Duluthralphie - Will the toms continue to fight even if there are no hens present? Furthermore, what is the ideal hen-to-tom ratio?
(Thank you for putting up with my endless stream of questions, lol.)
mountain mom -
Sorry to hear that. However, it is probable that you have already had Mareks (MDV) in your flock.
Here is an interesting link about Mareks in varying species of fowl, including turkeys.
Based on my experience and research, culling is the worst possible step to take with a Mareks-infected flock. It's impossible to completely eradicate the virus - it lives in the soil, and anything and everything can transmit it. Your best options are to A: Breed surviving birds so that future generations will develop resistance; and B: make sure that your birds' gut flora is balanced.
Varying sources, such as the following one, explain that a birds' gut flora is closely related to their immune system.
I've lost several birds, of varying ages, both sexes, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to different strains of Mareks over the years. This year I introduced probiotics and supplements into their diet, introduced several new birds, and only one contracted the disease.
You may lose a few more birds to it, but if they're healthy your mortality rate should be low.
Off to bed. 'Night!
Edited by Feathyr - 11/27/15 at 9:32pm