Jim Lawrie, our
Chairman, opened the meeting and welcomed all there. (30)
read out from John Burton, Bryon Shaw, Geoff Futcher, Brian Bailey,
Kevin Burnett, Peter Church, Steve Cox and Pam Freemantle.
With all the
birds’ benched (any Green Series) and ready for discussion later.
Jim Lawrie then
welcomed Steve Holland of The Holland Stud to our April 2019
The presentation was headed:
Medication, Prevention or Cure! (Below is Stephen`s report)
What do you look for when purchasing
a/ Clean well
managed bird room
b/ Stock that
two we would walk away from the best bird we had been offered!
What do you do
with new stock when you get it home!
a/ Ivermec all
new birds as they come through the door.
b/ Isolate them
from all your stock, if possible in separate room.
c/ Treat for
Trichomoniasis we use Ronivet S but there are a number of similar
products in the market place that will do the same job. Follow the
instructions of the product you are using.
d/ Follow this
with a course of Probiotics, again there are a good number of brands
in the marketplace.
e/ Treat for
Mega bacteria! We did this last year but the Megabac S does not
have a licence in the UK and you may have to import it from Vetafarm.
It’s a pain to administer as you have to “black out” all of the
drinkers because it degrades in light.
f/ Again a
course of probiotics
that would take about a month. Much longer than what most people
would consider a period of quarantine
In an ideal
would I would have pre-treated the isolation cage with Mil Ban.
How often do
you treat for this! Vetafarm recommend 4 times a year, if you use
Ronivet S it can be given with no ill effects during the breeding
season always follow with a treatment of a probiotic. Other
medications include Harkers “Spartrix” and Versa Laga “Tricho Plus”
worst named illness in Budgerigars. It’s not a Bacteria and will not
be effected by antibiotics. What is it, vets will now use the term
AGY or Avian Gastric Yeast, mega bacteria is a yeast infection. More
recently three form of yeast infection have been identified. The
“accepted” treatment is Megabac S, but as I have already said it
does not hold a licence in the UK, effectively making it illegal!
It’s a pain to use as the drinkers have to be “Blacked out” as the
product degrades in light.
effective!!! I spent some time with an “exotics” vet last year and
her view was that there were three stages of Mega bacteria. Stage 1
all birds carry it but their immune system keep it under control,
Stage 2, the immune system in the bird is weak and symptoms start to
be visible. Stage 3, a full blown outbreak in the bird, this
normally means the “infection” has spread to other organs.
At stage 2 you
may be able to get the bird back but at stage 3 the bird probably is
of more of a risk to your stud and should be disposed of.
the stud last year with Megabac S it’s very expensive, we spent £300
on sufficient Megabac S to treat a stud of 400 / 500 bird. Was it
effective! Our view and I think the view of everyone who I have
spoken to who has used it is the same. At best it’s a preventative
medication; it will boost/reduce the risk of stage 2 mega bacteria
it will do nothing help at stage 2.
is another treatment that is widely used for Mega bacteria. This is
easily and cheaply obtained. It’s a food preservative widely used in
the food industry again for us it’s a preventative medication it
does not bring a bird back from stage 2.
suggested the best “preventative” action we could use was to keep
the bird’s crop slightly acidic. This can be achieved by the
addition of cider vinegar to the birds water for a couple of days a
Peroxide! What is it. It’s the best substance for removing fungal
growth if you have mould in your bath room treat it with Hydrogen
peroxide. Why do I mention this, I did a lot of research on the
internet trying to find a successful answer to stage 2 mega
bacteria. I found a research paper from a university in Italy that
showed result using 1ml of 10% Hydrogen Peroxide to 100ml water for
30 days had major results in combating stage 2. I have since found
out that it is better to use none chlorinated water.
Michael had set
me the task of trying to find something that may work. When I found
this I said “don’t shoot the messenger” as I knew he would say
Hydrogen Peroxide is what they use to bleach ladies hair. It was the
reaction I got never the less. We had 3 hens (and its hens that
seem to suffer with Mega bacteria more than cock birds) that Michael
had desperately hoped to get in the breeding cage, so we were at a
stage of “try it or lose them” we had nothing to lose.
The hens were
put on the treatment and after 30 day looked fit and healthy, so
much so Michael put 2 of them in the breeding cage. To me this was
the ultimate test, would they be able lay eggs, would they be
fertile and would the chick be healthy. The answer was yes, yes and
yes. We have health chick off the two hens. I have told three other
“friends” and they have all had similar results, one novice took the
decision to treat the whole of his small stud. No ill effect. A
couple of other thing I learnt was that a major constituent of
eucalyptus is Hydrogen Peroxide so birds in the wild consume it
with Hydrogen Peroxide in it is Manuka honey. This can be added to
drinking water, warm the water, don’t boil and the honey dissolves,
if it’s added to boiling water the heat kills all the goodness.
As I originally
it was thought to be one form of yeast/ fungus that cause AGY but in
more recent papers three forms have been identified. A new drug
called FUNGITRAXX now has a licence in Europe that treats two forms
but this is only available on vet’s prescription and has to be
administered directly into the bird’s crop for a number of days.
called MegaCare by the Bird Care company it’s a two part medication
and is £18.99
Preparation for the breeding season
routing, wash with a disinfectant solution, followed by a wash with
a bleach solution, followed by a steam clean, then paint with Mil
Ban. Also do the end 1” of every perch with Mil ban and all the
joins in the nest boxes. I would also suggest the use of Diatonic
earth in the bottom of both cages and nest boxes
Is all our
water the same!
