Dr Rob Conradie
The five main viruses responsible for this syndrome are:
Paramyxo virus. This is easily prevented by using Nobilus Paramyxo given at 3 weeks
with a booster given at 7weeks (4 weeks later). If this vaccine is unaffordable then
Nobilus ND broiler can be used with good results. Always use registered vaccines
whether it is a pigeon or poultry vaccine.
This vaccine gives a partial non-specific immunity to the other viruses as a result of
Interferon release. Vaccinations at 3 weeks and a booster at 7 weeks are vitally
CIRCO VIRUS. Found to be the most common cause of Young Bird Disease.
Rotavirus has also now become a problem in many countries.
There is no registered freely available vaccine for the last four viruses.
There is also no specific treatment for any virus disease in pigeons.
Treatment is aimed at boosting the immune system.
Immunity to these viruses comes from antibodies and white blood cells produced by the
Lymphoid/Tonsillar tissue of the body.
60 to 80% of this tissue is found in the intestinal tract.
If the intestinal tract is cared for, the lymphoid tissue will function optimally.
Caring for the lymphoid tissue is particularly important with Circo virus because this virus
destroys lymphoid tissue making the bird particularly susceptible to many other disease
Keep intestines healthy:
o Prevent perforation or ulceration of tract by keeping birds free of Coccidiosis and
worms. If the parent birds are kept free of these parasites the babies will only
become infected very much later.
o Use probiotics, found in Intestum and Enteroplus to form a protective/slime layer
on the mucosa, acidify the intestine, improve digestion and have a mild antibiotic
Many fanciers use Jik, chlorine and other disinfectants in the water to prevent and cure
YBD. It MAY only prevent viral transmission via drinking water. It does not cure the virus.
Please remember that this is going to sterilize the intestine, even more than antibiotics will.
It will kill good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria are essential to maintain intestinal
Use specific scientifically proven immune boosters.
o Beta glucan found in Intestum, Enteroplus and Medimune. Beta glucan activates
white blood cells, increases immunoglobulins and “killer” T cells.
o Vit. C found in Viroban and Medimune
o Vit. E found in Viroban
Use herbal remedies as additional aid.
o Elder, Sutherlandia, Thyme, Rhubarb root and Tumeric all found in Medibrew.
Suggested preventative program.
o Intestum on the food if birds are eating
o Entero-Plus in water if they were to be off their food
o Viroban and Medibrew in the water
These can be given preferably every day or otherwise 2-3 times a week.
Program does not need to be followed as is but info given above is a guide.
This medication can be given to parents while babies are in the nest, continuing with the
babies after weaning.
o Medimune tabs to babies in the nest from 14 days of age. This prepares them for
possible exposure to YBD and upcoming Paramyxo vaccine at 3 weeks.
If the program given above were to prove too costly and only one were to be used then
Intestum would be the best choice. It contains pre- and probiotics, beta glucan, Calcium,
Magnesium and Methionine.
The second wave of YBD that we experience when birds start mixing in the baskets can be
prevented to a certain extent by following the program given above. Start this program
when your training starts.