I have Mareks...so now what?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sara1226, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well.. Let's start from the beginning, just an FYI...my story has a lot of misdiagnosis from an area vet. (I'm not blaming or shaming here.. They were not experienced with Mareks)

    I decided in May this year I would like to have chickens, "It's simple", said my chicken keeping friends, "all you have to do is feed them"! Yeah, OK.. THAT is FALSE!

    Not knowing where to get them from, I started getting chickens from here, there, and everywhere. My first chicken death came with a RIR 3 month old pullet. Very runny poop, and then rapidly wasted away, ate a lot, but yet starved to death. (Was Mareks Vaccinated)

    Three months later (when I thought I was in the clear), a second 1 yr old RIR started limping. No other symptoms so the vet said she must have a hip or back injury. They said chickens usually recover from injuries though, so just give her time and TLC. Slowly she became immobile. Not getting up and thus not eating enough to stay awake...or alive for that matter. I made the choice to have the vet put her down. (WAS Mareks Vaccinated)

    One month later a 7 month old Gold Star started to limp. Vet said I must have bad luck and I had another injury. Same thing... Became immobile, not eating, sleeping a lot. Today I took her into the vet, and she couldn't even handle the ride there. She became limp and died in the vets arms. I requested that testing be done to find an answer. I just thought it was too much of a coincidence to have two limping chickens that wasted away within such short time. (Was NOT Mareks Vaccinated)

    Test = Mareks Positive.

    The word devastated doesn't begin to describe how I feel. These chickens are like my children. I never knew all the problems that can arise, but I also didn't expect them to be so endearing, such little interesting characters. Our chickens are much loved pets, not dinner. We raise them to be held and hand fed treats. It pains me that chickens are one of the most commonly abused animals in the world. I have a couple serious chronic health problems, and taking care of these girls has changed my life. They (before all the health issues they are having), were how I started my day and how I ended my day and I found it to be a huge stress reliever, and therefore it has helped my health to improve I believe. In a way, these chickens are saving my life... Or help to prolong it anyway... but now I CANT save them?!?!

    So...now what? Sure some will say CULL THEM! Well, I read that the Mareks virus can survive on surfaces for YEARS, and it can travel through the air it's so contagious. So what's the point of killing them all? Truth be told, that isn't going to happen anyway. The virus is here, it's all around now. It's too late. I already have contacted everyone that I came into contact with that has chickens. They need to know they have been exposed. Here is what I have left and where they came from:

    2 Silkies - 14 months old (From a zoo) (Vaccinated) zoo..dumb move getting them from there I know, these were my first chickens and I didn't know better.
    1 Bantam Cochin -8 months old (From a reputable breeder) (Vaccinated)
    2 RIRs - 8 months old (From a hatchery McMurry) (Vaccinated)
    2 Bantam Mixes - 9 months old (From a local farm) (Presumed NOT Vaccinated)

    I know the vaccines don't always work. I think the zoo RIRs vaccines proved not to work, but do they sometimes work? Can I have a shred if hope that some of my chickens will survive? Or should I expect them to slowly die one by one? I also read that the older they are the more likely they are to survive.. But I think that's proven to not be true since I lost one a year old.

    Any advice or knowledge anyone is willing to share is appreciated more than you know. I feel so doomed, and like I should give up on chicken keeping. I now have to get up every day and wait and watch for more limping dying chickens. That's a pretty awful feeling.
     
  2. silly4buttons

    silly4buttons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I can tell you is don't give up I love my chickens and they really do help with my health issues. Everyone of them have there funny little corks .
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi Sara1226, me again, sorry to hear that your girls didn't make it. Mareks can be hard to diagnose in a live chicken, especially by vets, I don't think they are that familiar with poultry. My experiences with Mareks were with a few tractor supply chicks and a few swap meet chicks, when we were sure that's what we were dealing with we would cull the birds as they became too sick or weak. I would always give them a chance in case it was something else. There was about 3-4 of them, all the others never showed symptoms or got sick. I haven't seen another one show symptoms, I don't vaccinate and only buy mail hatchery chicks now. It has appeared to have disappeared. So I wouldn't cull anyone unless they are exhibiting symptoms. I read up on it at the time, panicked, thought the same things you have, but fortunately for me things have been fine. I would enjoy your chickens, what done is done and you can't change it, hopefully they will be okay. Good luck.
     
  4. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone told me that I now can't go to fairs and my daughter can't join 4H because the virus is on our clothes and we would spread it that way.

    Does anyone know if that's true?
     
  5. minichicks05

    minichicks05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So not true so fake its funny.Humans cant get mereks disease from chickens. Second of all it can go onto you but not affect anyone around you. IF you are going to someones house who has chickens then yes maybe take a shower but really unless you just touched your bird wiped it on a chicken then they would get it. So just take a shower then do your normal activities and no one will get it.
     
  6. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think they mean the virus will be on my clothes and any chicken I come into contact with could get it that way.
     
  7. minichicks05

    minichicks05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see you can that can happen but if you just clean yourself then there is a very slim chance of that happening.
     
  8. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wear clean clothes that you haven't handled your chickens in, and shoes. Sorry about your flock. But it's not the end of the world.
     
  9. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hhmm I don't know if u mean that like.. It's not the end of the world, get over it. OR It's not the end of the world.. Maybe some of them will survive.

    Some people like me get attached to their chickens when they are pets. But I get it, some people don't.
     
  10. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was trying to be encouraging. Sorry I bothered.
     

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