****. I have a little 8 month old cream legbar pullet that was hatched last spring - unvaccinated . Her two sibs both died of mareks (one necropsy, one a guess). Been thinking she might be a little "off" lately because she has been hanging out in the coop - but so have others with this variable weather. I've noticed that if I come in the coop and the other chickens leave, she goes to the waterer drinks and drinks and drinks. I've picked her up and hand fed her a couple of times, again feeling that she isn't standing up for herself to muscle her way into the feeders (multiple feeders).
so today, she is up on the shelf in that puffed out position. When she flew down to the floor she started high stepping. High stepping seems to me to be a mareks symptom followed in a couple of weeks by death. damnation.
and now I am wondering whether picking her up and hand feeding her is adding to her stress, stress=mareks outbreak.
It's very hard to make all the decisions to give a pullet a better chance to fight off Marek's. Bottom line is you do the best you can . If she is going to die of Marek's, then she will. I think of it as out of my hands if they live or die, and I try to do what I can to help them fight it. Most times it does not work. I call what you have a no win situation. Handling vs starving.
I had a rooster who started to get opportunistic ailments , 3 years old. He got dry pox real bad , then he got bumble foot after bumble foot and he was skin and bones. I had a choice of continuously cutting and digging into his feet, or euthanizing him, which I did, because I felt it was better than further torture. No win situation.