Marek's Disease Fact site
Gail Damerow spends a couple of pages on this in her book: the Chicken Health Handbook
"..............Chicks hatched from survivors of disease exposure are particularly hearty and may carry maternal antibodies that give them further immunity. (Be sure that the disease cannot be egg-transmitted from survivor-carriers to their chicks.)" p12
Here's another valuable quote from the same book (can you tell I like Gail Damerow's books for their thoroughness and easy referenceability?)
"When only certain strains or individuals are resistant to a disease immunity is 'partial.' Chickens have partial immunity to Marek's disease, since some strains never succumb to the otherwise common killer. In nearly every disease outbreak, some individuals do not become infected due to inherited immunity. Those are the birds you'll want in your breeder flock if you wish to breed for resistance, as described in chapter 1." p198
From Tasmania Animal Health and Welfare Branch--- (cheers for the Southern Hemisphere): http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/webpages/cart-6ptvyh?openDescribe 'Marek's Disease Fact site' here
Mississippi State University Extension:
Of huge interest is this quote from the above link: "Acute Marek's disease can be extremely rapid in its course, producing mortality in
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II Necropsy Information - contacts and costs
A gross necropsy does not include the cellular level cultures. For my pullet, they did not discover the Marek's at the gross necropsy level. For this reason they needed to do cellular level cultures. This is more expensive, takes longer and is more conclusive
This is a cut and paste by Ridgerunner and madamwlf from a BYC post on Marek's
I've lost 7 birds to the very disease they were vaccinated for: Mareks. And it would have cost me $100 to have further tests done. They all had classic Mareks symptoms. None of my other birds have become sick at all. I believe something happened with their vaccine. Anyway, to the OP I'm sorry to hear about your bird.
I searched for Maryland fees for Necropsy. The fee list I found was dated 2006, so it may be out of date, but it said avian pets cost $200 with carcass disposal fees additional, a small charge per pound. With poultry, that would be negligible. Farm poultry was No Charge for the necropsy.
In Arkansas, the cost was $45 for the poultry necropsy with a $15 carcass disposal fee. I'd heard it was only $10 but that's not what I found when I looked it up. This fee list was dated 2008, so maybe it has been reduced, but I don't think so.
The cost can vary widely from state to state and it can depend on how the bird is classified. You might discuss with them how they are classifying your chickens.
ChicKat, when you build your fact page, you might comment on both the widely varying costs for necropsy per state and to be careful how your bird is classified. Just a thought..
CALIFORNIA NECROPSY LOCATIONS AND INFORMATION: - thanks to casportpony
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III Approaches to Managing Marek's in your flock
Chickat: Currently I have 6 chicks from a hatch May 25th of 2012. I have decided NOT to vaccinate them. I am trying to raise Marek's resistant chickens. These chicks were hatched here from eggs from my Easter Egger who was in the pen, and on the perch with the pullet that I lost to Marek's. So their mother has some resistance. I am going to try to continue that resistance in her chicks.
NYReds :My approach to Marek's is the same as my approach to all other poultry diseases except Coccidiosis. I do not vaccinate or medicate for anything, again, except for Coccidiosis.
I immediately cull, which in this instance means kill, any bird that shows signs of illness. I have followed this practice for years & rarely heve any illness in a line of birds I've bred for more than 5 years.
Occasionally I am attracted to something new [actually more than occasionally-I like them all] and I have to repeat the process with the new birds but it always works.
To me it makes more sense to reproduce birds that are healthy & don't require medication than it does to reproduce birds that are prone to illness. In most cases these birds will produce offspring that are also prone to illness.
I wish I could claim ownership of this "breed for resistance" concept but I'm not that smart. I have to credit F. P. ]Fred] Jeffrey's booklet CHICKEN DISEASES which is published by & I think still available from the American Bantam Association.
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IV Ideas for Others to Consider
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V Symptoms that your chicken(s) Displayed
Chickat: First symptom drooping wing, with in 24hours semi paralysis of the other wing. With in about 55 hours at the medical lab in the pet carrier the one-leg-forward, one-leg-back symptom.
Symptoms (seminolewind) from Diseases of Poultry, chief editor W.M. Saif, pgs 407-446: My chickens displayed some of these but not all.
"Marek's disease may show signs, but few are specific to Marek's alone.
In nerve dysfunction- , Paralysis syndrome or peripheral nerve disfunction, may be progressive, and involve more than just legs and wings. Some nerves affected with MD include show crop paralysis or dilation , or gasping (vagus nerve). Incoordinate gait. One easily spotted symptom is one leg forward one leg back from unilateral paralysis. Transient paralysis of the neck.
Chickens with MD lymphomas have fewer signs, may become depressed or comatose prior to death, They may appear clinically normal. Nonspecific signs can include weight loss (wasting), paleness, anorexia, diarrhea. Deaths can be related to starvation and dehydration caused by MD lymphoma. Nervous tics or torticolis.
There is Early Mortality syndrome, which is especially virulent strains related, can cause death within 6-8 days. There is also a Latent Marek's syndrom, where the chicken is older than commonly noted.
Chickens can have transient paralysis, they get better, but die from MD at some point.
Sometimes vaccinated flocks can have significant outbreaks that seem to flair up, then abate.
Skin tumors that are found at the hair follicle.
Marek's exposed chickens are most susceptable to opportunistic bacteria, like coccidiosis, eye infections. etc. "
Factors that influence mortality and lesions: virus strain, dose and route, gender, maternal antibodies, genetics and age, prior infections, environment and stress.
Ocular-gray or cloudy eye, mis shaped pupil, or recognition of blindness in bird. Can be one or both eyes.
Paralysis , cloudy eye, crop stasis, gasping, wing paralysis, no neck control, a pupil that changed shape, wasting (mostly), pecking but not really eating food, most of these birds looked happy right up to the end. I've had an 8 week old with paralysis that got better after 2 months and went back to the flock a few months ago. I've had youngsters die from coccidiosis and eye infections from poor immune systems related to Marek's. I've had a 2 year old roo that had all the classic symptoms. I've recently had a roo that was over 2 years old have a change in pupil shape a month before he died. He was eating but wasting. Most of my demises have been chickens under 8 months old. But about 5 that were older. I've had batches of chicks hatch that were not affected, yet one hatch last year took all 7 chicks at 8-16 weeks old. (Seminolewind)