I'm quite sure we have had a case of Marek's that resulted in the culling of our beloved, stunning, show quality JG Rooster. Unconfirmed, but the more I read the more I am convinced he had it.
Since then, I have gotten the vax and for the first time administered shots to some chicks and a few adults. I am no nurse Nancy, and the first time was chaotic to say the least, but I accomplished it.
2 of the chicks I vax'd were hatched here from my own stock when they were about 4 weeks old. At the time of the shot, one of them was already starting have trouble with it's legs. I treated as splay leg in hopes that it was that rather than Marek's. But now after a week, this 5 week old chick cannot stand upright and legs are one out in front one out in back, rather than to the sides.
I will have to cull today. I've read some threads on here about culling a chick. Many different methods that would be easy on me, but I'm not going that way. I'm going to use shears and cut off it's head. I think. I need to be able to do this. It's not in me at all to kill an animal. I like that about myself and I am little scared that I will lose that part of ME once I do it the first time. I don't want it to become easy for me to do.
Moving forward, no chicken will be brought to my backyard flock who hasn't been vax'd for Marek's. And all chicks hatched here will be vax'd by me. The vaccine is cheap and given under the skin. No reason in the world not to do it.
Don't fool yourself thinking that your farm doesn't have Marek's. It's in the dust in the air, it's on the birds and critters that visit your farm. Every unvax'd chicken is at risk.