Is it Mareks????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ardizzone7, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been raising some broilers. They are 8 weeks of age. Last week I had one stop walking but look fine other wise. We brought it inside because the others were picking on it. It got to the point of sleeping and twitching all the time. I finally had my husband cull it. That was 3 days ago. This evening we had another one stop walking and not put its feet down when you try to set it down. I am afraid this is the same thing. My questions are, will it spread to all the others? Is the meat safe to eat? How do I keep this from spreading to my other chickens if it is Mareks? They all pasture in the same place although the broilers have different housing. Any help would be much appreciated.

    FYI they have not been vaccinated for anything.
     
  2. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  3. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Help please?
     
  4. cackleberrycam

    cackleberrycam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it will spread and they may die.
    The worst thing is, there is no treatment out there for chickens infected with it![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  5. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will the meat be suitable to eat in those that don't show symptoms?
     
  6. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it is Mareks (there are some diseases that look like Mareks) you may not lose all your chickens. Some breeds are more susceptible than others and some can recover. However, if that is Mareks, then your whole flock will be carriers. You can either start a vaccination program when you bring in new chicks (keep them isolated, very isolated) or just breed from the resistant ones in your flock or the ones that you bring in that don't succumb. Mareks is very prevelant and I think there are alot more chickens out there that are resistant than are not.

    As far as the meat question, I don't know, but Mareks is a chicken herpes virus that forms tumors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  7. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 2 more not walking today. I think I am going to start butchering today so I don't loose too many more. They are on the small side but I just can't loose the investment we have put into them so far.
     
  8. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ones not walking, why don't you do a thorough look inside and see if there is anything out of the ordinary? Maybe you can see some tumors. I really don't know how obvious it would be or it may not be obvious at all. If these are just birds you are raising for butchering anyway, then yes, I would probably do the same. If you were raising them for eggs,, I would keep the survivors and breed from them.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I don't know much about meat birds, but I do know they are meant to be butchered between 6 and 10 weeks. They tend to just up and die or break legs because they are fragile. I have read where some recommend limiting their food and make them get outside and free range, saying they end up healthier and live longer although they weigh a bit less. There is a meat bird section on emergencies, so if you post a question on there most would be helpful. If mareks is on someone's property, than any chicken coming in without vaccination could get it.
     
  10. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    You've gotten some of your other answers, but just to chime in with one that you asked: If it is Marek's, the meat is perfectly safe for human consumption. If you suspect Marek's, it might be a good idea to carefully discard or burn the parts that you don't wish to keep during the butchering process. After you are done, it would be wise to vacuum out the coop where the meat birds were kept (a shop vac with a drywall filter works well) then use something such as activated Oxine or Odoban (both are viruicides) to saturate the interior surfaces. IF it is Marek's.... this will help reduce the amount of Marek's that could be spread, though it will not eliminate it in your yard or anywhere else. It is most often spread via chicken dander/dust and is very easy to spread.

    There are things that can look like Marek's other than Marek's disease. If you plan on breeding birds to sell at any point, it might be worth it to have a blood test run to see what is going on in your flock, because once you have Marek's on your property you can be sure all of your chickens will become carriers (even if they never show symptoms). If it's something else, though, it could save you money and frustration to know what is going on in the long term.

    It is also worth mentioning that if you are raising meat birds such as Cornish Cross, they can be prone to health problems as they age past 6 weeks, and it's possible that they are simply experiencing their bodies shutting down in the various ways that Cornish Cross are known for. It might be worth asking in the meat bird section as Eggcessive mentioned!
     

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