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Dead and sick chickens. Don't know what else to try - Page 2

post #11 of 18

 I found having a diagnosis really helped me mentally. You feel like you don't know what to do for the best with all these sick/ailing chickens and that somehow, perhaps it's your fault, that you are doing something wrong with your flock management etc. Once you find out it is Marek's and the only thing you could have changed is to have bought vaccinated chicks.... although still no 100% guarantee for individual birds.... you don't end up with multiple birds being sick and dying..... it makes it a little easier to deal with.

 

The Marek's virus is pretty much everywhere, so it's no reflection on you or your management that you get it.... just a lottery.... although introducing new, even seemingly healthy birds to your flock will increase the risk. Once you get your head round the diagnosis and find out as much as you can about it, it helps in coping with it. Not sure if that makes sense, but that has been my journey. There are many people out there who don't bother to get a diagnosis when a chicken dies and keep their head in the sand as regards Marek's, but I believe it is incredibly common and perhaps through shared knowledge on forums like this, we stand a better chance of dealing with than in the past, where the general advice was to cull the flock.

I'm trying to breed for resistance, so I'm not vaccinating, but that resistance will probably only work within my flock for the strain I have. Others are vaccinating and/or trying multiple vaccines, or human herpes meds and I was recently reading about someone who believes that getting turkey farm soiled litter for the hens to pick through can help as the vaccine is made from a turkey strain of Marek's that cannot be contracted by chickens but activates their immune system to produce antibodies.... or of course, keeping turkeys with their chickens.... but this is not always a practicable option.

 

Anyway, I'm pleased I was able to give you some food for thought and I hope that, if it turns out to be Marek's, it's one of the milder strains.

 

Sadly it is often the favourites that succumb, so I sympathise re your rooster. Hope he is one of the ones that beats it. 


Edited by rebrascora - 12/22/15 at 5:55am
post #12 of 18
Oh no. I'm falling to pieces over here over one rooster, and he's still alive! Barely, but we'll see how this morning goes. sad.png I'm sorry for your losses. I'm glad you've got a root cause. Mine's gone from injured throat to fungal infection to bird flu being the latest. I'll be calling the local agent for free government testing in a few hours. Are we crazy for loving these animals with their little, lively lives and putting ourselves through heartbreak? So much joy and so much sadness all in a little fluffball. sad.png
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelia Egghart View Post

Oh no. I'm falling to pieces over here over one rooster, and he's still alive! Barely, but we'll see how this morning goes. sad.png I'm sorry for your losses. I'm glad you've got a root cause. Mine's gone from injured throat to fungal infection to bird flu being the latest. I'll be calling the local agent for free government testing in a few hours. Are we crazy for loving these animals with their little, lively lives and putting ourselves through heartbreak? So much joy and so much sadness all in a little fluffball. sad.png

So sorry. sad.png

-Kathy
post #14 of 18
There is a lab in UC Davis lab in San Bernadino that does free necropsies.
http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/cahfs/

-Kathy
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebrascora View Post
 

 I found having a diagnosis really helped me mentally. You feel like you don't know what to do for the best with all these sick/ailing chickens and that somehow, perhaps it's your fault, that you are doing something wrong with your flock management etc. Once you find out it is Marek's and the only thing you could have changed is to have bought vaccinated chicks.... although still no 100% guarantee for individual birds.... you don't end up with multiple birds being sick and dying..... it makes it a little easier to deal with.

 

The Marek's virus is pretty much everywhere, so it's no reflection on you or your management that you get it.... just a lottery.... although introducing new, even seemingly healthy birds to your flock will increase the risk. Once you get your head round the diagnosis and find out as much as you can about it, it helps in coping with it. Not sure if that makes sense, but that has been my journey. There are many people out there who don't bother to get a diagnosis when a chicken dies and keep their head in the sand as regards Marek's, but I believe it is incredibly common and perhaps through shared knowledge on forums like this, we stand a better chance of dealing with than in the past, where the general advice was to cull the flock.

I'm trying to breed for resistance, so I'm not vaccinating, but that resistance will probably only work within my flock for the strain I have. Others are vaccinating and/or trying multiple vaccines, or human herpes meds and I was recently reading about someone who believes that getting turkey farm soiled litter for the hens to pick through can help as the vaccine is made from a turkey strain of Marek's that cannot be contracted by chickens but activates their immune system to produce antibodies.... or of course, keeping turkeys with their chickens.... but this is not always a practicable option.

 

Anyway, I'm pleased I was able to give you some food for thought and I hope that, if it turns out to be Marek's, it's one of the milder strains.

 

Sadly it is often the favourites that succumb, so I sympathise re your rooster. Hope he is one of the ones that beats it. 


Yes it helps tremendously. I'm new to chickens but I have done everything I know of to do right by them so it has made me feel very inept. 

 

We're bee keepers also and do not medicate just for the sake of medication. Only natural processes. We don't need any more super bugs but boy is it hard to watch. The bees don't all have names.

 

Thank you again!

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelia Egghart View Post

Oh no. I'm falling to pieces over here over one rooster, and he's still alive! Barely, but we'll see how this morning goes. sad.png I'm sorry for your losses. I'm glad you've got a root cause. Mine's gone from injured throat to fungal infection to bird flu being the latest. I'll be calling the local agent for free government testing in a few hours. Are we crazy for loving these animals with their little, lively lives and putting ourselves through heartbreak? So much joy and so much sadness all in a little fluffball. sad.png


I do hope its not bird flu. They will need to cull your flock. Please keep us informed.

 

I'll continue to put myself through the heartache as long as my husband continues to wipe my tears and give me a hug. I have the obsession.

post #17 of 18

Probably not flu.

 

-Kathy

post #18 of 18

I'm a natural beekeeper too. I've been treatment free for 7 years now and no losses to varroa in that time. My bees are local mongrels with quite a lot of Dark British bee in them, that have almost all descended from a swarm that landed in my garden 17 years ago. I have a mixture of framed hives and top bar hives and leave alone conservation hives. I love my most recent top bar hive as I built it with an observation window, which is really useful at this time of year for checking on them without taking the lid off and letting the heat out.

 

Anyway, just wanted to say we have something positive in common rather than just a horrible disease in our flock.

 

Best wishes

 

Barbara 

 

PS. I like the sound of your husband. He's obviously very supportive.   

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