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#1 2011-02-07 19:48:06

chickenlee
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From: Port Hope, Ontario
Registered: 2010-05-25
Posts: 455

Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

In order to reduce the chance of mycoplasma being passed through to my new chicks I tried an antibiotic egg dip treatment prior to setting the eggs in the incubator this weekend. The procedure was recommended by various vets I have spoken to over the past year and originally developed back in the early 1960's to reduce the outbreak of mycoplasma in the commercial hatcheries. There are several scientific articles written on the subject, most from the 1960's. One example is: "Dipping of hatching eggs for control of Mycoplasma gallisepticum" Avian Diseases: Vol 7. No 2. (May 1963) p178-183. There are a variety of methods, all vary slightly, but the one I used was with Tylan Soluble. I have also read that similar results can be obtained with erythromycin, gallimycin etc. Most experiments done for the commercial hatcheries showed that the procedure did not affect the hatchability of eggs (hatch rate was about 80-85% for dipped and undipped eggs), and pretty much eliminated the myco in the new chicks.

For my eggs, I placed them in an incubator for 3 hours at 37 degrees. In order to prevent contaminating my hatching incubator with anything that might be on the outside of the untreated eggs I used a second incubator for the initial heating stage. One could probably make a basic heating box with a light bulb/cooler for this if you don't have an extra incubator to dedicate to this procedure. My hatching incubator was disinfected with virkon and set up/prewarmed as you would for normal hatching.

When the 3 hour incubation was almost complete I prepared my Tylan solution. The literature tested between 400 to 1000 ppm concentration - I chose to do 500ppm as I did not see much of a difference in the results from the papers with the increased amount of tylan. This works out to be 500mg of tylan soluble powder per 1 litre of tap water. The tylan solution must be at 5 degrees for the process to work (the antibiotic then travels through the larger pores of the shell and into the egg, aided by the temperature difference between the prewarmed egg and the cold tylan solution). You must add the water to the tylan powder and not the other way around, or the tylan powder will be very difficult to dissolve. I also refrigerated my water prior to mixing and had several trays of ice on hand.

When you are ready, you take the eggs from the 37 degree incubator then put directly into the 5 degree tylan solution. If I saw any dirt/feces on the outside of the eggs, I quickly rinsed the soiled portion under luke warm water prior to putting into the antibiotic solution. The eggs soak in this solution for 30 minutes. I mixed very gently, often using my hands. I also wore latex gloves when handling the eggs and tylan solution.

Once you start adding the warm eggs, the tylan solution increases temperature quite quickly. For my eggs (47 total) I used 2 litres of cold water, 1 litre of crushed ice and 1.5 g of tylan soluble powder. In the future, I would probably also put the egg soaking container in another vessel packed with ice to try to keep the temperature at 5 degrees. Note, that if you add more ice directly to the solution, you also need to add more tylan to keep the concentration in the target range of 400-1000ppm.

After the 30 minutes in the tylan solution, I gently dabbed off excess liquid and placed the cleaned eggs in my hatching incubator as you would normally.

Hopefully I will have a good hatch of myco free chicks in 21 days! Guelph offers blood testing for myco at a very reasonable rate (about $3.00 per sample) so I plan on monitoring my flock in the future for myco. I will basically be maintaining a closed flock from now on, only restocking by way of hatching eggs, and if I do have a bird go off site to a show or something it will either be sold at the show, or return to "freezer camp" and not the general population.

Here are some photos I took - this is my set up: a glass mixing bowl to mix the ice water/tylan powder, a large stainless steel bowl for the soaking, an accurate thermometer, disposable latex gloves to keep everything sterile, tylan soluble powder, and of course...eggs!
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx204/chickenlee/tylandipmaterials.jpg

eggs soaking in the tylan/ice water
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx204/chickenlee/tylandipsolution.jpg

and finally in the incubator
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx204/chickenlee/eggsinbator.jpg

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#2 2011-02-07 21:26:26

ooptec
Banned
From: Hafford, SK
Registered: 2008-05-25
Posts: 1047
Website

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

hey,

I always thought that the hen coats the eggs when laying w/a protective barrier and was told that's why you shouldn't wash manure or whatever off them if you are incubating them

cheers

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#3 2011-02-07 22:19:19

makwaseni
I Love A.C.E.
From: Macklin, sask.
Registered: 2009-05-16
Posts: 2850

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

Boy, this water washing before going into the bator is new to me , just curious c, can someone else find out more ,  thanks


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#4 2011-02-08 01:36:55

Island Girl
Moderator
From: Qualicum Beach VancouverIsland
Registered: 2010-11-15
Posts: 4185

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

I will be keeping an eye on this link, this is the first I have heard of washing before incubating. The fellow I am incubating some eggs for (he has been raising/hatching chickens for a bizillion years) instructed me NOT to wash off his eggs before setting them. I am looking forward to hearing others opinions.  wise


Raising quality EOs

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#5 2011-02-08 02:16:18

chickenlee
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Port Hope, Ontario
Registered: 2010-05-25
Posts: 455

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

I have also heard most "old timers" recommend to NOT remove the outer protective layer on the eggs by washing prior to setting.

