So over the course of the past few months I have lost one, sometimes two, birds approximately every two weeks. All are in roughly the same age group of 13 to 16 weeks of age. None of my adult birds, or waterfowl have been affected. Symptoms start suddenly, a bird that was perfectly healthy just hours before becomes lethargic. The affected typically move very slowly, movement almost seems to cause them pain. Approximately 6 hours after the first sign of illness some of the birds become dis-coordinated, some lose function of their legs. Their legs dont splay to the sides, most of the birds just lay on their sides and kick while they try to stand. Some birds lose their appetite and refuse to drink, while others seem to be unable to digest feed. Birds are typically dead within 24-48 hours depending on their age. A deceased bird has been sent out for a necropsy, but it is likely I wont hear back before Saturday, or even Monday. Any thoughts? My suspicions are Mareks, or possibly some form of poisoning. All the juvenile birds are being fed Blue Seal Grow and Show, but we have been through 3 or 4, 50 pound, bags of feed since birds first began dying.
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Have you read the Mareks faq by Nambroth yet? It is found by going to the rop of this page and typing in mareks in the search bar. There are several conditions that can look like Mareks including botulism , eating moldy feed, lead poisoning, and exposure to toxins. Botulism comes from eating a toxin found in dead animal carcasses, maggots, and rotted vegetation. Your chickens are in the right age group for Mareks, but all chickens don't die from Mareks, and symptoms can vary with each chicken. Please update your thread when you hear any results. Sorry for your loss.
We heard back early, it is mareks disease, and possibly with a topping of mycoplasma We are now shut off to selling and distributing live poultry.... I just want to allow my poor birds to live out their lives and repopulate after they have all passed. We agreed to let them test for the mycoplasma as the lungs and air sacs were thick, and sometimes full of a mucus like substance. The state vet told me this is a reportable disease in our area, what does this mean for my flock if it comes back positive?...