Newsletter November 2012

I have dedicated several newsletters to paratyphoid. Still, questions about this disease keep coming. Especially this time of year. And questions about moulting and breeding are frequently asked in the fall.
In this newsletter, I will provide you with a few practical tips. And I hoop you can benefit from it.


The moulting period is traditionally known as a period in which the birds are most receptive for the clinical symptoms of a paratyphoid infection. This time of year, cripple birds or bird with a hanging wing or a lump on the elbow joint, visit our veterinarian clinic more often than any other part of the year. For one thing, this happens because of the

need for energy during this moulting period. In a (relative) shortage, a reduction of the immune system causes sleeping viruses to arise. But we can't forget that almost every bird lover hate to provide medication, knowing that the growth of the feathers will be compromised. In the flight season, pigeons will receive more frequently a (preventative) course of antibiotic, which means that the infection pressure will reduce.
The reduction of the infection pressure after moulting, is all you can expect from the known paratyphoid antibiotic. "Should we provide the birds with antibiotics? Or not?" Is often a concern in November. And, as I stated before, this question does not have a simple answer.

The best advice I can give you is to collect a five day manure sample and have it tested on the presence of secretors. These secretors are pigeons who have excreted the bacteria. If these pigeons are in a secluded part of the cot, the results will be favourable. This does not mean that there are no carriers of the virus. It just means that there is a reduce chance of spreading the virus in the whole dovecot. Is the outcome negative, you can consider if giving a preventative course of antibiotic is necessary. In these cases it could be helpful to support the immune system a few times a week, by giving Bony SGR or Bony Sambucca plus. In practise, it seems that by increasing the birds immune system, reduces the chance of secreting the paratyphoid virus.

An remark I usually get, is that after the paratyphoid antibiotic, the breeding is exceptional good. But you have to realise that these antibiotic will reduce the infection pressure of quite a lot of other bacteria. So these great breeding results can occur because of the reduction of other infections and keeping them under control.

It is a given that the bacteria can be found in the manure in a short time after the (preventative) paratyphoid antibiotics. So keeping this in mind, you can question the effectiveness of this preventative course of antibiotic. In short, it is not all monochrome.

A few things are dependable on the history of the cot. If we presume that a cot has a positive result after the manure test, a paratyphoid treatment is very wise. But our opinion is that only a cure for paratyphoid is not enough. In these cases it is often recommended to vaccinate against this nasty illness.
Since a month or two, there is a major problem in the Netherlands and Belgium. The only available vaccine for paratyphoid in the Netherlands, namely the Columbovac paratyphoid, is withdrawn from the market by the firm Pfizer. Officially, there is no vaccine registered in the Netherlands. And, in my understanding, also in Belgium there is no vaccine available. According to the rules of the so called Cascade-regulation, we can ask the other countries in the European Union for the availability of this vaccine. Fortunately, in Germany is Zoosal T available and the firm Chevita has a vaccine for paratyphoid. So we have to look into the possibility to provide bird lovers through the vaccines in Germany.
In my experience, treating pigeons with medication only does not have a long-lasting effect.

A paratyphoid infection is a complex disease. On one hand, we have to treat the birds with medication. And on the other hand, we have to reduce the secretion of this bacteria in the manure and last but not least, we have to increase the birds immune system.
Longstanding, we use Bony SGR, and Bony Sambucca plus to address all these problems. Increasing the immune system cannot be obtained by occasionally providing the pigeons with these products. You have to use these product on a regular base to have the effect you have in mind.

We get a lot of emails with the question for a schedule because people want to change their system to our system, for these people heard of the great effect or decided to give the pigeons less medication.

Usually, I tell these people that the best time to create a good base for the immune system for the next flight season is the fall. As said, it is necessary to provide the birds on a regular base with these kind of products to get the maximal effect. Luckily, more and more people are convinced of the possibilities of a natural approach. And fortunately, more and more businesses are open to the thought of a natural approach in the sport. Surely, we have to reduce the unnecessary use of medication. And if product X, Y of Z is effective, is does not matter. As said, there are more possibilities. But if I focus on our products, the basis system is the guideline in our support, Bony SGR. If you have never given the birds this before, you have to provide the birds with Bony SGR 10 days consecutively, and after these ten days, only two to three times a week. Over the feed, you can give the pigeons in the middle of the week, BMT along with Basiskern and Nucleovit. And by the end of the week Bony Mineral.
The products are the backbone of the Bony system. After several weeks of using these products, the condition of the pigeons will optimize.

In the moulting period, you can expand the support with a simple herbal tea, mixing it through their drinking water. Even the use of Sedochol, Biochol or Bonichol can be supportive.

A discussion which I have with pigeon lovers is the necessity of providing the pigeons with vitamins during moulting. In my opinion, if we give the pigeons healthy feed, we have to consider the amount of vitamins to keep the bird fit. But you have to realize that nowadays the balance of healthy food for both humans and birds is hard to find. If we keep the focus on the pigeons, in the period of moulting, the body of the pigeons are on heavy demand. And a chains is a strong as its weakest link.

If there is a lack of nutrition in the feed, the whole chain comes to a stop. And because this sport is a top sport, I think that you cannot let anything to chance. You can better keep less pigeons and keep them in an optimal condition than keeping more pigeons and save on the health of the couples.

Good luck,

Peter Boskamp