This method was studied a great deal by the commercial hatcheries - I have about 25 published studies on it (can't post them all here due to copyright, but if you PM me with your email I can send them to you if you want to read for yourself). All the vets (in both Canada and the US) I spoke with when coming up with a plan to reduce the chance of illness in my flock recommended doing the procedure.

Since the 1960s, there have been further studies done and most of the big hatcheries that are controlling for this actually inject the antibiotic right into the egg rather than doing the dip procedure as it can all be automated in a factory setting. There are also papers on doing just a heat treatment (and I think there is some mention about this with regard to quail eggs on this forum) to kill the bacteria prior to incubation.

Some of the journal articles are:
"Dipping of hatching eggs in erythromycin for the control of mycoplasma" Olsen et al. 1961
"The mechanics of treating hatching eggs for disease prevention" Alls et al. 1962
"Dipping hatching eggs for the control of mycoplasma gallisepticum" Hall et al. 1962
"Gentamicin Concentration in Turkey eggs and in Tissues of Progeny Following Egg Dipping" Bickford et al. 1972
"Experimental infection of ducks with mycoplama gallisepticum" Yamada et al. 1982
"Control of Avian Mycoplasma Infections in Commercial Poultry" Kleven et al. 2008
"Evaluation of Tylosin in Preventing Egg Transmission of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in chickens" Yoder et al. 1965
"Preincubation Heat Treatment of Chicken Hatching Eggs to Inactivate Mycoplasma" Yoder et al. 1970
"Preincubation Dipping of Turkey Hatching Eggs I. Effect of Shell treatment on Amount and Variability of fluid intake" Ekperigin et al 1977
"Preincubation Immersion of Eggs in Erythromicin to Control Chronic Respiratory Disease" Stuart et al. 1963

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#6 2011-02-08 02:34:10

Skeffling Lavender Farm
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From: Wiarton ON - Bruce Peninsula
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 6568
Website

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

Well described Chickenlee, you worked out the 500ppm!  I have always washed mine but just with a drop of bleach in warm water.  I did a poll last year before doing my first hatch to see what the concensus was, and whether it would affect my hatches.  I was surprised how many did wash them.  They just never speak up in these threads :D

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I have taken enough microbiology to know 3 weeks of 99 degrees will grow all sorts of nasties in the warm moist incubator just mans approximation of an hens underbelly.  I am sure there are all sorts of antibodies or other natural defences inside a chick/egg/hen when naturally brooding but from what me and DH have read this fall (as part of our flocks health problems and research into whether they should be used for breeding at all) is birds will catch mycoplasmas within days of being exposed to them.  There are different incubation periods for the different types.  Experiments have shown chicks (hatched with no mycoplasma) contracting mycoplasma within about 5 days  from the outside of their egg shells in their incubators, and also from just the dander from mycoplasma positive birds and various contaminated environments now empty of mycoplasma birds.

In industry they have eradicated mycoplasma from their breeding flocks with these antibiotic eggs soak treatments.  We know it has not been maintained once the birds live in the big barns and can contract it through the environment etc though.  After losing a whole lovely farmyard flock to something tiny and invisible and incurable, I'd be treating the eggs this way too.  That "protective layer" the mother chicken leaves on the eggs may well contain or certainly does not destroy, mycoplasma from what I understand from what we read this fall.

Last edited by Skeffling Lavender Farm (2011-02-08 02:57:10)


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#7 2011-02-08 11:57:31

chitaquarott
A.C.E. Addicted
From: spencerville, ontario
Registered: 2008-05-30
Posts: 1310

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

I agree prevention is best. The mycoplasma is just nasty, and may not kill a bird right away it opens the door for other bacteria and virus to come in. We don't have a vaccine for it here in Canada, they do in U.S.  We will be using this method once hatching gets rolling.

Birds that are exhibited will receive a tylan treatment in their waterers at the show and for a week to ten days after.

Last edited by chitaquarott (2011-02-08 12:04:06)


Home of dark brahma standards, black langshan,  ameracauna, buff orpington, coronation sussex, australorp, bourbon red turkeys, naragansett,  jersey giants, sebastopol geese, two quarter horses and Berkshire pigs and highland heifers

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#8 2011-02-08 18:40:13

chickenlee
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Port Hope, Ontario
Registered: 2010-05-25
Posts: 455

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

You can buy Tylan soluble online or order through your local feed store. It is not recommended to treat the eggs prior to shipping - you want to do the treatment  just before they are going to be incubated.

Because I knew that I was getting my eggs from a source where Myco had been identified I was sure to keep the box of eggs quarantined in a separate area until I was ready to do the procedure. I then discarded any materials/egg cartons that had been in contact with the eggs pre-treatment, changed gloves then did the treatment on the eggs, moving them to the sterile environment from that point forward. Myco can be passed along on objects etc. through the environment so you want to be sure you keep it separated until cleaned up.

