Chicken "ill", looks like Mareks but she was vaccinated

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AngelaFromTX, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. AngelaFromTX

    AngelaFromTX New Egg

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    I'm loosing my 3rd young chicken (around 5 months old) to something similar to Mareks, but she came vaccinated. These were "show quality" violet Americaunas, and one day she just lay in the run all day. I have since brought her in and rehydrated her. She still just can't walk as much as the others, her legs seem very stiff like a partial paralysis. I'm trying to get hold of the breeder, with no luck so far. My research points to a virus such as Lymphoid Leukosis that can actually get into the dna and affect any chicks hatched from their hens. Anyone have any knowledge of this? Also how to move forward. Do I just put this one out of her misery. I have only 1 left after this that I expect to come down with this as well, we've had to detach from these hens emotionally. Is this something the ag exemption is interested in?
    Any help appreciated. Thanks!

    Also, I have 2 dozen others that were acquired elsewhere (many unvaccinated) who show no signs of this - which is why I'm leaning toward something that came from this particular seller.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC!

    Birds that are vaccinated for Mareks can still get the virus, however they shouldn't get so sick as to die. At least this is what I understand. Someone correct me here if I am wrong.

    I think your best bet is to have a necropsy done on a freshly passed bird. Put them in a plastic bag and store them in your frig, not freezer, and make an appointment to have this done.

    Hard to say what yours are dying from. The more you know, the easier it will be to treat this.

    I am so sorry you are losing so many birds! [​IMG]
     
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  3. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Birds that are vaccinated can still get sick from Marek's. Sometimes they are not properly vaccinated, or in some cases they are exposed to the virus before the vaccine has a chance to build antibodies to the virus. Did your birds come from a breeder that vaccinated the chicks?

    All my chicks this year were vaccinated and I still had one die from it around 5 months old. He was actually vaccinated at hatch and then got a booster at 4 weeks, so I know for sure he was vaccinated. I think his immune systems was not good from the start.

    Normally I would have culled a sick bird right away, but I did an experiment this year. I had a broody hen raise a batch of chicks. They were vaccinated at hatch and then put under the hen. One pullet started having leg weakness around 10 weeks. She walked very stiff-legged and mostly just laid around a lot. She would also do some wing-walking, but is was obvious all her appendages were not working properly.

    One day she started to get better. Now she is over 6 months old and completely normal. I think the vaccine helped her fight off the virus somehow. Keep your pullet well fed and protected from the other chickens. If she gets to the point where she won't eat at all you should probably cull her.

    If she doesn't make it, please considter sending her to the lab for a necropsy. That is the only way you will know for sure what is wrong with her.
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    So sorry that you lost your chickens - and this one is ill. Hope she will make it through with your TLC.

    If you need necropsy information - since I see you are in TX - here is a link:

    http://agrilife.org/communications/tvmdl/

    Personally I have used Gonzales facility and since moving farther north and east the one in Center TX. -- I can recommend them both.

    Also, welcome to BYC eventhough sad circumstances. Please let us know the outcome for your chicken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It sounds like your breeder probably vaccinated the chicks at home, since lavender ameraucanas usually come from breeders, not hatcheries. Vaccinated chicks must not be exposed to the virus for 2-3 weeks to develop full immunity, and I have heard others here on BYC write about that hatcheries have better vaccines than those available from online sources. A necropsy by your state vet would confirm Mareks. There is also a blood test available called a PCR test for Mareks available from several different veterinary centers such as Texas A&M.
     
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  6. AngelaFromTX

    AngelaFromTX New Egg

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    I lost 2 this week. Wow this is tough. Now to research how to manage bringing in new chickens into my coop when we get to that point. This Mareks is a nightmare. The last one was the kids favorite. sigh.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Have you tried to confirm Mareks with a necropsy? The state vet, and vets from veterinary schools will perform them. I would want to see something official about it being Mareks, since you could be missing some other illness that might be treatable. It has different costs in every state, but money well spent. Sorry that you have lost more.
     
  8. SilkiesnFrizzle

    SilkiesnFrizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you new to chickens? They also might have had problems acclimating to their new environment. Maybe Cocci or something that they are lacking nutritionally maybe? I've gotten a bird before from a breeder...she did look paralyzed but she was just very weak. After a week of Team Tube feed and TLC she was good. I just don't wannt you to automatically jump to worst scenario.
     
  9. ochochicas

    ochochicas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you bring in new birds, they should be older (over 1 year), or you can get vaccinate chicks. The chicks have to be kept separate for at least 3 weeks after they are vaccinated in order to give their immune systems time to make antibodies against the virus. Marek's is tough, but the vaccine is here to help!
     

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