I'm new and could use some advice...I know this is the place to get it!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by gertiesmom, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. gertiesmom

    gertiesmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2015
    Hello all knowledgable chicken parents!
    I have been referring to this site for about 7 months now, that's when I became a mom to 3 silkie hens. My friend didn't want them anymore so I jumped in! I've done lots and lots of research, and still feel like I don't know enough. So today I decided to join Backyard Chickens so I can get the expert info I need.
    My girls are Gertrude, Agnus and Foxy. I believe they're about 2 yrs old. About a month after I got them a friend of mine offered me her young rooster she was wanting to rehome. I took him in and the girls and I fell in love! Agnus followed Marley, the rooster, everywhere and he showed the girls how to be free range chickens. All was great until about 2 weeks ago when I noticed Marley walking funny. I repeatedly checked his feet and legs, cut his nails but nothing helped. Then he started falling to one side. Well I brought him inside to keep him safe and warm and googled everything. Long story short, I took him to the vet where he was diagnosed with Merek's disease. I had him put down because I couldn't let him suffer. The vet said I could vaccinate the girls but if they were infected it wouldn't save them. So far the girls are great, knock wood! Well except Agnus, she really misses Marley.
    So, I was going to vaccinate for Merek's just in case. What else should I vaccinate for? Or shouldn't I vaccinate adult birds? My sister has a Cochin rooster that she rescued and offered him to me. I read that Cochins can get to 9 lbs, my girls are 2-3 lbs...would he be too big for them? I don't want my girls to get hurt. I could vaccinate him too, if that's suggested. Oh what to do??? Ok so who has some great advice?? Please help. Thank you all sooo much!
  2. Beer can

    Beer can True BYC Addict

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    Welcome to BYC! Sorry about your rooster.
    I have heard many people say not to vaccinate for mereks, there is a mereks thread, I don't remember all the reasons. I would imagine if your hens didn't get sick they are naturally resistant to that strain of the disease. Hopefully some others chime in that have more knowledge if not look for mereks threads.
  3. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  4. gertiesmom

    gertiesmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2015
    Thank you Beer Can and Justplainbatty. I will be reading that article soon. Hopefully it will tell me how long I should wait to bring in a new roo. Thanks again. :)
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might also want to post in the Emergencies forum https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures and X2 on check out the Mareks articles in the Learning Center... usually Mareks vaccine is only given to day old chicks... if you bring in new birds, you'll generally want to bring in ones vaccinated as chicks. Here is a long thread about dealing with an infected flock https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/741957/not-an-emergency-mareks-in-the-flock
  6. gertiesmom

    gertiesmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2015
    Thank you Kelsie2290! I will also post in the emergencies section... Still figuring out all the knowledge on this site. It's amazing! I have read so much info on Merek's I feel like I could write a book on it...at least the transmission part. The questions come with the vaccinations. Some sites say only day old chicks need be vaccinated, others say they vaccinate their birds every year. All say you should get vaccinated chicks, which I understand. I don't know if my girls were vaccinated nor the rooster that my sister has. That's where I'm stuck on what to do. I'd like to cheer up Agnus, but don't want to put them in harms way. Oui!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    From what I have read about Mareks - any survivors will be carriers for life. People generally maintain a closed flock - no birds in - no birds out, to prevent it's spread to some one else.

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