Can you eat eggs from chickens with Mycoplasma

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat eggs from chickens with Mycoplasma?” We will also discuss what Mycoplasma is, what causes this condition, and if humans can get affected by it.

Can you eat eggs from chickens with Mycoplasma?

Yes, you can eat eggs from chickens with Mycoplasma as this disease does not affect humans. Also, cooking properly your eggs can diminish the risk of diseases. If you have backyard poultry with Mycoplasma, you need to wait until the withdrawal period of the antibiotic.

Keep in mind that even if Mycoplasma does not cause any sickness in humans, you can still spread the bacteria to birds free of Mycoplasma, so be very cautious whenever you are around sick birds.

What is Mycoplasma?

The term Mycoplasma refers to a very small bacteria that exhibits slow growth. Several species of Mycoplasma exist and they can affect:

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Plants
  • Insects

As you can see, no one is safe from this bacteria but, indeed, negative effects are only exhibited in birds, like chickens and turkeys, mostly. Two types of Mycoplasma bacteria  can affect birds:

  • Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). It can be spread vertically and horizontally, which means this type of bacteria can spread from breeders to progeny, and because of certain environmental conditions, or human activities, respectively.
  • Mycoplasma synoviae (MS). This bacteria is responsible for chicken respiratory diseases, and also for eggshell abnormalities. This means these bacteria have a serious economic impact.

Mycoplasma can cause severe damage to chickens, and it is very easy to spread among birds. As Mycoplasma can mutate very easily, its virulence may be different for each case.

Can chickens pass Mycoplasma to humans?

Fortunately for us, this is not possible. But what can happen is that humans are carriers of this disease, and therefore a larger number of chickens can get infected. That is why if you have contact with sick chickens, you need to meet biosecurity recommendations.

Certain Mycoplasma species can indeed infect humans, but the ones displayed in birds are not a health menace for us.

How can you tell if your birds have Mycoplasma?

Effects of Mycoplasma infection are only noticeable after three weeks after the infection occurred, but this does not mean they can not spread the disease to some other birds.

The symptoms that evidence Mycoplasma infections may be different for the two types of bacteria that affect birds. First, for the MG type, the symptoms are:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Unusual breathing sounds
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Puffy face

But if your chickens were infected with the MS type, the symptoms will be:

  • Problems standing or walking
  • Blotchy skin
  • Ruffled feathers
  • Swollen joints

Besides the particular symptoms for each bacteria, you can notice the infected chickens will be quieter, eat less, and therefore lose some weight. Also, you can tell that they do not lay the same amount of eggs.

Some symptoms may not be that easy to detect, but if you notice one of them, it is recommended a poultry veterinarian performs a blood test for Mycoplasma.

What kind of birds carry Mycoplasma?

Most birds can be infected with Mycoplasma bacteria, especially:

  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Turkeys 
  • Pheasants
  • Partridges
  • Guinea fowl
  • Quail
  • Peafowl
  • Racing pigeons
  • Wild birds

Nowadays Mycoplasma has become more popular as the mass production of eggs or other poultry products has caused chickens to be more in contact with free-living birds, which usually exhibit Mycoplasma.

If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.

What is the recommended treatment for Mycoplasma?

Most birds will overcome Mycoplasma infection, but there are some cases in which the infection can be lethal. The medication recommended to treat this bacteria is antibiotics that can be provided by a poultry veterinarian, or even in commercial products.

It is known that if a group of birds is infected with Mycoplasma, the infection will remain among them forever, even when no symptoms are shown. Then, these birds will be more likely to be infected by other pathogens.

Is Mycoplasma permanent?

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, once Mycoplasma has affected a flock, the infection will remain forever. So, there is no better treatment than prevention.

Some tips to prevent Mycoplasma infections are:

  • Wear special, or disposable clothes whenever you are working with your flock.
  • If you have different flocks, use a different pair of boots to visit each of them. And clean them thoroughly before and after working with birds.
  • Disinfect all your tools and do not share them with other bird owners.
  • Be cautious about the place you get your birds from, many sellers do not even notice their birds are infected with Mycoplasma.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat eggs from chickens with mycoplasma?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Citations

https://www.fdacs.gov/content/download/77376/file/Mycoplasma-Brochure.pdf

https://cluckin.net/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-mg-in-chickens-and-how-to-deal-with-it.html#mcetoc_1eeb0cctm8

https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ahw/animal_health/documents/backyardpoultry/Mycoplasma%20Factsheet.pdf

https://www.thepoultrysite.com/disease-guide/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-infection-m-g-chronic-respiratory-disease-chickens

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.