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Marak's??? - Page 3

post #21 of 29

Just thought I would add this link:

post #22 of 29

I open the capsules and just sprinkle it over their treats.. they gobble it right down.  I sprinkle 2-3 over the treats..  For Limp Chick I sprinkle 2 into her food and shake it in.. I used Payback Hatch to Hen A/B Medicated. as a free-choice. 

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

Just an update ;) We are pretty sure at this point that this is indeed Marek's. We could try testing, but at this point nothing could be done. Everyone is still hanging in there. I got in touch with a Marek's researcher at NCSU. Here's what she said:


"At this point and if all your chickens are 15 weeks old, it does not matter if you keep them separated or not. Unfortunately, chickens get exposed to MDV early in life but it takes weeks for the disease to develop. However, if you are planning to buy newly hatched chickens, those should be as far as possible from the older chickens (even in those look completely healthy) because most, if not all, healthy chickens are infected with MDV even though they don't develop the disease.
Once MD occurs, there is very little you can do for the sick chickens. All you could do is confirm the diagnosis and if they become too sick I would recommend to euthanize them to avoid further suffering.  Backyard chickens normally get vaccinated with lyophilized vaccine of HVT which is not very protective. Unfortunately, cell-associated vaccines which are much better are not available for low doses (the smallest vial is for 1000 doses) and they are hardly used for small flocks. 
Recommendations for the future would be extreme biosecurity if you get baby chicks. Keep them far away from older chickens, make sure that you visit them first thing in the day (never after visiting older chickens) and do not mixed utensils or equipment between both groups of age."
We got ours from McMurray so they got the good vaccine. Here's how each one is doing below. An interesting note - two pullets seemed to be coming down with it - one had head tremors and her neck was bending around to the left. It happened while I was treating everyone, so I swept her up and immediately gave her a dropperful of hypericum. Stopped immediately and I've not seen it again (this was a week ago). Another pullet started swaying and dropped back on her bum. Again I was right there with the hypericum and it stopped immediately. Never happened again. Perhaps it was just chance. Perhaps not.  Perhaps I stare at my chickens too much. :) Anyway, we are holding steady right now. Affected pullets get hypericum twice a day. Those that went down before I started this treatment are still hanging in there. They get vitamins in their water, brewer's yeast and garlic in their food. I also added some old fashioned oats to their food (not a lot, but it sure gets them eating!). They get two suet feeders full of fresh oregano in the morning (supposedly a potent virucide) and some basil and kale in the afternoon.  We kept Pullet 2 and 3 out for a bit, but after talking with the Marek's researcher, we moved them back with the flock. I'll put the individual updates in purple today.


Pullet #1 (Columbian Wyandotte) three weeks ago lying down fluffed out, also limping on one foot. Put her in a cage for 2 weeks, out this week, now doing better - walking slowly, resting a lot, but no limp and can go up and down ramp. Today she is still very tired - but still seems better than before. No limping, happy, eating, drinking, pooping fine, just lies down a lot. She seems to be on the upswing of this thing after 3 weeks. Today she still has a slight limp, but took her first dirt bath in several weeks! Yeah Christie!!! She still lies down a lot, but not nearly as much as she used to. No scratching the ground yet, but we are happy with the progress.

Pullet # 2 (Golden laced Wyandotte) four days ago began falling down, drunkenly lurching around. Very sassy and full of herself, but can't walk straight and sometimes falls backwards with feet out front. No improvement yet, but eating, drinking, preening, pooping fine. Still no change for this girl. She and Pullet #3 are isolated in a dog crate, as they don't walk very well. Still sassy and eating, just having walking trouble. Nancy is still one of the head hens. Despite her drunken stagger, she scratches, pecks, and pushes everyone around. We feel she is not falling quite as much as she did last week. 

Pullet # 3 (Delaware) Lying down all day on side, usually with a leg hanging out. Wings sagging a bit, seems a bit disoriented, walks carefully. This is actually the most worrisome girl, because her whole personality seems a bit depressed. Her wings hang when she stands, though she can flap them fine. She is stumbling a bit when she walks. Eating, drinking, pooping, preening fine. Frass is still lying down most of the time. Her wings are still weak, and she walks very carefully, swaying when she stands. But she seems more alert, and happily pecks at treats. No scratching, but she gets up for water and food.

Pullet # 4 New girl as of yesterday. Not sure if she fits into the sick category (yet). She started having what appeared to be neck tremors/spasms. These stopped immediately upon hypericum doseage. No additional attacks so we are just keeping an eye on her now. Agatha never had another attack that we've seen, so we've taken her off hypericum after 3 days.

Pullet # 5 (Cuckoo Maran) Amelia was swaying on her feet and sat back on her bum. Looked weak. Gave hypericum and it immediately stopped. Treated two days and never had another issue.


post #24 of 29

I'm sorry that it is marek's, but I'm glad that the chickens seem to be doing okay. I hope they get their strength back and all the symptoms disappear soon. :fl

post #25 of 29

Sometimes with Mareks symptoms will suddenly disappear, only to return later. Tumor formation on nerves and organs anywhere in the body can happen.  I wish I could reprint some info from a book I have, but can maybe do that later.

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
One more update here. We're pretty sure it was Mareks. No more have come down with it. Yay! The first chicken that limped is almost back to normal except that she still does not scratch. I may have to trim her nails soon. The second chicken Who walked like a drunken sailor is doing well also. If she gets surprised and stands up quickly she lurches around a bit. Although she still a bit wobbly, she has learned how to compensate. Today for the first time she jumped up on a perch! My third chicken has caused me the most concern. For five weeks she has just been lying around. She still eats and drinks but up until three days ago spent 95% of her time fluffed up and lying on her side. Two days ago she stood up in the morning And started eating scratch with everyone and packed for quite a while at half an acorn squash. She stood up for almost an hour and then had a very deep nap. Today she was up quite a bit and looked much happier. I think the big change came when we put food in the coop and out in the run. She was hanging out in the run a lot and was not eating when she was sitting out there. She lost a lot of weight. But she's actually starting to gain it back in the past week since she's had food everywhere.
post #27 of 29

Its so nice they are getting better.

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 

One last update. All three are doing well! The first, the Columbian Wyandotte, is pretty much normal. The second, the Golden Laced Wyandotte, still has toes that seem paralyzed, but her legs are doing much better. She still acts normal, just compensates for lack of balance by leaning forward a lot. The last and sickest, my Delaware, is doing great - still lifts her legs high when she walks, but I'm not sure if she still has some issues or if that just became a habit.


And even better, they all started laying eggs!


I've have two since then start limping. Both got the homeopathic meds immediately, along with 2ml of tums (1 reg tums crushed in a cup of water). Not sure which helped, but both cleared up in a day.

post #29 of 29

So amazing! I'm so glad they are doing well. :)

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