I think my flock has Mareks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crysmom, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. crysmom

    crysmom Songster

    Sep 24, 2007
    This is going to be long [​IMG]

    THree (or four? ) weeks ago I posted about a lethargic pullet, she didn't have anything particular wrong with her, just fluffed up and looking depressed. I did bring her in and made sure she was eating and drinking after 4 days I put her back in the coop. I have chicks inside and I didn't want them exposing each other, and since she was already with the older birds.... She has continued to act the same. except now she is clumsy and very skinny and last night she was tripping and falling and walking in tight circles.

    Now a couple of my other birds are looking clumsy, they aren't fluffed up or pale looking like she is, but i'm noticing that they trip alot.

    now the history. they are 14 weeks in with two 16 week bantams. We have never had chickens before, we got the bantams from another breeder at about a week old, they were Vaccinated for Mareks. the 14 weekers were not I hatched them myself.

    I think my bantams with the vaccine infected my flock? Is that possible? And how long does it take for the Mareks to spread? the first pullet has been ill for almost a month, and in that time I never saw symptoms in the other birds, now some of their feet look reddened on the bottom.

  2. coloradochick

    coloradochick Songster

    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    I'm sorry to hear this is happening. I'm ordering some new chicks for April and we had this same discussion about the spread of Mareks from a vaccinated bird to a non-vaccinated. From what I've learned is yes the vaccinated can shed the disease onto the non-v. Let's see if someone might have some suggestions. Good luck [​IMG]

  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    That's a tough one, from what I hear, once you get a vaccinated bird, ALL your birds must be vaccinated from that point on as the vaccine makes the birds carriers. However, I have not done much research on this topic and don't know for how long the disease can live in the soil.
  4. crysmom

    crysmom Songster

    Sep 24, 2007
    Thank you for your responses, I just don't know how to proceed, I have read a lot of online articles about mareks, It seems the virus can live in dust and down for a lot time (I think I read at least 65 weeks? )

    None of the articles say what to do? It is apparently not treatable, but how do I proceed, will visibly sick birds recover or are the visibly sick ones going to die, I see statistics that say 10-50% morbidity I think that means 10-50% of the birds exposed will get sick, Do I just keep taking care of them and once they aren't eating or in obvious discomfort put them down?

    Its my understanding the ones exposed but don't die will be immune?

    Its just awful we had to cancel my son showing his bantams because I don't want to spread anything he is devastated.
  5. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    First of all Im really sorry for your birds being sick. You do not have to vaccinate all birds if a few are vaccinated. It is not spread that way usally. If he has vaccinated them with in a few week with a live virus then it could be spread to the other chickens, because they will shead it much like chicken pox vaccination for humans. Just make sure it is Mareks your dealing with. Ive done a lot of research on Mareks. Another sign besides growing thin and paralysis of legs or wings is the grey around the pupil (look irregular) If one of them dies take it to the vet for testing, they can tell for sure what it is.
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I agree with Christina. I have a small group of birds who were Marek's vaccinated at birth and many who weren't. I have never lost a bird to Mareks. The only way to be sure is plan to have a necropsy done on the first one that passes..or take the sickest one in and let the state run tests (the bird will be put down in most cases). I hope you figure out what is happening for your own peace of mind.

  7. Bawkadoodledoo

    Bawkadoodledoo Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    Central MA
    if they're sick but arent vacc. i don't think you can vaccinate them... sorry, this is from the back of my head about something i read. [​IMG]
  8. Xtradust

    Xtradust Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Orange, CA
    I'm in the same boat. I think mine have Coryza or MG.

    But, when you reseach online, you just come up with that "expect 10-50% mortality rate and egg production will drop 20%",etc.

    Seems all the indepth studies have been done by big business.

    I don't care what my "egg production" is. Bantams don't lay eggs big enough to care.

    I just want to know...

    If my little buddies are gonna pass away,
    If there's anything I can do about it
    and how long before I can get new chicks if these don't make it.

    The studies were not built for these types of questions.

    I think the best we can do is ask for info from the people on this site that have lived through it.

    Good luck!
  9. crysmom

    crysmom Songster

    Sep 24, 2007
    Yes, I do need to figure out what i'm dealing with, I have been unable to find a veterinarian who will deal with poultry, there are "pet" veterinarians, and large animal vets, but no poultry vets, but even if there were I don't have the money to take the bird to the vet.

    I have gone through pages and pages of symtpoms and disease descriptions and the only one that seems a possiblity is mareks although the disease has proceeded slowly and i'm not sure if that is normal. I have had a sick bird for at least 4 weeks, and maybe just now others are getting sick.

    No there isn't any eye discoloration I was out looking at them yesterday
  10. crysmom

    crysmom Songster

    Sep 24, 2007
    yes this is exactly how I feel I'm sorry you are going through this too [​IMG]

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