Originally Posted by pigcoon
One more thing, since the hens would free range at times, does anyone have suggestions for treating the yard? They did tend to keep to certain areas.
Lime and time. Lawn lime is strong stuff, it burns and will kill the Marek's virus there now, if given time to work. It will not keep a new outbreak from happening if it is again brought onto the property.
You'll have to forgive me, I think of what I have for buildings, in terms of clean up for the Marek's. If my set up was like yours, here's what I would do....dismantle as much as you can, remove tarp, sand, and if possible take out all of the wooden things and put them into the sun. I would use a mild bleach and water clean-up first, 1/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water, hot. Scrub everything, rinse and then make a fresh batch of the mix and scrub again. I have a very stiff brush here and will scrub unpainted wood until the fibers start to come up in like a fuzz. No idea how many times you'll need to do this but you will want to make sure where ever it is that you are cleaning is, #1, no place the new birds will be, #2, no place your old birds had been. Once you have everything down to bare, 'new looking' wood, I'd let it dry in the sun. After it's dry I'd be using the 1 - 1 ratio of bleach and water in a sprayer and totally soak everything wooden. Please wear a face mask....don't be an idiot like me, lol. Rinse and dry. Then again and again. You want that wood saturated and to suck the bleach into the fibers as much as you can get it to. When you're comfortable with it, leave it in the sun to dry and air. The bleach breaks down in the sun and turns into salts like in fertilizers. Once dry there are a couple of things you can do, either go to HD and buy the "OOPS" paint and then seal all of the wood or make up a whitewash with water and lime. The paint will seal the wood but the lime will work for about a year to help keep the coop bug and disease free. the pvc pipe and chicken wire will also need to be sprayed with the 1 - 1 solutin of bleach and water. As you're doing this it will also be helping to get it out of the ground in the run area. I'd rototill the ground where the sand is as well after removing the sand. The tarps would be fairly easy to clean but in doing so you will weaken them and it may be better to replace if you can. If not, find something big enough to have them submerged in the bleach and water, use a stick and carefully stir them a bit to make sure everything is soaked, then leave them over night. Dump the water and rinse them and hang in the sun to dry. Once dry put them in plastic bags until you're ready to put them back up. No sun? Leave them in the bleach water until you have some again. New branch for the perch/walk. I was thinking you had a big building for your birds, it will take a while, but I don't think the clean up with yours will be as intensive as mine would be.
I don't know what you did about the Marek's vaccination, so no idea how much of an exposure these chicks have had so far. If it were me and it has been, I would give it my best shot. If even after everything, these new chicks do get the disease and the mortality rate is as high as it was with your firt ones, I would wait until next year before I try to start over again. Depending on how much these sick birds ranged after this past winter, I do think you may have a chance to have live birds next spring. If they were out from mud season to now....I honsestly can't tell you. The brutal cold we had this past Winter would have killed any old virus outside of their area and as long as they didn't reintroduce more, through shedding....
Please forgive any mess ups with the spelling and such, I had an argument with a duck's wing yesterday and lost, lol. Only have one that's good right now and it's my weak one, so vision is a bit off. I will not come back and read this when it's better either, lol! I don't want to know!
I wish you the very best Pigcoon and am crossing fingers and toes that everything works for you.