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Mareks and hatchery chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mskayladog, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Mskayladog

    Mskayladog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm planning my spring buy, and is it unlikely for hatchery chicks to carry mareks? How likely is it for year old hens to catch mareks?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm planning my spring buy, and is it unlikely for hatchery chicks to carry mareks?

    Extremely unlikely. Any hatchery that sells chicks that carry Marek's will correct the problem really quickly or go out of business. It is always possible for hatchery chicks to carry some disease but in the business they are in, established hatcheries are really careful about that stuff. I'd be more concerned about the fly-by-nights but I am not in the least concerned about the established hatcheries.

    How likely is it for year old hens to catch mareks?

    If Marek's is present, any chicken will catch Marek's, even if it has been vaccinated. If they are vaccinated, they will not develop the lesions that cause the problems, but they can still catch it and give it to other chickens. Marek's does not kill or even affect every chicken that has it. It depends on what variety of Marek's and where the lesions grow. Marek's can devastate your flock or it might affect a very few. But once it is in your flock, every chicken is a carrier whether it shows symptoms or not.
     

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