Marecks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by vicknick, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. vicknick

    vicknick New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    I am a totally inexperienced chicken mama... Got a few babies from a friend last year, and have raised them up - 2 are boys and 3 are girls. The boys, as they got older, have gotten increasingly.... demanding... of the girls' attentions, and I said - well, I think I should get more girls. So I found a lady on Craigslist who was selling a group of young girls about a month away from laying age, and said - that month is just right for a quarantine period, so by the time they're all grown up, I can pop them in with everyone else!

    I brought them home, and the first of the 10 was dead within a few days. Then another. Then another. Over this quarantine month, I've lost 6 of the 10. Symptoms start with head shaking/twitching, odd crusty ungroomed-looking twisty sort of down under the wings, lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of thirst (not drinking) weight loss, and then go to losing their balance, just lying there in their own poop, and then dying. One of the 'final four' is now showing symptoms - weakness, loss of balance, no interest in food, trying to eat, and kind of missing her aim, etc. I pick her favorite sunflower sprouts and put them in front of her beak, and she'll just keep sitting there - and then she discovers them, pecks, eats half a leaf, then forgets they're there till I pat them again.... I've wormed and antibiotic'ed these birds within an inch of their lives, probiotic'ed, nutri-drenched, herbal remedied, prayed, and anything else I can think of. Now I'm reading Google and finding this Mareck's Virus thingie, and absolutely horrified that I may have brought it onto my property, and into my flock.

    As soon as it stops raining, I'm going out to check her pupils - can anyone give me any other ideas of how to tell? (Other than wait for her to die and send her to a lab. sigh.)
     
  2. vicknick

    vicknick New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    Forgot to add - the sick ones also get bubbly eyes. Watery with bubbles - it's really odd-looking.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Sorry that you bought sick chickens onto your property. I would contact your state vet right away to arrange for the last chicken to be necropsied in order to make sure they don't have Mareks. I think they may have had coccidiosis and mycoplasma (MG,) just from the symptoms you have described. Cocci can cause weakness, not eating, diarrhea with mucus or blood, loss of balance, and puffing up, and is treated with Corid in the water for 5 days. MG can cause eye bubbles, gasping, wheezing, and coughing. I would cull the last bird or have the state vet euthanise it and try to find the cause of sickness. Many diseases can resemble Mareks disease. Let us know what you find out.
     
  4. vicknick

    vicknick New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    I took them to the local lab, and they did a necropsy on the one that died this morning. She had both Marek's and mycoplasma.
    Vet advised our best bet, if we want to ever have chickens, is to euthanize all of our current chickens, pets and babies included, bleach everything they've ever touched, wait 30 days, and then order some fully-vaccinated pullets from a reputable breeder.

    Our chickens free-range over 10 acres. There's absolutely no way to bleach everything.

    [​IMG]

    I've got a homeopathic remedy for Marek's I'm going to try out, and ordering some antibiotics for the mycoplasma. I told the vet I'm keeping the birds as long as they're healthy, I just won't buy any more. :(

    I'll do everything I can to save these birds, and if I can't, I'll let them go with dignity. But I don't feel good about killing them when they still feel healthy. :(

    Any suggestions would be ridiculously welcome.. :( :(
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    You are correct that you can't disinfect everything, but it mostly means the coop and all equipment. Mycoplasma will only be alive for about 3 days on surfaces, clothes, hair, etc. Mareks can be in your environment for seven years according to some sources. I'm sorry that you got that diagnosis, but glad that you got such rapid help locally. Some chickens can be immune to Mareks for some reason. Down the road, when you decide to get new chicks, make sure they are vaccinated, and have been kept away from any contaminated areas for 2-3 weeks for their vaccine to be fully effective.
     
  6. LauraFaux

    LauraFaux New Egg

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    Jun 7, 2016
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    I'm so sorry, how devastating! Then to be told to put them all down?? I would be heartbroken. I have a sick chicken myself at the moment, trying to figure out if it's Marek's. I'd be interested to know of any homeopathic treatments. Any treatments for that matter .
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Go up to the search box at the top of this page and enter "mareks disease" then look at pages of threads that you can click on to read. The Great Big Giant Mareks faq article is best. Then look at the ongoing threads for many others discussing their flocks with Mareks.
     
  8. vicknick

    vicknick New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    Update - Gave the droopy one a few drops of Hypericum last week. She's not droopy anymore. I've been watching everyone carefully, and aside from a few sneezes now and then, they're all doing well. I have antibiotic on order, supposed to get here on Tuesday, for Myco symptoms, I'd like to clear that up totally, but have been weighing each in my arms every day, so no weight loss can sneak up on me. So, for now, status is - keepin' on keepin' on...
     
  9. jangrace

    jangrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
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    I just lost two beautiful Ameraucanas, one blue, one black, to Mareck's. It was during their quarantine period so I had not put them in with the rest of my flock yet, (6 very healthy hens). I had the Ameraucanas in a pen next to the chicken yard fence, but outside the chicken yard, so they could see each other, but no contact.

    Can anyone advise me on how to clean up and disinfect the 6'x6' area of dirt that the infected hens were on?

    Hoping if I clean it up right away and disinfect somehow, wind won't blow any dander into my healthy hens' yard.
    I appreciate any suggestions.
     
  10. jangrace

    jangrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
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    HELP! Really want to prevent my healthy hens from getting this from wind blowing infected dirt and feathers through the wire fence. Right now I have covered the ground where the infected hens were with a tarp, held down by rocks. Can anyone advise me?
     

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