How common is Marek's Disease really?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bablessing1, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. bablessing1

    bablessing1 In the Brooder

    May 21, 2016
    West Central Ohio
    As a new chicken mama, I've been reading a lot about Marek's Disease, and frankly, it's freaking me out! How worried should I be? We have 12 Australorps (14 weeks old) and 13 Orpingtons (just 4 weeks old), as well as 18 ducks - 6 Pekins (14 weeks old) and 12 Khaki Campbells (3 weeks old). Yes, we dove straight in to the deep end of the pool! LOL! Anyway, I've isolated all the young birds in my basement, but is that enough? I wash my hands thoroughly after handling the chicks, but don't typically change my clothes.

    Yesterday, things got interesting. After cleaning up after the babies and before washing up, I went outside to put the droppings in compost and found my husband furiously trying to chase down an escaped rooster. I easily scooped him up and put him back into the fly pen (the rooster, not my husband! lol). Instead of thanking me for the help, my husband said something along the lines of "You might have just killed that chicken". Now, I know he was just frustrated, but now I'm paranoid. Is Marek's really all that common? We bought all our poultry from a farm chain store who gets them direct from a hatchery, so I assume they've all been vaccinated (I'll ask today).

    Also, how long do you keep the babies isolated from the adult flock? I would really like to get them out of my basement and into the hen house. They would be together with the chickens, but separated in the back with chicken wire. No direct contact, but plenty of air flow. Is this a bad idea? We weren't going to put them all together until the Orps are about the same size as the Australorps. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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