In my opinion, based on what I've learned talking with the vets, all eggs should be treated this way. It is true that you can only control further exposure to myco so much once the chicks hatch (covered run, no birds coming back into the flock after visiting shows etc)...as soon as your birds free range then they can pick the myco up from wild birds in the natural environment. However, if one can at least stop the myco from coming in through the front door so to speak, then you are one step ahead of it and can reduce the chance of exposure. Myco may or may not be present in your geographic area, and if it is, you can't do anything about it if your birds are free ranging...just monitor for signs in the future and take action if and when it hits. The point is to try your best to minimize exposure.

As many of us have learned over the past year, myco on it's own isn't always a big challenge to a birds immunity. It is when other viruses/bacterial infections manifest in conjunction with it that the birds tend to suffer more.

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#9 2011-02-09 03:12:11

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 5313

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

Phew, this is boggling....I don't treat my eggs, nor ever will, unless I learn something that is incredibly negative to what the mother hens do to their eggs, that is lay the eggs, sit on them, with all manner of ichy stuff in the air hanging around, or around her butt end, picked up on her feet.  I do so wonder if too much sanity causes insanity, smiling.  Insanity can mean many things.  I only put nice clean eggs, unwashed, into my incubator, let that bloom be that bloom, the hens' bloom is a pretty strong device, it coats the eggs and keeps bacteria out of that place where the unborn child grows -- and the hens if they lay the eggs to hatch, I don't touch them with a 10 foot pole, unless I don't like the bred of egg they are sitting on, then I will exchange, with unwashed, untouched, bloom of the chicken innards present.  Too much cleanliness can lead to too much of that thing we know as something that is not immune.  Just my cent, or maybe only that half a cent.   Have that great and wonderful life, health, and love, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#10 2011-02-09 14:55:34

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 5313

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

Crooked Coop. When I got my Tylan (tylosin) I obtained it from the pharmacy in Cloverdale in the southwestern B.C. (Fraser Valley).  They sell everything there related to livestock, including poultry products, they even sell Eprinex there.  Usually these products are vet-related and most people can only get these products through a vet.  This pharmacy is called Pharmasave.  One does not have to go to the states to get tylosin, it is here in Canada.  Do an internet search.  My bottle of Tylan will last me a very long time.   Have a most wonderful and awesome day, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#11 2011-02-09 14:59:23

chickenlee
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Port Hope, Ontario
Registered: 2010-05-25
Posts: 455

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

My understanding is the myco is already inside the egg when it's layed. Is this correct? So wouldnt it be a good idea to treat any hatching eggs you buy just to be sure?

Yes, egg shells are porous and so anything in their environment that is small enough (ie. myco bacteria) travel through the shell and into the egg. The purpose of the temperature differential in the dipping process is to aid the movement of the antibiotic through the pores in the shell and inside the egg to destroy the bacteria before the eggs develop and hatch.

So, if you in the camp that has decided to use antibiotics and try to take an active approach in using vaccines/antibiotics to treat your flock and reduce disease that way, then yes in my opinion you should treat all hatching eggs in this manner.

If you are in the camp that chooses to let nature take it's course and hope that through natural selection your flock will eventually develop natural immunity then you would not treat your hatching eggs, nor would you administer antibiotics if the chickens are sick.

Personally, after losing my entire flock to something preventable, I have joined the prevent and treat with antibiotics and vaccinate my flock camp. It's a husbandry and management decision everybody has to make based on their own beliefs and research.

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#12 2011-05-06 00:58:59

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15411

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

Chickenlee, how did this experiment work for you?  Did you have a successful hatch?  What about the viability of your chicks? 

Sue


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#13 2011-05-06 12:06:28

chitaquarott
A.C.E. Addicted
From: spencerville, ontario
Registered: 2008-05-30
Posts: 1310

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

As for results of this Tylan dip, we have approx. 70 live chikies running around happy and healthy. I feel prevention is best and a small price to pay for our flock.  Have seen no real difference in hatch percentage as a result of the dip either. My biggest problem is finding a large enough thermometer to put in the water.


Home of dark brahma standards, black langshan,  ameracauna, buff orpington, coronation sussex, australorp, bourbon red turkeys, naragansett,  jersey giants, sebastopol geese, two quarter horses and Berkshire pigs and highland heifers

Please email directly vs. Pm Please.   chitaquarott@ripnet.com

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#14 2011-05-06 12:25:36

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15411

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

Hi, Chitaquarott,  how many eggs did you start with?  What was your % hatch rate?

Sue


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#15 2011-05-06 17:08:09

chickenlee
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Port Hope, Ontario
Registered: 2010-05-25
Posts: 455

Re: Antibiotic Egg Dip Treatment

I am super happy with the results. I have done 3 batches - with 45-60+% hatch rate (that includes numbers for infertiles or blood rings that were pulled, so if you don't count infertiles then the hatch rate would be even higher). These were all shipped eggs, and one of the 3 batches has 42 eggs all with detached air cells. Given all of the factors 'against' a successful hatch, I am more than happy with the 45-60% rate!

I am waiting another month or two until the youngest ones are a little larger to take a representational blood sample and send them off for myco screening.

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