No it can vary
in hardness and the chemicals that the water companies can legally
add to our water.
experienced hens going “lame” when laying eggs. Its rickets caused
by a calcium deficiency. Michael has regularly had a couple of hens
a year going lame during the breeding season, but it seldom happens
at my place. Our seed and feeding methods are exactly the same so I
started to investigate what the differences could be. The only
difference I could find was our water supply.
Michael has his
water off South Staffs and my water is from Severn Trent (even
though we are only 30 miles apart) Michael’s water is very soft and
my water is very hard. If we do not filter our kettle water we fur
up a kettle in about 6 months and my father would never drink any
form of water drink at our place. When I examined the calcium
content of hard and soft water the results were staggering, and
partly answered the difference. I then read an article about
fluoride addition to water. The water companies can, if they wish
add fluorine within a range. Florine inhibits the uptake of calcium,
and when I checked South Staffs added it a much higher rate than
Severn Trent. So Michael has the two extremes low calcium content in
his water and a high inhibitor rate. You can check all this on any
of the water company’s web sites.
What do we add
from any source requires one additional thing Vitamin D so once a
week for two days we add Soluvite D, this gives the required vitamin
D. Avigold is a similar product. I have heard mixed results with the
new Avigold Plus!
we add 2ml of Solosan to a 1 litre of water for two days. This is
particularly good in “open” flight waters where droppings can be
deposited in drinking water.
ever have what we call a stinky hens. A hen who’s droppings smell
like ammonia when they are laying eggs. You will never get fertile
eggs off these hens but it is simple to cure. Add a teaspoon of
cider vinegar to a pint of water and give this to the hen for a
couple of weeks. The smell will disappear and she will get fertile
addition to water can be done but we prefer to add it to our soft
food, but remember it’s only worth doing if you add a vitamin D
supplement. The reason we add things to the soft food is simple.
Budgerigars can go about 30 without water, they can extract the
water they need from any food containing water ie veg, soaked food
and soft food. We believe if they don’t like the taste of the water
they will leave it, but we are left with empty soft food dishes
regardless of what we add.
was recommended by the exotics vet as the best preventative action
to prevent Mega Bacteria so for two days a week they get one tea
spoon of cider vinegar into the soft food every other day, and in
truth they seem to like the soft food more with the cider vinegar
addition. I have a chart that I can leave which show what cider
vinegar additions you can use for some complaints.
what do you use. Have you looked at the calcium content! Most brands
contain between 2.5 to 7.5% of calcium. You are then asked/told to
dilute this in water so your calcium additions are around 0.2 to
0.7%. we use a calcium powder that is 99.9% calcium, it’s cheaper
than the branded calcium…..I just don’t like wasting money.
systems. I would never
use automatic watering systems. Budgerigar water take up is low and
therefore the water movement in an automatic watering system is low.
Coming from the food industry one of the things we had to test for
on our cooling systems was legionella. Typically occurring in low
movement and warm water.
flowmatic drinkers that are scrubbed every other day then at least
twice a year we soak them in a bleach solution for two days then
into a plain water solution for two days. This ensures there is no
bacteria/algae build up in the drinker. This is also another reason
we use Solosan in our drinking water to reduce any risks from the
bug control. Avian
Insect Liquidator can be mixed with water to the directed dilution
and sprayed in the aviary without harm to any birds. I know of
breeders that do this on a regular basis via a fogger.
Anit-biotics:- One area where we have problems in our view, the old Auromycin and
Terramycin were “fast acting” antibiotics and if you got them into a
bird early did a great job, the only ones “simply” available are
Triple C a Vetafarm product and Oxymav B. They contain the same
active ingredients but Triple C is four times the price but double
the strength. Oxymav B works out a half the price. They are good for
respiratory infections and gut infections. The real truth is that
you have a very short window of about 24/36 hour to save a bird in
and any treatment needs to be fast acting. We find that Baytrill
although a broad spectrum antibiotic, is far too slow acting for
most ailments. I have recently read an article which said it was for
a specific range of illnesses and if used for anything else it could
harm the liver.
What I would
like you to do is say what is wrong with the bird described and what
you would do!
1/ a bird is
inactive fluffed up and has been losing weight for a few months :-
2/ a bird is
inactive fluffed up and has been losing weight for a few months:-
3/ a bird is
fluffed up and losing weight for a few months:- tumour
4/ a bird is
fluffed up and losing weight for a few months and you notice its
cracking seed:- Mega Bacteria but which strain
5/ a bird is
losing weight but eating well:- worms. Plenty of worm treatments in
the market place but do make sure you give the correct dosage,
6/ a bird is
fluffed up and wet around the vent:- Enteritis give anti biotic
7/ a bird is
fluffed up inactive and laboured breathing:- air sac mite
In short it’s
better, simpler and more effective to prevent illness rather than
try and cure.
as a general rule we have found that most “high street” vets are of
little help when it comes to budgerigars. You really need a
specialist avian vet to really help you. Most “high street” vets
will want to carry out an autopsy and send samples off to labs,
which is very expensive, especially if it’s a good bird they want to
put down. Although we have never used them I am hearing very good
reports about Retford Poultry Partnership in Nottinghamshire. Their
pricing structure is very reasonable and most tests are done from
swabs or feaces samples. Unfortunately Retford have now been taken
over …..does anyone know if the new companies name and if they do
the same tests?
Steve said The
Holland Stud has 2 aviaries, at his which is the smaller of the two
setups the other at Michaels’ which is 10metre square with 47
breeding units and 8 flights compared to Steve’s 25 units with 2
small flights. Birds are transferred between the sheds during the
year for assessment etc.
judged birds brought that evening. He then explained why he had
positioned the birds the way he had and that he had judged them on
the basis of birds he would use in his breeding team.
closed the meeting at 9:50pm and thanked those present for their
attendance and wished them a safe journey home. (Good to have
another new member Barry Collin)