I have done a few quite a few posts now about sick birds and I think I am coming to the bottom of it. Maybe? I have read a lot about Mareks but I still have some specific questions.
I have had 2 birds get sick and I have had to kill from things that were a little different. One had water belly and one had possibly salpingitis. These birds were the same age (older) and Red sex links.
I have had one young one young buff orpington pullet die of what seemed to start as an eye infection or injury. Another one her age was acting sick shorty after but I treated with antibiotics and she got better.
I had one pullet (dominique) that I brought back to the hatchery that I got her from who could not walk well. Maybe partial paralysis? One leg ended up going forward and one going back. And she walked on the bottom part of leg instead of feet. The hatchery lady seemed to think it was an injury.
I have one bird (older red sexlink) now who seems to have hard things in her abdomen that are not like eggs being egg bound. She acts ill on and off but still pretty normal now. Maybe are tumors internal laying? I am just observing her daily and checking her.
I have another older red sex link who has had a grayish looking eye from the beginning when I got her and I thought maybe it was ocular mareks but everyone else seemed fine so I was not to worried. She commonly has a poopy bottom and acts a little ill on and off but generally fine still.
On top of this all, one of my younger hens ( Dominique, same age and breed as the one I gave back to the hatchery because of the leg issue) now has a pupil that looks like a star going across the whole eye and it seems to be a little swollen and bothering her because she is closing the eye. In fact she has always had grayish color eyes but I thought that was just her bread. Do Dominiques generally have grey eye?
So as you can see I have a crazy amount of issues and I am just sick to my stomach and fed up with it all. I kind of want to quit being a chicken owner in general...but I really don't.
With all this I am starting to wonder about Mareks disease. I am pretty sure there is at least ocular mareks in the flock. One question I have about ocular Mareks, can birds get the same symptoms as the other type of mareks disease? Could ocular mareks be what has made all my other birds ill as well even if they never had the regular ocular mareks symptoms?
or does mareks lead to ocular mareks or vise versa? Or would my birds have to have been exposed to both types of mareks for both of them to be in my flock?
I got all these birds from the same hatchery. Supposedly the red sex links and buff orpingtons were not actually hatched there though. I was planning on getting rid of the rest of the sex links I have because I have had so many issues with them and keep the younger birds I have still because they have been fine until this new eye issue came up. Also I was going to get new chicks from a different certified hatchery at the end of this month hoping to start with a clean slate after the red hens were gone. However, I know that if there is mareks in the flock, the younger birds I have probably all have it and it can live in the coop, run and soil for years so I would probably still give it to my new birds.
I was planning on making sure all new birds were vaccinated but I do not know if the ones I have already are.
If anyone has any thoughts about if this is Mareks, Ocular mareks, or both, I would appreciate it.
Also what would you do if you had possible mareks? cull all? cull the older ones with the most issues only? start over with all new vaccinated birds only? stop raising chickens?
Thanks in advance for the help. I have really been struggling with chicken keeping and I know a lot of people that have no issues at all even though I take better care of my birds then they do. So it is really heartbreaking to have one things after the next pop up.