Brooding baby chicks after a Marek's diagnosis

Bella D

5 Years
Jun 5, 2017
So three weeks ago I got a positive Marek's diagnosis for my flock. It has been very difficult losing my young chickens.So far I've lost six hens and one rooster all under 6 months old.
The first two hens had paralysis and I culled them. Then I lost two that I just found dead and I've had three recently start to show paralysis and I'm trying to cull them as soon as I see it. I took a couple of days for one of my hens and the rooster just to see but you could tell they were getting worse.The third one started sticking her foot out in front of her and was off balance the same day I was going to cull them so I just went ahead and did it.
Needless to say it's been heartbreaking and awful.
I chose to do the best I could for the ones that survive. I have a lot of hens and roo's that are between one and 3 years old so I'm hoping not to lose them.
I decided to try and have something positive so I ordered 15 chicks vaccinated for Marek's and coccidosis. unfortunately I've already lost five of those babies to shipping stress, they got chilled or two vaccines was too much. I think if I order chicks again I won't vaccinate for coccidiosis. So yesterday was a rough day with having to cull some chickens and have babies that weren't making it. I have the babies in a bathroom that's at the other end of my house from were I come in from tending to the flock. I always put baggy sweatpants on over my clothes wear a sweatshirt leave them by the door and wear a new pair each time.wash my hands and face really good leave my boots outside. I also wear a clean sweatshirt when I go in to take care of the chicks. After I culled the chickens I went in and took a shower and washed all the clothes that had been outside but it's still stressing me out trying to make sure that no dander gets near them I think that's probably impossible :(
So I guess this is an experiment hoping that these chicks make it and my biosecurity is enough to keep them healthy. So far the remaining chicks seem healthy so hopefully I won't have to deal with anymore baby chick death. it's so sad :( I will just have to wait and see how these babies do as they grow older.
My question is for people who have had marek's and have raised chicks. What did you do to keep the dander from your chicks? Did it work?
I know I can expect some losses even if they're vaccinated but I'm hoping I don't lose all of them like I'm losing my unvaccinated hens.
Thank you in advance for your help
I recently learned I have Marek’s in my flock. Before I knew that, I lost a two-week old chick, probably from Marek’s, according to a UC Davis necropsy vet. (Necropsy was not on the chick, so we can’t be sure). I will be interested to hear what others have to say on this topic. The remaining three chicks are 12 weeks old and so far so good, even though they were exposed before vaccine had time to take effect.
Once you have Mareks in your flock, it is there to stay. Some birds can overcome the initial onslaught and go on to lay eggs etc. However, be aware that if there is an outbreak of anything else however minor, they may succumb.
There is no way to eradicate the dander from your flock. Mareks has been found in the ground years after infection.
Vaccinating new birds is a bit hit/miss since there are a few strains of Mareks out there.
There is a very informative article here on Mareks, it will help you with many of the questions you have.
I have Mareks in my flock and I keep it as a closed flock -- no breeding birds for sale.
I have read the great mareks article on here more than once :) It is a great reference.
I have closed my flock and cleaned my Coop of all the dander I possibly could I bought some virkon I haven't used it yet I need to go out and do another deep cleaning and then spray. I gave my chickens corrid, wormer probiotics and vitamins.
I chose to keep the ones I have and cull them as they develop symptoms.

Micstrachan I'm sorry to hear that you lost a chick to mareks:hugsdid you order chicks that were already vaccinated and brood them in the house? Or with a broody hen? I'm just curious as to the amount of dander they where exposed to before the vaccine had a chance to work.
I'm just hoping I managed to keep enough dander away until the vaccine was able to take effect. I noticed this morning there was some bloody poop in the brooder even though I had these babies vaccinated for coccidiosis:he
so I called the Hatchery and they said the vaccine isn't 100% and I should go ahead and treat them with corid I was kind of irritated because my bottle I already bought for my flock is out in the barn but I didn't want to use it because it's been out there with them and their dander I had to buy a new one just in case.
the chicks I have left seem to be pretty happy and healthy so hopefully it stays that way I'm wondering if I should put some probiotic in their food or if that would interfere with the corid? really don't know. I know it's all about boosting the immune system I didn't know if the corrid would be good for them but I figured not doing it would be worse.
I don't know about you but I feel like there's a huge learning curve with my new normal here.:(
I'm sorry, that's awful. I'm sorry your first broody experience turned out like that. Having the broody raise the chicks is something I'm really going to miss, it's so sweet to see The Mamas teach the babies.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom