Attempt to Get Long-Term Survival in Mareks Infected Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by centrarchid, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,717
    2,345
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    One of my 18 month gamehens has been in a slow decline over last 60 days or so with what I suspect is Mareks disease. This year Mareks hit late and only this bird. Normally it hits young of year birds usually in October although number has not been more than 5 per year over last four years. A pattern I did notice is that once birds became systematic, the faster the decline, the less likely the bird will regain ability to walk. Despite if ability to walk is regained, the birds generally do not live another year as they tend to die for reasons that vary greatly from bird to bird. Owing to this I had made decission to dispatch all infected becuase not worth effort. Last bird with slow decline took about 45 days to regain ability to walk but was lost to a predator when dog was penned up. I will try for long-term survival again and make greater efforts to prevent other causes of loss. Thus this poor hen will be forced to live the pampered life of a silkie.

    I have reason to suspect the hens exposure to the virus was prior to last summer which impacted her relationship with other chickens by that time. That will be described later.



    Previous round described in part withing following thread.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/625129/mareks-long-term-prognosis
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,717
    2,345
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Hen in question presently ways 1177 grams. Weight will be monitored daily. Birds lost without regaining ability to walk tended to exhibit a steady decline in weight. She is a little under weight but I am efforting to reverse that through feeding nutrient dense food.

    Eyes appear normal. Paralysis most pronounced on left side with left leg extended. Tail is wry to right apparently because left side muscles do not retract it.

    Appetite appears normal and when distressed by dogs she can stand on right leg. Feathering good shape. Stool a bit loose.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Centrarchid I'm confused! I was under the impression that if Mareks was found you had to dispatch the entire flock to prevent the spread to other flocks. At the least I presume you cannot sell,trade or give away birds from a infected flock.

    Am I missing something?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,717
    2,345
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Only birds I sell are being consumed and all sick birds shunted to landfill or incenerated..

    However it is spread, it is not like with intensively reared commercial flocks where many if not most birds exposed are affected. Reservoir for condition is not my flock, rather it is coming from environment somehow, I suspect from migratory songbirds. If correct then same exists for other small flock owners that keep having Mareks pop up. Dispatching of flock would would simply involve serial dispatching of flock each year. Not dispatching allows selection for resistance which long-term is better than vaccinations or efforts to elimante virus from environment. It is becoming increasling clear that only some of my strains are impacted by this "Mareks" with others having no problems at all
     
  5. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Thanks for the feedback Centrarchid! We have been very lucky in our three years of chicken raising so far and have not had to deal with anything major but I know the threat is always there. We all appreciate the information folks like you post up and pass along to the rest of us!
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,717
    2,345
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am wathing this closely. Most information I can find is geared more for large scale commerical producers where simple eradication of flock is most practical option. Commerical operators also practice bio-security measures that more easily done with such large operations that practice all-in, all-out production strategies.
     
  7. CottonGinWaste

    CottonGinWaste Chillin' With My Peeps

    130
    2
    71
    Dec 26, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    In your experience have you ever noticed head swelling (especially one-sided) preceding leg-weakness? I'm trying to dx my 9 month old BO, 7 days since onset of left facial edema with crossed beak followed shortly (1-2 days) by right leg weakness. RLE weakness rapidly progressed, now BLEs weak. Have done 3 inj (pencillin G). ALL my birds are free range over the same acre. This one finished a brood 12-19. Supplemented with day-olds from other sources, quality unknown, placed 12-20 - - - and symptoms noted about 6-7 days later. However once I began handlling her she was so thin I wonder when her problem actually began? . . . She is home-bred, never fed medicated feed. I'm going to start a thread re this as well (Face swelling one side, leg weakness opposite).
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,717
    2,345
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have not noticed swelling of any sort. Crossed beak could come from extreme lateral disparity in muscle contraction or infection / abcess in skull. Weakness of leg could be Mareks related or maybe even something like stroke. Stroke on left side of head / brain would impact muscle function on right.

    Broody hens, especially with young chicks tend to be of low weight. Foraging conflicts with brooding and allowing chicks first dibs at eats.


    My birds free-ranged over about 5 acres although subflocks did not all have overlapping ranges. Even when an individual of a given sub-flock becomes infected, it does not mean other members of same subflock will become symptomatic.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,234
    12,630
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
  10. CottonGinWaste

    CottonGinWaste Chillin' With My Peeps

    130
    2
    71
    Dec 26, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    Thanks for the links, especially the one with photos.

    My bird never demonstrated the classic 'leg forward', just rapidly progressive leg weakness contralateral to facial edema f/b both legs weak, balance issues, inability to stand, falling to right. We figured some type of trauma with neuro insult but were unable to find any wound/lesion/etc, nor any feather piles in the yard. All chicks are fine, all juvies and adults are fine. We set up a heat lamp in her broody coop, her kids come and go out in her penned area ad lib. This morning when I pulled her out to offer the warm water, cheese, yogurt, she barely touched it - but stood and walked 6' back into her coop! And 30 minutes later WALKED BACK OUT AND AROUND HER YARD!!! I'll stick her back in the nest before leaving for work, but maybe . . . .
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by