Young Bird Sickness

Young bird sickness, whatever it is, is the term frequently used by most fanciers to describe a common if not omnipresent condition pigeons go through in their year of birth. Some speculate that it is caused by the Adeno virus or the Circo virus, which in turn challenge the young birds’ immune system enough to allow the e-coli to make the youngsters ill.

In the above context I read a post on the Ad Schaerlaeckens’ site this morning stating that after many years of not having any problems at all with YBS, to his surprise, he now also has it. I’ll quote from his post (my translation)



Prijs (12/02/2016)

“Several days ago I noticed the first disaster. When I went to feed the youngsters, the feeder had hardly been touched. Then I noticed a youngsters all hunched up, with a crop full of water, thin and its eyes blinking. It showed a total lack of vitality, we all know the scenario.
That one will be gone in the morning I said to myself. To my surprise, it was still alive the next day. I sprayed some water containing 4 and 1, into it’s crop and the next day it looked much better . A mild form of e-coli I thought to myself. Then I noticed 4 more (out of 20) acting sick and several others not looking too fresh and of course others that looked just fine.

What now?

“Some fanciers would chose to take the sick youngsters and treat them….For now, I don’t plan to do anything. By which I hope to prevent future problems (build immunity).
By doing nothing the following may happen:

  • Several will die and the rest will recover
  • They will all become so sick that I will have to treat
  • All of them will recuperate slowly

I’ll gamble on the last one because many top fanciers, when being interviewed, have told me:

“In the long run, the problems you cure for most often are the ones that will become your biggest problems in the future”

Just another way of saying, over use of antibiotics etc. will build up resistance and lead to problems we will no longer be able to overcome.
Food for thought, straight from the masters mouth, or is that pen.