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Adding new chicks to a flock affected by Mareks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jezzebel, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Jezzebel

    Jezzebel Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2015
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    Hi all, this spring I added 8 chicks to our small flock of 6. My babies were one by one decimated by Mareks :( it was horrible and we lost our favorite 3 yo hen. Things seem to have stabilized, the only two spring chicks who survived have started to lay :) and everyone else seems very healthy (knock on wood!) My question is I'd like to add chicks next spring, I plan on having them vaccinated, will this absolutely protect them if my birds are now carriers? They will be separated for a couple months regardless from my flock. Also I have a few bantams and wanted to add a few more but they don't vaccinate them because they are so tiny I guess? If I add unvaccinated bantams are they surely to get the virus?
    Thanks for any input, Mareks is awful and I can't go through that heartache again.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You're lucky that chicks can be vaccinated against Marek's. That will increase the odds against losing them to this disease. However, it's no guarantee. It depends on the individual whether they can maintain a resistance to the disease.

    I have a similar disease in my flock, no cure, no vaccination. I increase their chances of being resistant to this disease by keeping them as healthy as I can, feeding fermented feed, cleanliness, vigilance.

    Focus on the positives!
     
  3. Jezzebel

    Jezzebel Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2015
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    We have done everything imaginable both holistic and traditional medicine to stop the spread and save them. I feel it has finally run its course, but I know it will always be present now. I am thankful I didn't lose my whole original flock, they are very much our pets. So I guess it's a risk even adding vaccinated chicks. Have you added to your affected flock? And if so what were your results?
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Are you able to keep a turkey or two? I've not done this myself, but hear that keeping turkeys helps the chickens build an immunity to Marek's disease. Turkeys naturally carry a similar strain, and apparently he immunity cross-transfers.
     
  5. Jezzebel

    Jezzebel Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2015
    Brunswick, ME
    I've read that too! I think turkeys are cool, just wondered how they would get along with my chickens. Do they pick on the chickens? I've seen the opposite in a very large flock of chickens on a farm with a few turkeys. The chickens pulled the turkeys tail feathers out :( It might be worth a go in my situation.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes I add chicks every year, although adding chicks is a big gamble since I won't know if they will acquire resistance. My flock has lymphotic leucosis. Like Marek's it causes tumors. I'm reasonably sure it killed a young pullet recently, probably tumors grew on her heart and caused a sudden heart attack.

    It also affects the immune system in susceptible chickens, and I also have one of those. She gets frequent infections, gets very sick, but a treatment of an antibiotic has pulled her through each time.

    I have a two year old who has just begun to show signs of leg problems. She sits like a dog most of the time and doesn't want to stand, though she walks okay and was laying before molt.

    And one going on nine years old matriarch Brahma hen with a tumor over her eye.

    Those are the only issues out of two dozen chickens. I figure I'd probably have a similar rate of problems even if I wasn't dealing with LL.

    The only way to get rid of the disease is to kill all my chickens and start over, but I don't like that option.
     
  7. Jezzebel

    Jezzebel Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2015
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    I agree I won't cull my flock. Thank you for the input, health and wellness to you and your flock!:jumpy
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Mereks lives dormant in soil.......Vaccinated Chicks will still die if on the property......Two weeks after Vaccination they might have built up enough immunity to be on the property? Although even vaccinated Birds can die from Mereks......Never heard the Turkey story.....That is a new one for me!! Turkeys can also die from it too!


    Cheers!
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Under the circumstances, only get vaccinated chicks, and make sure that they are TOTALLY isolated from your infected property for two weeks at least. You can buy bantam chicks from hatcheries tht do vaccinate them for Marek's disease, and that's what I would do. Both MMcM and Cackle hatcheries will vaccinate bantam chicks for Marek's disease, and I've had nice chickens from both places. Mary
     
  10. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Big Tip: as mary said they must be kept isolated from your property for at the very least two week after vaccinated. Why? Because although they are vaccinated, they need TIME for the vaccination immunity to grow in their bodies. The are NOT protected until the immunity and antiboties are present from the vaccine. Two to three weeks wait should be fine.
     

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