone.
It was only two weeks ago that I took Salmon to the vet and started her on baytril. She stopped wheezing after three days and I gave her a week’s course. It was only nine days later that she started wheezing again. I started treating her with baytril four days ago and this time so far she is still wheezing.
I am beginning to think that the vet is right that I can’t keep treating. If Salmon is still wheezing by the end of this course of bayrtil I will have to take her back to the vet. If she does improve this time but starts wheezing again in the near future I will have to take her back to the vet.
I am beginning to see that I cannot keep treating if it keeps coming back and I dread the thought of how I will get the flock through the winter.
I am afraid that I will lose Salmon in the near future and I will be very surprised if Speckles makes it through this winter. All summer we have noticed that her breathing is very noticeable as her breast feathers bob up and down with each breath.
This last week there have been very, large, wet, patches under her roost spot. She has become very anxious and is easily startled. Since the loss of Cinnamon she calls out throughout the day. I feel her unhappiness at losing Cinnamon. Speckles always roosted in the corner next to Cinnamon but now no longer roosts in the corner. Speckles now roosts between Ebony and Flame.
My vet wanted me to treat each girl only once when they showed myco symptoms and then let them go. I am considering doing this on my terms and treating each girl twice before letting them go. I know that the baytril is always generous enough to stretch to two treatments.
This may be a long journey but I am thinking now that the vet is right and I must let my flock go one by one. I can never add more girls to this flock and I can’t go on with the heartbreak of having this in my flock.
I had hoped that when Dandelion went maybe we would be free of this but I can now see that myco is very much still a presence in my flock.
I realise that what may happen is that I may lose the little girls one by one and then end up with just Ebony and Flame. It seems to me that the little girl are too fragile to fight the myco but the bigger girls are able to live with it. All the bigger girls, past and present, have shown no other symptoms than sneezing.
The fact that they are sneezing means they are carrying it and could pass it on. I love my seramas and ultimately want a serama flock and a flock of just two bigger girls in the future would not be a good place to be. I would have to cross that bridge if and when I came to it but if I did end up with just two bigger girls I may have to make a decision to let them go.
I have researched what needs to be done and this is what it says is needed. Thorough cleaning and drying of the chicken shed and then disinfection with bleach. Leave the shed open for several weeks before stocking with new birds.
I am tearful thinking about and writing about this but I just don’t know what else I can do.