Advice on Mareks and what to do?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
Shelbyville, Indiana
I have a 9 week old chick who is showing signs of Mareks. She was hatched with 3 other healthy chicks here on our farm, from eggs from 1 year old hens. Her mother hen is 1 year old. All this from my own hens. No outside hens. These hens free range and do not leave the farm. The closest flock of hens is 2 miles from here. I have not added any birds to my flock since last June. All of the rest of my hens are all alive and healthy and have shown no signs of sickness. My sick bird was placed in the coop at 6 weeks and didn't show signs until week 7. So all my birds were exposed to her.

Where did the Mareks come from? Does this mean all my hens have it? I have hens 9 weeks (4), 10 months old (13) and 14 months old (14) and 18 months old (4). (# of hens in () ) Is there an age when they become safe from Mareks?

I have chicks who are with a momma hen who are 3 weeks old. Do I wait to introduce them to the flock and how long do I wait? I also have chicks who are 5 days old, whithout a hen, what about them? Do I try to vaccinate those who I haven't yet introduced to the flock?

Also, the hen who is sick. Do I cull her? She is a beautiful bird, but hasn't improved for 2 weeks. Will she come out of this or die or will she always be unable to walk. I feed her and am willing to dedicate time to her, but not a the risk of my whole flock.

Please any advice. Tell me what you have heard or done.

Thank you!
hello I will explain this to the best of my ability. this information is coming straight from the health book and not from personal experience. many here have delt with Marek's and can be of great help from personal expirence but I will answer your questions to the best of my ability. Marek's comes from six different herpes viruses. it is a cell associated lymphotropic nature. the viruses are concentrated in the feather foliciles shed in dander and can survive for years in dust and litter. question 2. do all your birds have it. this means all your birds have been exposed to the virus and can be classified as Marek's carriers even with out symptoms. so they will be able to spread the virus even if they are not symptomatic themselves. as for introducing a new flock the birds must be vaccinated and be given time for immunity BEFORE they come on to your property. there is no age that they are safe from marked to my for the other questions you will be better off asking someone who has expirenced this disease first hand. I know Marek's is a highly contagious air born disease with some sobering saticics. statcitics say over 60% of unvaccinated birds will contract Marek's. also over 5% of vaccinated birds will still contract this disease .I know many people have learned to live with this disease and know how to nurse their birds though it. they would be better to talk to than I. I wish you the best and hope this is helpful.

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