goosestepping rooster, probably Marek's ... indefinite quarantine?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brettzim, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. brettzim

    brettzim In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    I have a rooster who is about 4 months old. About one month ago he started exhibiting symptoms I worried could be Marek's. He would walk with a very awkward step, over-exaggerating his movements. I isolated him from the rest of the flock and he quickly deteriorated. He went lame with one leg sticking out behind him and would constantly open his mouth like he was yawning. I put him in a crate in the garage, gave him Rooster Booster in his water, and waited to see what would happen. He stayed lame for about a week but slowly started regaining strength and walking (badly) again. Pretty soon he got to the point where he could get around just fine but with a bit of a wobble. Then he deteriorated again. I had started giving him normal water when he was doing well but started up the Rooster Booster again when he stopped walking the second time. This time there was no more yawning but he was unable to stand steadily. Now he's back to moving around again. He walks with a very exaggerated goosestep (not sure what else to call it) and will wobble sometimes. But, he seems healthy and content otherwise. I am assuming he has Marek's. I guess it could be a vitamin deficiency but I am not sure why no one else in the flock has demonstrated symptoms in that case. I am not really sure what to do with him since he seems to be on a rollercoaster where he is doing well and then gets worse, then better again. Right now he has free rein of the yard and puts himself away in his own crate in the garage at night. He is not with my other chickens but he was with them for long enough for them to be exposed to him if he has Marek's (before I noticed his symptoms). I assume I should just keep him separate indefinitely since I do not want to cull him. Any advice?

    Also, I assume it's just a waiting game with the rest of my flock to see if they will develop symptoms as well. Half of them are from the same batch as this rooster (about 4 months old now, maybe closer to 12 weeks). The rest are older (some ancient but most at peak laying age). I know there is no cure for Marek's and I assume they are too old to bother vaccinating. I figured the best course of action is just to be sure they are in prime health as far as diet, access to free range, parasite control, etc. But if anyone has any other advice for promoting good flock health to help stave off whatever this thing is - I'd appreciate that as well. Thank you.

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