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New Flock and Mareks disease

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I recently posted a thread about an injured silkie.  I say injured because the lady who gave me the chickens told me she had "hurt" her leg.  I asked her every question under the sun,, about health, vaccinations, etc.   Now , a few weeks later, the entire flock is sick,, they are dying off one by one.  One had a tumor like lump on her behind, and two others developed parital paralysis and died shortly after.  I now believe that they have Mareks disease.  So here are a few questions. 

1. They have had little or no contact with my existing flock. I put them out in the yard,, my yard not the chicken yard, and free ranged them on nice days but they did not interact directly with my existing chickens.  Will my flock be at great risk of developing the disease?  Mine are all adults and have had no illness, ever.

2. Do all chickens likely carry this disease?  Articles that Ive read point to this being the case.  If true, and my flock already likely carriers.. would that protect them from other strains of the disease?

3 Will I have to vaccinate every bird that we hatch or purchase from now on? 

4. Will it affect my ducks, turkeys or goats?

5. If any of the affected flock survive, is it ok to integrate them into my flock after another 4-6 weeks of making sure they are healthy?

Sorry to ask so much, but Ive had chickens for a few years and NEVER had a loss, illness, or disease of any kind... if trying to do someone a favor by taking on their birds wipes all of mine out, Ill never forgive myself..

TIA

Helene


Edited by helene2198 - 12/30/15 at 7:58pm
post #2 of 5
I'll share my experience with Mareks, I bought some chicks from tractor supply and some from a swap meet years ago, a couple in each group developed Mareks, we culled when it was obvious and they were symptomatic. For me, it seemed to be self limited to those couple of birds, the few that never showed symptoms lived out their lives, I just lost the last one last week, she was 7. I don't vaccinate, I get my birds all from a hatchery now, I've never had any others show symptoms. So I think it's not always a horrible outcome.

At this point I would keep them separately for a while and cull as they get sick, and then I would wait a while until all the rest have remained healthy then I would decide what to do.

Personally I would integrate them as the damage is done as far as bringing it on to your property. I read upon it too and it gets scary, but then I didn't have troubles, I'm assuming that some must carry it, but I read it's a good thing for them to be exposed and to build the immunity, the vaccines prevent the tumors from forming but you are still introducing it into your birds.

I like building a healthy flock that is resistant to diseases and I cull anyone who can't recover from things as opposed to treating things.

Edited to add it has no effect on my goats or turkeys.
Edited by oldhenlikesdogs - 12/30/15 at 8:20pm
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the positive response.  I have read 20 or so articles with conflicting descriptions, symptoms and outcomes for this disease.  There seem to be a lot of disagreements over weather adult birds will fall ill,  chicks and vaccines,  and survival rates... Common sense tells me that if most birds are carrying it,, the death rate has to be over exaggerated..    My flock has always been 100% healthy, never a single illness.  So I am hopeful that they will survive this.  The10 new birds however are struggling.  We have lost a Cochin and 3 silkies.  A 4th silkie is thinning ,, so I fear she wont make it long.  The others  , a silkie roo, a Cochin, and three frizzles are still thriving.   they are quarentined in a  large stall in  our basement..  We are planning to keep them there for the winter as of right now... It gets really cold here, and I don't think that we will have good weather to acclimate them to being outside for at least 2 months.   Hopefully that will give the illness time to run its course..

until then we will be hanging in there..

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Getting frustrated.. the lady who gave me the flock is blaming me...   even though one of the hens was sick for a week before I got them.. she had a paralysis in her leg.   a WEEK before! Now the others are getting lesions, paralysis and basically wasting away..  doesn't common sense say that they were sick before she gave them to me?  Im so frustrated... these birds are ill,, and may now wipe out my entire flock... I may lose 38 birds..    UGH

post #5 of 5
Does she want them back, otherwise it's none of her business. Sometimes things like being relocated can cause enough stress to get existing problems to show themselves. I really think your other birds will be fine. I know what it's like to watch something go down hill and not being able to do nothing about it. Hang in there.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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