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Possible Marek's. Please advice. - Page 4

post #31 of 36

Really sorry to hear that. You certainly gave her the best chance she could have, so it just wasn't to be.


I know it is not an easy thing to consider, but I would encourage you, if you are able, to open her up and see what you find.... for me this is the best way of improving my knowledge of the disease in order to treat the next ones more appropriately. Of course, you may have already decided to send her off to have a professional necropsy.


Good luck with the rest of your flock. In my experience, keeping them happy and stress free is the key to reducing further outbreaks.


Best wishes



post #32 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thank you Barbara.  I don't think I am to the stage where I could preform a necropsy on the chicken.  She is frozen at the moment. I want to save some feathers and make feet prints in clay before burial. 


My birds have had confirmed IB.  I do not know why 3 weeks ago it decided to finally hit the other half of the flock.  The ones who it hit hard back in October have so far been unaffected this time around.  The disease hits hard and fast.  This time it was with the 17-18 week old chickens who are silkies and weigh less than 1.5 pounds.  The particular strain that my flock has contracted hits hard and fast.  The polish are the ones who seem to get the most sick (although Claire was a silkie).  The first sign is rapid weight loss.  At 1.5 pounds or less, there isn't a lot to lose and they end up with hardly anything.  The last two that died were hitting that age of hormones.  Their 'sister' starting crowing on the same week they got sick.  He, of course, is fine. I have a feeling that the stress of the hormones helped to play a role in why it kicked in now. 


This didn't follow many of the same rules with IB that I have read about.  First, IB usually hits all of the flock at once within 24-48 hours.  My vet kept repeating "some become carriers" which I still can't understand "does that mean that carriers can switch over to having the disease?".  I asked several times but he explained in language that I do not understand. 


I worried about Marek's disease because of the inability to use the legs.  In hindsight, that was probably because I found Claire at the time she was dying and her body was failing.  I just helped to keep her alive for a few more days.  I feel horrible because she probably was in pain.  I was just hoping that with fluids and gaining back weight, she would once again walk.  Most birds with IB die from kidney failure which is probably what happened with her.  Diana, who seemed to fall over at the same time I started writing this post, died within 12 hours of this first post.  I knew then her paralysis was just her being too weak to move.  She did have a spurt of energy which is why I thought she was okay.  She stood up to eat and so I put her back in the cage only to find her hours later.. listless but still sitting up.  I picked her up and she died within minutes. 


I still have 3 sick ones. They are all still walking.  One is a mille fleur d'unclle.  The other two are silkies.  Milly is the sickest of all three.  She is very sneezy and makes awful sounds when swallowing so I know her throat is sore.  She's still very perky and I've been bringing her in for treats to keep her weight up.  They are being weighed 2 times a day.  I think if they can survive the next two weeks, then we might be done with the bad stages of IB.  I worried all through Christmas and kept telling people 'the silkies aren't getting the disease.  it's weird'.  They do get it.. just at a different time.  Why?  I don't know.  Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.


Sorry for the long post.  I am very sad tonight although it does seem that this one was a bit easier because I had known it was a possibility for days.  I do not know how to proceed with the flock.  I have 5 roosters now and 9 hens.  The roosters are housed separately from the rest of the flock, but I can't keep that many roosters.  I cannot sell any of them because they shed the virus for five months and I would not wish this one anyone else EVER.  If anyone has any ideas, please PM me to let me know.  


I'm new to chicken raising and I keep wondering if this is what chicken life is like all the time? 

post #33 of 36
So sorry really hurt me alot sad.png my paroo is doing much batter now walking slowly right now ...
post #34 of 36

This is the post I've been looking for.
Had a flock of 30 birds, (REDS), a couple years ago.
At 6 months, few started getting sick, stiff-legs, paralyzed. (Classic Marek's)

The California Department of Food and Agriculture came, by request, and examined my birds. All were infected with Marek's and one or two more each day were showing signs of it. They all had to be disposed of.

I'd like to know if ANY birds can be raised W/O all the shots? Truly natural?

Spoke to a local area farm that gives more than a half dozen shots to their chicks.

This time I'll only try a couple until I get some to survive.
Any, and all advice/comments PLEASE??? Thank you.

post #35 of 36

I have Marek's in my flock. None are vaccinated or medicated. I allow my broody hens to rear chicks within the flock and I support Marek sick birds within the flock rather than isolate them and only cull when quality of life has deteriorated to the point that they can't/won't eat and drink. 

My first outbreak was a year gone October. Since then I have had to cull two birds and lost another possible 4 or 5 to it. Last year my broody hens raised 28 chicks and I've only got one certain Marek's sufferer out of that number ( she had wing paralysis for a few weeks but has recovered slthough she is only half the size of hatch mates) and her brother. who has a digestive problem that I suspect is Marek's related.

I've certainly seen much less problems from it in the past 8 months than I did in the previous 8.


It seems I do have one of the milder strains of Marek's though, judging by other people's experience. I also think being broody reared improves their immune system and being farmyard mutts probably increases their thriftiness. They also free range, so they have access to weeds(herbs) and grasses as well as bugs etc from my horses manure heap as well as the pasture.


I hope that gives you some hope. There is another Marek's thread regarding breeding for resistance which I will try to find and link.

Edited by rebrascora - 1/27/16 at 10:53am
post #36 of 36

Thank you rebrascora,

If I remember correctly, the here in the SouthWest Desert of US, extreme temps have a lot to do with how easily the birds are affected. High Desert just North, over the mountains, of San Bernardino, Ca.
The Dr. who examined my birds said it was at epidemic levels in wild birds for this region too. And they are a constant source of transmission to livestock.

Hope to do better this time around. May just have to go with all the shots.

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