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Vaccinated pullets keep dying from Marek's

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My heart is breaking! Last year, I purchased some pullets from my local feed store that did not have proper Marek's vaccinations and they infected my property with the disease. I went through about a half dozen pullets and only have one hen alive from those. This year, I was trying to replenish my flock and I am now on chicken number 3 that was vaccinated and has died from Marek's. I actually had one necropsied and it confirmed that it died from that. I have been buying vaccinated 10 week olds thinking they would have enough time to build up the resistance. Any advice on what I can do? I keep an extremely clean chicken area but know that once you have Marek's, it's almost impossible to get rid of it. My older hens are all still doing fine. FYI, I have been raising chickens for 10 years now.
Edited by aSliceOfLife - 5/30/16 at 8:40am
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post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
Well obviously no one has an opinion on this. I am going to buy a couple of 5 1/2 month old chickens from a private breeder today. They have been vaccinated. Let's see if maybe the feed store never eradicated the Marek's off their property and are exposing the brand-new chicks to the disease before they are actually immune. Cross your fingers everyone!
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post #3 of 4
It is a holiday, so there may not be too many Mareks experts online. I would read Nambroth's good article called Great Big Gigantic Mareks Faq by doing a search at the top of the page or by Googling Mareks. What I have read is that the disease is pretty much everywhere, and if it is on your property, it can remain there for as much as 7 years after all birds are gone. When a new chick is vaccinated, it can take a full 2 weeks for it to be immune to the virus, so they should be kept away from dust, dander, or practically anything in the environment for 2-3 weeks. The vaccines given by the big hatcheries are said to be better than the one that we can purchase ourselves. Some birds can have a natural immunity to the disease. Sorry that you are dealing with this. Others on BYC have vaccinated new birds, and still had them come down with the disease. There are many good threads to read about Mareks, and since they are ongoing, many will answer any questions if you post.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply. I spent two days learning everything I could about Marek's when this happened to me last year so I already knew all this info. Hence buying the 10 week old pullets. I personally feel that having 3 out of 3 pullets I purchased in the last couple of months get sick and die is more on the feed store than me. If the hatchery vaccinated them and they lived their first 10 weeks at the feed store, I doubt they would all catch Marek's at that age once I brought them here. Plus, symptoms don't display until 12-16 weeks of age. Let's see how the 5 month olds from a farm do. They were vaccinated by a hatchery too.
Edited by aSliceOfLife - 5/30/16 at 5:44pm
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