Can a 2 yr old hen contract Marek's?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by britsngrits, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. britsngrits

    britsngrits Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    I have a mixed flock of hatchery hens which I had vacinnated, chickens I purchased from individuals & those I hatched. This summer a young hen looked like she developed a leg problem and was unable to walk. I kept her inside the house and cared for her like that for about 3 months when I realized she wouldn't get better and I culled her.

    Two weeks ago her mother sudenly started the same thing. Her left leg sticking out front. She is 2 years old and eating like a horse so I really thought she injured her leg jumping down from something. Today she started gasping for air.

    This all seems to me like classic signs of Marek's but I didn't think a 2 year old hen could get it.

    If... and IF she has it is there any way to prevent it from spreading like wildfire?

    I'm scared to bits.
  2. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    Sorry about your birds.

    I know they say that older birds usually don't get it, but I have had older ones die from what I thought was Marek's. But there are other diesease and tumors that chickens can get that mimick Marek's. If you have unvaccinated birds, buy the vaccine and do ALL of them, old and young.

    Check out the article.

    This is how I stopped it in my flock; at least it stopped the symptoms, they might still be carriers.

    Good luck[​IMG]
  3. britsngrits

    britsngrits Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    Thank you very much for your response. I went to Doc Brown's site which is where I should have gone first... I totally know better! Today my hen isn't gasping anymore so I am back to wondering if she is just ill from my letting her head get submurged when bathing her. However, to be on the safe side I am ordering the vaccine and treating the whole flock even if they had it as chicks. Nobody else has gotten sick and it's been 3 weeks. I would have thought I would have seen it in the others? I hope very hard that it will not strike any others.


    Have you ever used the Oxine stuff?
  4. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2011
    I have been battling Marek's for 6 months. They don't all come down with it immediately. Some take months. Just when I think it's over, another one shows symptoms. Marek's can take up to 6 - 8 weeks for symptoms to appear and often times much longer. The chickens appear fine until they are under stress, at which point they succomb to the Marek's virus.

    Revaccinating is a great idea, even if it isn't Marek's. If your hen dies, I would have her necropsied so that you will know exactly what you are dealing with. Someone on here recently said that their vet did a blood test to check for Marek's. Maybe that is something you might want to check into.

    I have used Oxine and continue to do so. I scrub everything down with bleach first, then rinse. Then spray with Oxine. The oxine works best on clean surfaces. I spray the coop at least twice a week with Oxine in between the big cleanings. Food dishes, water dishes, everything must be disinfected.

    Good luck with your hen...I hope that everything works out and it isn't Marek's. It is a horrible disease to deal with. So far,with my best husbandry and nutrition practices I have lost 21 birds...
  5. yorkag

    yorkag New Egg

    Feb 3, 2012
    Gasping for breath can be a disease called LT - Laringotracheitis. They suffocate from a mucous plug. Would be good to open up fresh dead birds to determine. This disease will spread. Vaccination is required to prevent.

    Marek's disease vaccination is like polio vaccination for a very high percent of the time. Vaccination is done day old at hatchery - if they do it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by