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Health Articles / Megabacteria

The megabacteria organism (more accurately known as Avian Gastric Yeast) has had a very high profile in the budgerigar fancy over the past few years. The post-mortem work carried out in the UK by Dr John Baker has highlighted the very large numbers of British budgies infected and many people have chosen to treat their entire flocks with Amphotericin-B as a precaution.

However the withdrawal of the water-soluble version of this drug from the world market now leaves many budgerigar breeders with a dilemma. Unable to repeat their treatments what should they do now.

For a while now many people have advocated allowing the disease to run its course through the flock. A natural tolerance to the organism seems to develop over a period of time. Whilst a few breeders experienced dramatic losses (25% plus) with this strategy no such major outbreaks appear to have occurred in the UK for quite a few years now.

However if I had been routinely treating my birds I would be nervous about the consequences of stopping the drugs. For these people it seems to me the best available option is to do everything possible to stimulate the immune system of the flock so their natural defences are well fitted to control the germs as they re-appear in the birdroom.

A totally natural way of achieving this is to feed carefully selected herbal extracts. We make these available either as an on-food supplement called Flourish or as an ingredient in our eggfood - Feast. Experience over the past few years has suggested that Flourish herbs also lead to faster chick growth rates and healthier birds.