Any advice helps! New chicken owner with 2 sick girls :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HAndrews07, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    So sorry to hear they found tumours and Marek's is the likely cause. I have had the disease in my flock for 4 years now and it has been a steep learning curve. I would be lying if I said there has not been heart ache but it does settle down over time and there will be birds that are resistant to it and some that recover from outbreaks and this initial outbreak is probably the worst period if that is any consolation. Once you know what it is and learn how best to manage it, it becomes just another challenge to face along with predator attack and pests and parasites and all the other ailments that chickens are subject to. It may seem really scary when you first start researching the disease and I certainly went through a panic phase when I got the diagnosis but chickens can and do survive it and you have to rejoice in those rather than dwell on the ones you lose. You may want to purchase some Virkon S disinfectant which is effective in killing the virus. You can buy small quantities, so don't be put off if you initially just find expensive bulk purchase items. I just bought some sachets, that you sprinkle into a bucket of water for £1.99 each. The chicken coop is the most likely place for infected material to remain.... it is shed in dander dust and can stay viable in the coop for months if not a year, so a good clean out and disinfect after you have had an outbreak is probably beneficial. The infected dust is inhaled by other birds to transmit the virus to them and obviously the coop, where birds are flapping their wings to get up and down from roost bars etc makes it very easy for that infected material to become airborne and inhaled, so a good clean out and spray down with Virkon S will reduce the reservoir of infected material in your flock's environment significantly. Birds with Marek's generally only shed the virus when they are symptomatic, so it's not like all the birds are shedding the virus all the time and you need to constantly disinfect. The virus can be carried on your clothes skin, hair, shoes and even the wind, so I am not saying this will prevent other birds from getting it and some of your remaining flock may well already have been infected, but to me it makes sense to keep the infected material in their environment as low as possible.
    The disease has dormant phases and outbreaks and there is a minimum 3 week dormant phase between infection and a bird becoming symptomatic, but it can be several months or even years. Outbreaks are usually triggered by stress, so keeping the flock as happy and healthy as possible is important. Things like surge of hormones at point of lay or moult or severe weather are not something you have control over but changes to their management and environment should be minimized. Adolescent cockerels running amok in the flock are one of the commonest triggers.

    Marek's suppresses the immune system, so giving the birds a vitamin boost with a proprietary poultry supplement at times of stress can be helpful.

    Anyway, I know you will have lots of reading to do, but try not to feel overwhelmed. There is life after a Marek's diagnosis, but it takes a while to start seeing the light. If you need any advice or support, feel free to ask. There are many of us here at BYC who have this disease in our flocks and are learning to deal with it. :hugs
     
    Isaiah53 likes this.
  2. Isaiah53

    Isaiah53 Songster

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    I feel for you. I too am dealing with this. And it is the tumour type of Marek's. Plus after sacrificing 5 birds to confirm Marek's they discovered that ILT is also in my flock. The BC Animal Health Centre is checking for Coryza and MG as well, just in case (Coryza is going around in BC). Still waiting for the final report, but after discussing this with 4 different vets (my own, two from the BC Animal Health Centre and Merck Animal health in Québec) and the fact there's a chronic respiratory infection now in my flock, I've decided to cull them all and in 2 years bring in vaccinate birds. I've been dealing with this for several months and the idea of dealing with over 80 birds for several more months or years is not something I want to put my flock through. Or myself, to be honest. We will be away a lot next year and to put their care on someone else's shoulders sounds selfish to me. It's been a difficult decision but for me, it's the only one that makes sense at this point.

    I hope you get the histopathology results soon. And I do feel for you It's pretty tough.
     
  3. Isaiah53

    Isaiah53 Songster

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    Jan 8, 2018
    Osoyoos BC Canada
  4. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Crowing

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    I am terribly sorry about your loss. Do keep us updated. :hugs
     

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