Getting rid of Maraks-Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sixhens, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. sixhens

    sixhens New Egg

    Jul 1, 2010
    I brought home 3 babies and kept them separate from my 5 hens. They are only separated by a wire fence but have separate coops too. One of the babies - now 11 weeks- developed all the signs of Mareks. (paralysis, etc.) We culled her today but I am worried to death about my hens and the other two babies. No one was vaccinated. I know better now.
    If I lose my whole flock, does the disease ever go away? Can the area be sanitized? What should I do?
  2. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    Merek's is like Cocci. It is everywhere and can be assumed to be present in all flocks according to the Merck vet. manual. The old-timers called it range paralisis. Some birds will get it and others won't even if in the same flock. If you vaccinate for Merek's all birds brought in later will have to also be vaccinated as the vaccinated birds will shed the virus.

    As far as keeping it away from the other birds through disinfecting it would be nearly impossible to do unless you have a sterile enviroment to keep them in like they do for layers that produce eggs for vaccines.

    A wire fence is not enough seperation for a quarentine. There has to be a lot of distance between the older and the new birds. Many diseases are shed theough feces, feather dander and close contact. Even you walking out of one pen and into another is close contact because you will pick up feather dander and feces on your clothes and shoes.

    Outlook? It could be that only this one chick was suseptable to the disease and it could be your only loss.
  3. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    nnbreeder gave you a very good overview. I would only add that Merck also says that the Mareks virus can remain in your environment for more than 1 year. You really shouldn't bring any new birds (not chicks or adults) into your flock that have not been vaccinated forever and ever, Amen. Also, even though it seems like latching the door after the horse got out, I would vaccinate all of my birds without delay. There are ongoing studies suggesting that vaccinating all of your birds after exposure may not protect them from the disease, but can minimize the infection, making it less lethal. Mareks has been likened to "chicken cancer." Apparently, the vaccine blocks the development of the cancer-like cells that attack the brain/central nervous system and cause the visceral tumors. I believe I saw a post on another thread that said that Dr. Peter Brown of can supply you with both the vaccine and advice.

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