Hi all those out there with Hens!
I have had a hen with Marek's Disease for over two and a half years now. I lost my first set of two hens to this condition within a week of each other. Not knowing what it was, and having inherited them, I thought it must've been old age..... I tried a year later with chicks I hatched in a little loaned incubator. Three of the four died just after they came on the lay with the same Marek's symptoms. Time to go onto the internet to figure out what IS this disease!..... Then the last one came down with it!
I'm a Lab Tech, and forever an experimenter. I thought...Hey! I've got nothing to lose! Knew that viruses can be dealt with, or at least held in check with a variety of natural remedies. Thought to myself .... kill or cure, I guess! I knew that time was of the essence. She was so paralysed that she couldn't walk anymore. She could just sit on one side with her leg outstretched. She could still eat a little, and drink.
I made up a [seriously bad tasting] mix of a capsule of olive leaf [extract equivalent to 5,000 mgs] garlic [extract equivalent to 1,200mgs] Andrographis [ extract equivalent to 1,200 mgs] Echinacea[extract equivalent to 500 mgs] Pau D'Arco[extract to 250 mgs] Citrus Bioflavenoids 20 mgs, Zinc Citrate 15 mgs, Elderberry 220mgs, Vitamin C 200 mgs. Here in New Zealand the brand is GO VIR - DEFENCE. The capsule was emptied into about 18 mls of water in a small bottle.[ I keep this in the fridge after I make it up]. I gave her approx half a ml of this, put her in my little greenhouse, with water and food close by, and had to go to work for the day. Initially she was too weak to fight and simply opened her beak and slowly squeezed it in allowing her to swallow a little at a time. I was convinced she would be dead by the time I arrived home. But NO! So I gave her another dose that night. The next day she had enough fight in her to struggle against the next dose, telling me that it must be horrendously foul. I persisted till she flatly refused any more, and she was so strong that I couldn't even hold onto her to give her the dose, and this little chookie [ Blackie] came back to being a laying hen.
She has always had a mechanical, robotic walk ever since, and every now and then I spot her having to have a little rest. She doesn't lay very often now, but at three years old I don't expect that anymore. If I see her going downhill I start up the meds again, and in fact, she knows that she needs it. I approach her on the roost at night during those times, shine the torch on the dropper, she obligingly opens her beak and starts swallowing away. She knows that she gets a small amount of mince after the medicine to take the taste away.
I would love to take a little video of Blackie now to illustrate how she is at this time but I struggle with the technology. One day, when I don't need to spent 10 hours a week away from home, working to pay my bills, I will have the time to spend on learning how to do stuff like that.
So, to all those who have the misfortune to have this disease in your flock, you now have an option to try.[ This disease is incredibly fast and mostly fatal. ]
BTW, I also have developed a treatment for Parvovirus, also a notoriously fatal disease of dogs. Out of 5 dogs, the one that came down with it first was taken to the vet where it was confirmed and died. The owner was told that if any of his other dogs developed the same symptoms the vets would not treat them. That they would simply have to die at home as it is so contagious. The vet could not risk other people's dogs catching the disease. The other dogs at home all developed it. They all lived and recovered, which is totally contradictory to the usual stats.
It is based on Black Elderberry. So if anyone wishes to know more about that or my Blackie, my email address is : firstname.lastname@example.org . My email address may come up with " address not existing", or equivalent , but it does.