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Confirmed Marek's... now what?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickythom, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Chickythom

    Chickythom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,
    Our sick fluffs have been confirmed to have Marek's. We are still unsure of what strand as those results are still pending. We are now determining what to do. This is our first attempt at raising chickens. We started this to provide food for our family. We purchased from an exceptional breeder and opted for unvaccinated chicks. They appeared to be healthy and thriving. They still do, at least to our inexperienced eyes. I have read many of the threads here about Marek's and I am overwhelmed and confused on how to proceed. My husband has even suggested we abandon the idea of raising chickens but I am not so willing to give up. However, I want to make an educated decision. At this point our vet has advised us to cull the animals and start new with vaccinated chickens on our new land/property. We will be moving from where we are currently raising our infected flock. We are willing to set all chicken tractors aflame if needed. I am simply not sure if we will still be acting as fomites and potentially introducing Marek's from us to our new land. I recognize this is a possibility but seems to give us a better chance at a new start elsewhere. Or do we keep the birds and try to breed for resistance? It is hard to get attached, spend on organic feed, and not be able to eat the birds when time to harvest given they have tumors. I also hate to see them suffer. My thoughts and emotions are all over the place so please forgive me. We have enjoyed raising them so far and now this is just a huge blow. They lived in our dining room for most of their lives. I have housed sick birds indoors, as well as transported them to the vet in my vehicle. I am simply unsure how to proceed and any insight is appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    Amanda
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Your Vet is Probably Smart for suggesting this. As far as the coops, read upon how to clean after Mareks----you do not have to burn them. Good Luck!
     
  3. Chickythom

    Chickythom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your feedback! Any suggestions on how to reduce what we transmit on us, our dog, stuff, vehicle, when we move?
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi @Chickythom :hugs


    I would follow the recommendations set by your vet.

    I must respectfully disagree with @PD-Riverman Personally I would burn down the tractors and re-build new. Marek's is essentially everywhere in the environment, but it would be hard to eliminate any remaining dust, residues that could be carried in the coop/building materials. Even if you bleached or used something like Oxine. Better to start "fresh".

    Just my opinion:)


    Transmission and Epidemiology:
    The disease is highly contagious and readily transmitted among chickens. The virus matures into a fully infective, enveloped form in the epithelium of the feather follicle, from which it is released into the environment. It may survive for months in poultry house litter or dust. Dust or dander from infected chickens is particularly effective in transmission. Once the virus is introduced into a chicken flock, regardless of vaccination status, infection spreads quickly from bird to bird. Infected chickens continue to be carriers for long periods and act as sources of infectious virus. Shedding of infectious virus can be reduced, but not prevented, by prior vaccination. Unlike virulent strains of Marek's disease virus, which are highly contagious, turkey herpesvirus is not readily transmissible among chickens (although it is easily transmitted among turkeys, its natural host). Attenuated Marek's disease virus strains vary greatly in their transmissibility among chickens; the most highly attenuated are not transmitted. Marek’s disease virus is not vertically transmitted. (reference:
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/neoplasms/marek’s-disease-in-poultry )

    """The route of infection is usually respiratory and the disease is highly contagious being spread by infective feather-follicle dander, fomites, etc. Infected birds remain viraemic for life. Vertical transmission is not considered to be important.
    The virus survives at ambient temperature for a long time (65 weeks) when cell associated and is resistant to some disinfectants (quaternary ammonium and phenol). It is inactivated rapidly when frozen and thawed.""" (reference:http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/90/mareks-disease/)

    @Nambroth has a very comprehensive article on Marek's here:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

    Some great tips on bio-security:
    http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2012/07/backyard-biosecurity.html
     
    NorthTexasWink and Chickythom like this.
  5. Chickythom

    Chickythom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I have read the recommended links. Very informative. Poor birds.
     
  6. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I respect your Opinion!!!
     
  7. mcmom48

    mcmom48 Just Hatched

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    Give a bolus of garlic acouple times a day. It will boost the immune system and help with the disease.
     
    Chickythom likes this.
  8. Chickythom

    Chickythom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They receive garlic, oregano, thyme, braggs nutritional yeast and acv daily either in food or water.
     
  9. Chickythom

    Chickythom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also some electrolytes as it is rather warm in Texas. We make sure hey get organic feed, scratch grains, various melons and squash too for treats.
     
  10. Chickythom

    Chickythom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just lost another fluff. How long after trying to disinfect ourselves to the best of our ability and relocating should we try to raise chickens again? 1-2 years? Thoughts or anyone with experience?
    Thanks in advance

    Amanda
     

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