Hen wasting - any hope - is it always Mareks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jenny Loves Chickies, May 24, 2019.

  1. Jenny Loves Chickies

    Jenny Loves Chickies Songster

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    Sadly my flock was confirmed Mareks positive almost 2 years ago. To date I have lost 5 birds of 12 and currently I have a wasting hen I'm doing everything I can to save. She is a vaccinated at hatch Bielefelder and presented weak about a week ago. Her crop was bloated and filled with liquid in the morning, she didn't appear to be pooping. I gave her coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and yogurt and massaged her a few times a day and she did end up pooping - poop was dark green and watery. I took 2 samples to the local vet and they did a float test for basic parasites. None. I had already put Corid in their water and gave her a drench just in case. She has been eating yogurt and scrambled egg yolk for the past few days, I tried to add some of her crumbles with water but she didn't seem interested. She is dropping weight fast, I don't think her body is absorbing any nutrients. She didn't want to eat much this morning, her crop doesn't have the sour smell but it's not empty either. Her poop is more yellowish today. I'm wondering in a flock with Mareks, is it just a matter of time and they all succumb to Mareks? For example, even if it was something else happens like a compacted crop....does the stress of that activate the Mareks somehow and then lesions/tumors start forming? Is it worth treating her with an antibiotic of some kind? I've watched the tube feeding videos and would consider that as well.....I just don't know that it would help if she has Mareks lesions/tumors.

    Having chickens has been one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life, I've cried more tears than I care to admit. For an empathic soul such as mine this has been and is HORRIBLE. I've read and read and read some more, thank God for this site and for the wonderful people on it.

    I ordered older vaccinated pullets this year in the hope that I can still do this but I've decided this morning to cancel my order, let my current birds live out their lives and maybe one day - years from now - start over.

    Any advice is much appreciated <3
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Sorry for your trouble. :hugs

    There are a LOT of things that can cause this type of symptoms that cause tumors and wasting... all inside the reproductive system and such that have NO relation to Marek's.

    Honestly the prognosis for any of them is poor... I mean cancer is cancer.

    No, IMO... not all birds will succumb to Marek's. And there has even been ONE gene identified that creates resistance to MDV! Vaccinated birds NOT welcome here EVER... to hide the disease while it continues to proliferate! I rather have it kill itself out and leave those who are resistant to live in peace. I breed for resistance.

    Honestly canceling your order was probably a good choice. I'm sorry for all your hurt. I hope the joy can outweigh the pain! :hugs:hugs
     
  3. Jenny Loves Chickies

    Jenny Loves Chickies Songster

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    Thank you so much for your reply and kind words. That make sense, probably not worth treating her with antibiotics at this point.

    Breeding for resistance sounds very interesting, maybe in the future...like years and years from now...I can look into it. I still don’t know how mareks entered my flock and if we end up Chickenless for a few years and decide to try again we will definitely look into that. My lil Golden Sebright might just live forever though

    Thank you for your honesty and I agree, it feels like the right thing to do in my heart. I love these birds so much and I can’t bare to subject any new ones to such an awful fate.
     
  4. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

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    I can very much sympathize with you, I haven't had marecks, but lots of other things... I am so sorry about your flock:hugs
     
  5. Madeline90

    Madeline90 Chirping

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    I just want you to know that I empathize with you. I’m currently going through this with my flock. I have (had) almost 50 chickens and now have a confirmed necropsy for Mareks. I’ve lost 5 and two more are now symptomatic. It just seems one by one they go down. I’m beginning to feel hopeless and helpless and totally understand your frustrations and sadness involved in all of this. ❤️
     
  6. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

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    I think my hen just got Marecks:hit
     
  7. Jenny Loves Chickies

    Jenny Loves Chickies Songster

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    I’m so very sorry to hear this, it seems that Mareks is everywhere. One of the hardest parts for me has been providing supportive care in the hope they pull through. My husband told me last night...if you can have chickens and not get so upset when they die...not stress trying to save them...choose to humanely cull them and be ok with it...then you should keep them and add more and just accept that Mareks will take some. If the good doesn’t outweigh the bad and it will continue to negatively effect you then maybe you shouldn’t have chickens. It’s such a hard thing for me, especially because I love having them...cleaned their coop yesterday and got them all tidied up, and I loved every second of it. I hope many of yours will develop immunity, the birds I have left that did are thriving ❤️ Sending you hugs
     
  8. Jenny Loves Chickies

    Jenny Loves Chickies Songster

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    Oh no!!! I’m sorry to hear this Are you able to send her away for necropsy if she doesn’t make it?
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  9. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

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    I hope so.... I can't imagine getting Marecks..... My chickens are all like dogs, the cuddle me, and do tricks, and follow me......I have 6 new young pullets too.... I love them so dearly:hit
     
    Jenny Loves Chickies likes this.
  10. Jenny Loves Chickies

    Jenny Loves Chickies Songster

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    Well...I’m answering my own question, “Is it always Mareks?” No it’s not or not entirely anyway. My sweet Bielefelder has pulled through the worst of her symptoms and is presenting entirely normal as of today. My local wildlife rescue facility did a fecal float for me so I was able to confirm no parasites. I treated her with Enrofloxacin and hand fed her baby bird formula every few hours and she bounced right back. That’s not to say she won’t succumb at a future date, but it does certainly give me some hope ❤️ My despair has lessened and I’m not giving up on owning chickens. Researching my butt off and speaking with the owner of the farm I planned to get pullets from, my plan to let my flock live their lives with the thought of one day starting over was a bit naive. Mareks travels for miles, one of my neighbors could have a Mareks positive flock and even though we live remotely even if I started over in 15 years the risk of Mareks is just not controllable. I could get an entirely new flock, vaccinated or not, and end up with it. From what I now understand, adding Mareks vaccinated birds to a flock with Mareks should produce a far lower fatality rate than 50%+.

    Another day another lesson. Don’t be too hard on yourselves chicken lovers ❤️
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.

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