Originally Posted by SilkieNation
How did you know it was Marek's in your flock?
That is the million dollar questions. You don't know it is Marek's until a bird dies and you send it in for testing. My first bird that got sick was just not walking well and was sleeping in a nest box instead of on the roost. This went on for weeks. I came here thinking it could be Marek's but many thought it wasn't since she didn't have the classic one leg forward, one leg back posture. Three months later she still had use of one leg and had also developed paralysis in one wing. She had enteritis and i could feel a mass in her chest muscle. I was certain it was Marek's. I made an appointment to take her to the lab. Ironically she died the same day I called the lab. It was definitely Marek's. Testing of her and another sick pullet I had confirmed it.
Sadly, the whole time she was sick she was infecting the rest of my pullets. Everyone of the birds from her clutch died. I had a hatch of 20 younger chicks that were living in the barn. Of those 20, 18 died by the time they were 5 months old. I also lost all the pullets that were raised by my broody hen. One adult bird died from Marek's but the rest of them were fine since they were older when they were first exposed (five months old I think).
I am moving forward though. I am vaccinating everything now, and have the two survivors that will hopefully pass some resistance onto their chicks. It is horribly sad, but you have to hope some of your girls will have resistance and will survive. The heritage breeds like plymouth rock, RIR, Australorps, etc seem to be able to survive it better than the newer exotic breeds. Best of luck to you. Hang in there!