We inoculated game-farm mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) eggs and 1-day-old birds with Mycoplasma anatis to determine its effect on hatching success and growth rates of ducklings. Inoculations of eggs reduced hatching success, hatchling size, and duckling growth rates, compared to controls. Intratracheal inoculations of 1-day-old birds did not affect growth rates. Hatchlings and 1-day-old ducklings grew much slower for the first 7 to 10 days when raised at 17 to 19 C, compared to controls raised at 30 to 35 C. The effect of cold stress on growth was greater than the effect of M. anatis infection; we found no synergistic effects between cold stress and M. anatis infection.
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Vol. 31 • No. 2