Originally Posted by edmick
So my neighbor down the street has had two 9 week old chicks come down with mareks disease and after talking to a local small hatchery on the subject he described it as borderline pandemic. Has anyone else heard of this issue rising in their areas? I live in southern california by the way.
ABSOLUTELY!! In fact, I live in southern California as well and I MAKE SURE ALL my chicks are vaccinated for Mareks disease. It IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE! The virus can travel MILES in the wind and once it's on your land it's all but impossible to get Rid of. I had a Silkie breeder that didn't live too far from me and she had the most Beautiful show quality silkies! I asked her if she vaccinated for Mareks. She said, " no, she never had a problem"...And then her ENTIRE flock got Mareks disease.. Not only was she heartbroken watching her beautiful birds die in AWFUL ways her livelihood was effected. She could no longer in good conscience sell birds off her land with Mareks..it was such a devistating tragedy!After seeing that I ALWAYS vaccinate now. The way Mareks works is some birds can have the virus and not display symptoms but be a CARRIER and infect others. Mareks is so HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS the vaccine is given to chicks at HATCH because after that if they have been outside or around adult birds they are already considered Exposed to the virus. Mareks is like a chicken Cancer there are different forms. it basically causes large internal tumors that can rest on the nerves causing paralysis. also wasteing of the bird. it causes the birds legs to stick out in strange positions and they are stiff and unable to walk. THERE IS NO CURE. The vaccine is not 100% however it prevents tumors and is the birds BEST CHANCE at protection. The vaccine is a live virus but it IS NOT THE MAREKS VIRUS AND WILL NOT GIVE THE BIRD MAREKS. it is derived from a turkey virus and will NOT make your bird sick.The vaccine only costs about .50 cents at the hatchery per bird and is very much worth it. I really hope this helps and wish you the best.Edited by realsis - 4/1/16 at 10:42pm