3rd Sick chicken with same illness in 60 days. Ideas please?


11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
Fincastle, VA
Would the board please give me some input on this illness? I am thinking Marek’s. But will bow to the board’s input. My birds were not vaccinated as chicks.

3rd bird to come down with this illness. First was 60 days ago. A hen that is a year old. Then a Cockerel last month. They died after a week.

Pullet age 5 months average weight 5lbs
Cannot remain standing. Wobbly, then sits. Falls over on her head and very unbalanced.
Comb is not bright red, little pale. Clucks when I'm with her. Droppings are soft to runny. Light milk chocolate in color. Smells normal.
Eats and drinks okay. Housed in nice coop I clean monthly. New shavings when I do. DE on a regular bases. No lice found.
Housed with 16 other chickens.
First Hen died while I was out of town, so I don’t know her story. Second bird, the cockerel, I thought might be Cocci, so I treated him as such. He didn’t make it.

This bird I have quarantined and have been giving terrimycin Agri-biotic for two days. I don’t see any improvement, but not worsening either.

Huge amounts of rain in last 60 days. There are puddles that collect runoff water that is dirty in my opinion. I am sure thay all sip from them.

No wounds, sores tumors or anything I else I can find.
No local vets here that I have found.
Is there any way you can call your local Extension office and have them come out and check them? Thats about the only way to make sure on if its Marek's or not is to have them tested.

As for the coop and water - put play sand down - it will help with the mud and will absorb the water. Drinking dirty water that is filled with droppings (if they are doing that) and they're sick is just contaminating them over and over again, causing more sickness. Even if not drinking it, it gets on them and they preen.
If run-off water is running into your coop/pen area - dig a mote around it or a trench (like a french drain almost) that way the water will run away from the pen. If water is getting into the pen due to it not being covered, then put a tarp over their run to protect them from further conditions.

I hope you figure it out soon and I'm so sorry you lost some of your birds.
I was reading a post on Meraks that should yo r new birds shuld be at least 5 months old before adding them to an existing flock, strictly due to Mareks. Mine were only 20 weeks when I put them all together. Supposing it is Mareks, will they all come down with it eventually or will some just not react to it?

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