Is this Merek's disease?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crazymom, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. crazymom

    crazymom Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2009
    I have two seperate flocks. In the younger flock (it started maybe 3 weeks ago and now they are 11 weeks old), one chicken was acting droopy- walking slow, resting a lot, sagging wings. A day or two later it was dead.

    Then another one started acting droopy. It wasn't walking right. In fact it seemed to be partially paralized. We took it inside, put it in a box and have been babying it. When we feed her with a dropper, he/she seems perkier. She sits up and looks around, but doesn't walk or move, really. The box lid is open and it's shallow and she hasn't even tried to jump out. We've been doing this for over 10 days. I had thought that maybe she was attacked by a cat and we just couldn't see the injury. Her poop is solid, but green.

    On Friday, another was acting droopy and was dead by Sat. morning. Another started acting droopy on Sat and I took it inside overnight. I put it in a box and found it dead this morning. No poop in the box to describe.

    We had our eggs hatched in an incubator. They were not vaccinated. They eat medicated chick feed (blue seal or purina depending which feed store I go to).

    Some questions:

    1. What is this?

    2. What do I do? Cull the whole flock? As they get sick? Seperate the obviously sick ones?

    3. Is there any chance that my chicken in a box that has survived 10 days, but seems paralized will get her ability to walk back if I keep at it? Could she ever join the rest of the flock?

    4. My 11 older (5 months to 3 years old) chickens all run/range around the yard at the same time with these baby chickens. They sleep in separate coops. Do I need to keep them separate during the day, too? So far, none of the older chickens has gotten ill.
  2. NoMoreBoys4MommaHen

    NoMoreBoys4MommaHen Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2010
    Memphis, TN
    Good luck.. I would love to know what you find out. We are suffering from the same thing here!
  3. valsey

    valsey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Quote:How old are your hens?
  4. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    Here are some easy ways to recognise the differences between Coccidia and Marek's Disease, [​IMG]
    Coccidia in Chickens Droop(Sleepy), Stoop(huddle), Bloody Poop(in the last stage)$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex4616

    Marek's Disease is usually found in chicks that are 10 to 12 weeks old. Symptoms are: Depression, Diarrhea, Droopy, Blindness, Paralysis of wings or legs, Tumors on feather follicles and or a pale or shrivled comb.It takes about 12 weeks for the symptoms to develop after the chicks have been exposed. So if your chicks are a week or 2 old it is probably not Marek's. [​IMG]

    I just lost some week old chicks to coccidia. I had 13 BR chicks, and 13LB chicks, the LB chicks seem to be fine, but the BR's are weak and I have lost 5 so far of the 13. I started them on medicated feed, but I think they were heavily infected from the farm I bought them from. [​IMG] Who knows?
    I plan to vaccinate them for Marek's next week, and I will probably revaccinate my older birds as well. Just to be on the safe side. I have heard that some chicks from hatcherys were not vaccinated even if you paid for the vaccines. [​IMG]

    Also I ordered my vaccine for Marek's from Twin City Poultry, they charged 19.95 plus 6.95 shipping. That was the best price I could find. [​IMG]
    Although the vaccine is for 1000 birds, you can divide it by 5 parts, mix 1/5 of the batch, use and toss the left over. Refrigerate the unmixed vaccine until needed. Get rid of it by the expiration date on the vial.

    Hope this helps you!
    Bunny [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  5. Whimsical Farming Wife

    Whimsical Farming Wife Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 21, 2009
    I haven't had any experience with coccidia- but I have had some birds with Mareks, and this does sound very similar to my experience. I would find the bird looking kind of sleepy, and then after some time (maybe a few days or so) they would become unable to get around. I did the same thing, seperating them with the close food and water. They would eat & drink, and seem a little better... but sadly, in my case- there was no happy ending. Every one of the birds who showed symptoms ended up dying. Out of a batch of 30 layers who were all supposed to be vaccinated at the hatchery, I lost about 4 to Mareks.
    Good luck with yours~ I hope it is something a little more hopeful!
  6. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    Thanks for the good wishes![​IMG]
    I am hangin' on a wing and a prayer. I have just come to accept that when it comes to chicks, you have to accept some losses. I have learned my lesson about buying chicks from local farms. I will be more selective in the future. I have much better success ordering from Murray McMurray and having the birds vaccinated for both Marek's and Coccidia. Either way you pay the price.
    I feel pretty good about ther rest of them. We'll just cross our fingers!
    Bunny [​IMG]
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:It's not necessarily Marek's. It sounds like they are getting weak and going down rather than being paralyzed. I've seen a number of cases of Marek's and most of the time it starts with paralysis on the left side. Usually the left leg, maybe the left wing, and then progressing to both legs. It typically effects pullets as they are coming into lay (17-24 weeks old) as the added stress of laying tends to bring on the symptoms.

    We have Marek's running through our rather large layer flock right now due to a problem with the vaccinations at the hatchery. I put one down tonight that was paralyzed. She was laying on her side and couldn't move either of her legs. Other than that, she looked healthy and was rather alert, she just couldn't use her legs. The paralysis seems to come on rather slowly and the birds seem to manage several days with it, but once it progresses to the point that they can't make it to the water and food they deteriorate rather rapidly.
  8. chickengal

    chickengal Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2009
    I had something similar happen to all the chicks I hatched. It didn't happen all at once...over a period of several weeks. I gave four of my chicks away and they all survived and grew normally...My chicks were not growing properly. I found out after it was too late that I was feeding them the wrong kind of food. The feed and seed store guy told me it was ok to fee them the adult food and of course now I know that will not work. They must have their starter food! I thought I would post this just in case you were feeding them adult food like I was.

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