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Experience of Mycoplasma G

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Hi, I’m wondering if I can ask a stupid question? Can a chicken have Mycoplasma Gallisepticum and not have any respiratory symptoms?

I have a 9 year old hen who almost certainly has/had Mycoplasma. She has bubbles round her eyes, a constant wheezy cough and sneezing. She first had these symptoms about 4 years ago and recovered. On and off she’s had a recurrence of symptoms. I stupidly hadn’t realised that they are infectious for life even without symptoms, none of my other hens have ever caught it.

I introduced 4 new hens to the flock last June, mainly because I have 3 x9 year old birds and 1 x3 year old bird and didn’t want the 3 year old left alone.

One of the new hens died last November, basically looked hunched and had lost some weight but nothing else. Saw a vet who recommended worming the flock with flubivet which I did. Bird continued to deteriorate over two weeks, tried antibiotics to no avail, and eventually died.

I now have another young chicken who looks similar. Not moving round as much, looks sad, probably lost weight. Sent a video to the vet and explained about my old hen periodically coughing and sneezing. She prescribed antibiotics which I gave to the whole flock. Did a worm count and no worms or cocci. Poorly hen has no respiratory symptoms, no bumble foot, no impacted crop, no diarrhoea, cleanish vent and not egg bound. I have separated her out and brought her indoors. She is still eating a bit and drinking.

Could this still be Mycoplasma? Could it be something else, if so any ideas what? Am at a loss as to how to help my hens. 
Thanks for reading! 

Photo of affected chicken.


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As you say, once infected they are infected for life and can have flare ups due to stress etc. It sounds like that might be the case with your flock.

Antibiotics can help with clinical signs and secondary bacterial infections but won't eliminate it. You could speak to your vet about testing if you are concerned.

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Whilst your other hens are not showing symptoms they will now be carrying it, so you must operate a 'closed flock', so none in and none out. They can go for years with their immune system keeping it in check, but if their system becomes depressed for any reason it will flare up. Lack of sunlight, moulting, first egg laying, change of environment, old age and bad weather can all contribute. Antibiotics will tackle secondary infection but at the same time they kill the gut flora at a time when they need all the nutrients they can get. If she does improve she will need probiotics three days after the last antibiotic dose.

We have been dealing with myco for a long time and just last year lost our final carrier. What we found is that at the first sign of symptoms a single dose of cod liver oil with multivitamins can give their immune system the boost it needs. Depending on the size of the chicken 0.5mL to 1.0mL, administered by dropper slowly down the throat giving them time to swallow each drop to avoid them choking. Unfortunately, inevitably it does flare up and overwhelm them.

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