This is long, so bear with me. I rescued a chicken from work three years ago and got her three friends off craigslist. Original chicken died from eating metal from when she was a free ranger. A few months later, I got three chicks. One died from coccidea. Two lived for a year. My Ameraucana started limping after I thought an attack from older girls. I took care of her for weeks until she developed a head tilt and euthanized her. Her pen buddy got sick and died one week later. Necropsy of Ameraucana was positive for Mareks. My two older birds are not showing symptoms. I love my chickens.They are pets and am now worried about four chicks I had in garage. Specialist from UGA said to vaccinate all of them and hope for the best. I just wanted to share as I am not a big operation and don't have birds coming in and out of my house. My vet said Mareks is out there and common. I will not be getting un-vaccinated birds from here on out. I hope no one has to learn the hard way like I did. It only took one to be a carrier to kill some beloved birds. Even if they look healthy, some might carry a disease that is preventable.
my chickens have Marek's
Marek's vaccinated birds do not shed the disease. It is impossible. Marek's vaccine is made from Turkey Marek's and therefore cannot cause illness in other chickens.
I am so sorry this happened to you. It is happening more and more. I have lost 27 birds from Marek's. It is a horrible, devastating disease. I now vaccinate everything or buy vaccinated. I keep the chicks quarantined from the others for at least 2 weeks but try for 8. This gives the babies time to build immunity. I am going to give all my birds booster shots as soon as my youngest chicks turn 3 weeks old. I will then booster my entire flock every year. Apparently, some European countries follow this regime and so, I've decided to adopt it as well.
There are many good, informative threads on this forum about Marek's. Just do a search and you should find tons of info. If there is anything that I can help you with, please let me know.
Get your babies vaccinated. Vaccinate your older birds....it is the only way to stop this disease.