How to tell if my chicken has Mareks

vchambers

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 12, 2014
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1
17
Hi there! I have a pullet at about 15 weeks old. I noticed yesterday that she does not want to use her one leg. She keeps it tucked up when she stands and when trying to walk she uses it for a quick second....stumbles or steps on her bad foot....like she does not know its there. As I noticed this she was following the rest of the girls outside for a drink. Needless to say she stumbled and pretty much fell off down and off the ramp. It was sooo heartbreaking to watch.....thought maybe she hurt it jumping down from the perch, etc. I checked her leg and it doesn't seem swollen or broken. When I pick her up she seems to move her leg just fine but just not when she has to put weight on it. I have put her in a cage by herself with some water and food. Hoping she can just rest it without the other girls around. Does this sound like mareks??
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
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It may be, please put Mareks in the search box and read up on the symptoms. If it is Mareks, it is very contagious - any survivors will be carriers for life.
 

TwoCrows

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Hello there and welcome to BYC!!
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I am so sorry about your bird.
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You need to post this in our emergency section here...https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures

I hope someone can help you get your bird back to good health soon.
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
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Welcome to BYC!
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We're glad to have you.

I'm sorry to hear about your bird! Many diseases/vitamin deficiencies can mimic Marek's Disease, so it may not be Marek's. Definitely post in the Emergencies section.
 

BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
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Glad you joined us!

I'm sorry to hear about your chicken!
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Unfortunately, her symptoms do sound like Marek's. However, don't give up hope yet! There are several other causes of lameness, injury, vitamin deficiency, etc., which are not fatal and can be treated.

In answer to your main question, the only way to know for sure if a bird has Marek's is to send in some blood to be tested. Even then, though, there can be false negatives. The best method of diagnosing is simply by the symptoms.

I would definitely post about your hen in the Emergencies section of the forums. People there should be able to offer some help.

Best wishes to you and your hen.
 
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Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
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Feb 18, 2011
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about your bird, hope you are able to figure out what is going on.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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Hi there! I have a pullet at about 15 weeks old. I noticed yesterday that she does not want to use her one leg. She keeps it tucked up when she stands and when trying to walk she uses it for a quick second....stumbles or steps on her bad foot....like she does not know its there. As I noticed this she was following the rest of the girls outside for a drink. Needless to say she stumbled and pretty much fell off down and off the ramp. It was sooo heartbreaking to watch.....thought maybe she hurt it jumping down from the perch, etc. I checked her leg and it doesn't seem swollen or broken. When I pick her up she seems to move her leg just fine but just not when she has to put weight on it. I have put her in a cage by herself with some water and food. Hoping she can just rest it without the other girls around. Does this sound like mareks??
She may well have a sprain or it could be broken, but they leg should be swollen if it were broken. Is her cage inside the coop or run where she can still be with her flock mates? That will lessen the problem of having to reintegrate her if she is out for a couple of weeks. Put some vitamins in her water, especially B Complex, but a good poultry vitamin would be good. I'm hoping this isn't Mareks, but here are some links to read just to educate yourself:
http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/disease/Marek's_Disease
 

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