Marek's is a viral disease which affects young chickens usually between 8 weeks and 20weeks. It's a herpes type virus that attacks the nervous system and there are many different symptoms but one of the most common is asymmetric paralysis, usually a leg or a wing, so the bird suddenly starts limping or has a dropped wing, or a twisted neck. Sometimes paralysis spreads and sometimes it gets spontaneously better but returns weeks or months later. Immune system is depressed, so birds often succumb to secondary infections but the virus also causes tumours and wasting much like cancer. Some birds die quite suddenly and others deteriorate over weeks or months even. I had a pullet the year before that had an attack in October and was lying on her side in classic Marek's splits posture unable to get up and a few days later you could hardly tell she had been ill. 3 months later she had a second attack and was nest bound for nearly 3 months but she was prepared to fight it, so I gave her supportive care and she eventually improved to the point that she could free range with the flock and lay eggs but was always gimpy. Sadly she was one of the ones I lost to the fox.
There is currently no recognised treatment for Marek's and it is an extremely contagious and widespread virus, so keep your fingers crossed it doesn't find it's way to your flock. I've lost a few birds to it but others on this forum have lost whole hatches, one young bird after the next, which is really heart breaking.
Yes, glorious day here today too. Hens were straight down to my manure heap after breakfast. It's in a corner of the paddock that gets the morning sun and they were having a whale of a time scratching through it and generally making a mess, as they love to do. And then a nice dust bath in the dirt under the tree next to it... My girls know how to live! Some of my bees were flying this afternoon too, which was good to see.
I don't mind the cold as long as it's not miserable and wet. A good frost is healthy at this time of year and infinitely better than trudging through mud like we've had for the past few months.
Any sign/sound of life under that broody this evening?