How did I get mareks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gypsi, May 3, 2016.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    My feed store hens have always been healthy, I bought chicks there.

    My old bird flock is (but may not stay that way) as they went and nosed around the paralyzed or semi-paralyzed rooster I had in a dog crate in the shed. He has some use of his legs and had kicked some food out.

    I found him at the foot of a back wall of the run yesterday, when only 9 birds came out.

    I hatched eggs - december had an incubator accident, 5 hatched, the rest did not, got too hot, of the 5, 4 were roos, but I had gotten more eggs from the same source and did a january hatch, got 7. When they were about 2 weeks old I bought 3 2 week old buff orpington chicks from the feed store. They still appear to be healthy.

    I thought the first paralyzed roo had broken his spine fighting with the others, but a 2nd rooster has his right hip sitting high and his tail turning left today. The roosters were destined for freezer stock.

    I have brought in 3 adult roosters a few years ago from the same lady I got the eggs from, 2 went to freezer camp, a neighbor's dog carried off the 3rd, no sign of injury.

    If it is Mareks all my birds are in trouble, since my 3 year old hens went and gobbled spilled food from the sick one. I think I am going to take all the roosters for processing in the morning, as long as I won't infect anyone else's birds by doing so. Any way to clear a pen of the virus?
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Active Oxine, Virkon, & Odoban are some of the disinfectants people have used to clean up after Mareks. I've never used them so can't offer testimony to any of them.

    Marek's can blow in from neighbors, on clothing, visiting wild birds - a number of ways. Some of your flock may survive it, I've only known personally, people who lost their entire flocks once it arrives. If they don't make it, I'd try the cleaners above I guess - maybe try to bring in some top soil to cover the area where the chickens could've walked around outside, and start over with a vaccinated flock. Sorry about the misfortune - Marek's sucks...
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd want to know for sure, so rather than eating those birds, have them posted at the state lab and get a diagnosis. Your local veterinarian can send in tissue samples if that works better for you. So sorry! It's nearly impossible to get Marek's disease out of your facility, so only vaccinated chicks, isolated for the two weeks it takes them to develop immunity. Find out for sure, and then manage things to move forward. Mary
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can hose this whole coop down with clorox in a hose end sprayer easily if that would do any good, and I normally change the sand in the run once or twice a year. I use pondliner over the wood in the coop, cleaned it before moving my young birds in. I moved them out there around 8 weeks of age. Guess not old enough. Wild birds were occasionally getting into that pen to steal chicken eed until I closed some openings.

    But no, they do not have the typical splayed leg of mareks photos, still the one that convinced me suddenly today has his right hip sitting higher than his left and his tail turns left. [​IMG]

    He was perfectly normal yesterday. My local poultry group is who told me probably mareks. I don't think it came in from eggs, but that pen was empty with old feathers all winter, and I did not change out the back layer of dirt for sand. I have a loaded schedule and do not wish to have more birds infected while I do testing, as it is, they were in with my pullets, may have plenty more to test later
     
  5. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bleach probably won't help (vs Marek's), but it won't hurt either and may help if it was something other than Marek's. Check with your local state veterinarian, often found in Agriculture & Consumer services - they'll often do a necropsy free of charge.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will see what I can find, but I don't know if Texas has a state veterinarian, and I can't get a bird shipped anywhere until about Monday, by which time if they are contagious things can be much worse
     
  7. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    $175 would replace my entire flock several times over. And that is what the Texas lab wants for a necropsy with spinal cord removal, which I think might be necessary since marek's symptoms are paralysis. http://tvmdl.tamu.edu/species/avian/

    I was originally going to try to save my pullets, but I have looked at my timeline and 9 weeks ago I moved them into this run, the incubation period is 6 to 16 weeks, I am culling the roos, but not moving the girls out of this run. Will try to clean it up tomorrow evening, clean the floor of the coop and take off a layer of dirt, get more sand in the run to bury it, maybe spray some bleach water on the ground before the sand goes in. But that is about all I can do.
     
  9. SweetandSavory

    SweetandSavory Out Of The Brooder

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    You need to do a simple google search for Marekes. If you indeed have it, it is their dander that spreads it so everyone had probably been in contact with it, even if it doesn't kill them they are carriers. The only way to truly know is by necropsy and even if you got rid of all of your chickens it takes years for your land to be clear if ever.

    In addition they should not have to remove the spinal cord to find Marekes. Marekes is tumors, specifically on the sciatic nerve if paralysis is involved.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I kept the sickest bird to necropsy when I have time, meantime going back to Purina chick started in case this is a vitamin deficiency. And he has had purina medicated chick starter and water. And he is up today.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016

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