Originally Posted by kayakfish
The documentation I have is the face to face conversation with a DR. Reddy at the Harrisonburg AG Disease Lab, He is the Virginia Merecks professional, here. I took some chicks to him that had been showing signs of paralysis, there were 3 I took him in different stages, as I had lost already 5-6 chicks between the ages of 4-8 weeks of age. I was concerned about my entire flock even though they had been in separate pens.
He confirmed they were indeed Merecks chicks, and also had Coccidosis, which was a secondary issue to the Merecks, due to a comprised immune system.
I asked him did I need to cull my entre flock, and this is what he told me word for word. Merecks is everywhere, wild birds carry it, waterfowl especially are bad for transporting it. He told me to cull any that showed the signs, but as far as the others they will be immune to the virus, and that there are very few adults that will be effected by this unless their immune systems are weak already. It can not be transported thru eggs, it is carried in the wind and only chickens with a slight immune issue will get the virus, which is why you don't see adult birds that are already matured getting this disease. That vaccinating chicks is the best way to try to keep it from effecting your flocks in the future but still not a guarantee.
I was so scared I was going to have to kill off over 5000.00 worth of breeding stock , I was really relieved to hear someone explain this to me in layman terms, I am sure you can call your area AG Dept and get someone to confirm this.
I have had 3 sets of different chicks go thru the same brooding, grow-out pens, and into the coops that those chicks came out of, and so far no issues. With that said I do clean in between each and every litter, with OXINE, to keep the areas as clean as possible for the next group. That also had been done with those chicks that came down with the virus,, that I hatched from eggs, and never had , had that on my farm, in any of my other chickens, chicks, quail, etc. So it had to have been brought in by a wild bird maybe one of the crows, doves, hawks, eagles, etc etc.
I am no longer scared of this particular virus, due to the clear and common language that it was described to me. If I get chicks come up with it again they will be immediately culled, I am sure it will happen again in my lifetime, don't sell anything that that is any way or form sick, and separate them from the rest of the flock until you can confirm what you are dealing with. Use your AG Depts and be sure of illnesses before treating at home unless you know for sure what you are treating. Using antibiotics and drugs that are not needed only makes viruses that are immune to anything that can cure them. Practice clean farm practices by not letting new fowl on your farm until you have set it in a quarantined area away from all your other flocks at least 2 weeks I do 4.
Don't allow folks on your farm without making them use a antibacterial on their footwear, and even then they can carry on their clothing, skin, hair, etc to your farm.
I just tell people I will meet them to sell chicks off the farm somewhere, and don't allow strangers with chickens on your property, just a suggestion.
Dr Reddy was very impressed that I drove over 3 hours each way to bring my chicks in to find out what was going on , on my farm, as most people wont or don't because they are worried about others finding out they have some sort of issue on their farm. He also suggested since I had such great concern and willingness to learn more that I take the NPIP certification class in which I indeed did do. Knowing the real information of the professionals that deal with these issues on a daily basis is much more important to me that of people who do a little research online then inturpit it in their own words. I am not here to argue about this virus, just to give the information that was given to me by the Dr that did the autopsies on my birds. There are different opinions I am sure , but this is what I was told, and have no reason to not believe what he has told me.