I think my chick has Mareks disease now what


In the Brooder
Apr 1, 2017
I think my 3 week old chick has Mareks disease, and I lost another one to what I believe to the same thing 2 weeks ago. I have 5 other chicks is there anyway to prevent them from getting it. I have separated the sick chick from the rest of them and them seem fine so far but I’m terrified they will soon develop the illness as well. I got the sick chick and two others from a hatchery and the other 3 I got from a nearby farm if that changes anything. They are inside but I take their old bedding outside in a compost bin a few feet from my chicken coop should I be worried about my other chickens contracting the disease? What about when it comes time to add the new chickens to the coop should I build a new coop altogether or can I put them in the pre-existing coop?
It would be really rare for a 3 week old chick to be showing signs of Mareks disease. Usually Mareks symptoms show up later. How old are the others? What signs are they showing? Have you tried poultry vitamins? If not I would try one that included riboflavin. Some chicks with coccidiosis have been suspected on Mareks, then when a necropsy was performed, it showed cocci. Chicks can also be born with leg bone deformities, and hatching chicks at home in incubators, one may see more of these.

So, while it could possibly be Mareks, I would look at other possible causes. The more descriptions of symptoms given, the more help you may have.
Sorry. Didn't mean to freak anybody out. Just plz move to a separate enclosure.
Unfortunately, since Mareks' is highly contagious, and carried through the chicks' dander (It's been reported to travel miles just through the air) I don't think that would do much good unless she has a concrete bunker in which to keep them. And that's assuming the chickens aren't already infected.

x2, Eggcessive

OP, I like puppies, symptoms, and pictures.
I agree that this is unlikely to be Marek's as there is usually at least a 3 week incubation period with the virus before any symptoms are seen and chicks in a brooder are very unlikely to be infected unless they are being brooded in the coop within a Marek's infected flock and even then symptoms do not normally show up before 6 weeks but more commonly at 10-30 weeks. The thing to remember is that the birds were exposed to the virus long before symptoms show up and it then lies dormant until a stressor triggers an outbreak, so isolation is not always beneficial in my experience.
Well the chicken is unable to stand but it’s legs seem perfectly normal, however it is eating and drinking normally and I will sometimes find it has moved to another spot in the cage. I moved the other chickens to a new cage yesterday.
Well the chicken is unable to stand but it’s legs seem perfectly normal, however it is eating and drinking normally and I will sometimes find it has moved to another spot in the cage. I moved the other chickens to a new cage yesterday.
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow
Sorry you face this. The first time you consider facing Marek's can be VERY scary. :barnie

I agree with others who say it is not likely Marek's with this early of onset. It can NOT be passed to the egg. So unless their has been other exposure like broody hatching it is unlikely the cause. And I agree it is likely irrelevant to have separation of the chicks NOW, unless the other is being picked on or trampled. A great resource for all things Marek's...

Where did you get these chicks? How many in what size space? What are you feeding including treats and supplements? What breed?

Nutrient deficit can look like Marek's. Was the chick EVER able to walk normally? Also, cocci as mentioned and even New Castle disease.

You can see if this symptom checker tool is helpful to you. I like that it at least helps me to know WHAT symptoms there are and what kind of things I should look for that I may never have realized is a symptom...

Hoping your baby recovers! :fl
The chicken was able to walk it was actually quite active. It was even the one that started to fly first. It was completely fine until Monday night when it became very vocal and the next morning it was unable to walk. It is able to move its wings and neck fine. I figured it was broken so I felt it’s legs but couldn’t feel anything wrong. They are given a starter grower food and I give a scrambled egg about once a week. I got 4 chicks (one that died a few days later, and the one that is sick now as well as two seemingly healthy chicks) from a feed store from a hatchery. About a week later I got a de’ uccle and 2 silkie chickens from a farm that were being raised by a mother hen. They were separated in a large storage bin but are now together in a large refrigerator size box.
Give water with electrolytes and vitamins. Poultry Cell 1 ml daily would be a good one to use, or a powder one added to the water. Hopefully, it is an injury. A good thing to do is to make a chicken sling and you can Google that for pictures. Place it in front of a little food and water container, so it can reach them.

Hopefully she will live, but if she dies I would refrigerate the body, and contact your state vet for a necropsy. They could look for what was foing on, including checking for Mareks disease.

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