About a few months ago my flock of 3 bantams died of Marek's after 1 year of having them. It was tragic, and took a long time for me to consider starting a new flock. I have a few questions on what I should do to ensure as much as possible that these new chickens won't have Mareks.
1) What should I do to the coop to clean it out and kill the virus? Feeding/water containers? Or should I just toss them and start completely all over?
2) I read that bantam chickens cannot be vaccinated and even if they are, it's usually ineffective. Is this true? The coop I have is only big enough for bantam chickens, and I greatly prefer bantam chickens as well. So, would I not be able to buy bantams because of the disease?
3) I still have a lot of feed and snacks I bought for my chickens left over in a big bin in my garage. Would it be still safe to feed those to my new chickens? Or do I have to throw it out and buy new feed?
4) I also read that Mareks spreads very easily, so I suspect it might be everywhere outside my house since my previous chickens were allowed to roam around freely around the backyard. Is the virus still active even without a host all these months? Is there a way to kill the disease in my back yard?
5) What other precautions should I take to make sure my new chickens won't catch the disease?
Thank you so so much! Everything is much appreiated :)