Mareks Dis.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sueg6255, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. sueg6255

    sueg6255 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like two of my chickens have it. They seems like they are paralised and then the others run up and try to kill them. Do I have to kill all of my birds and start over? Do I go and get meds and try to save a few? I am about to give up.

    Help please.
     
  2. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Raiford,FLA
  3. sueg6255

    sueg6255 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't see any lesions but two birds are laying on their side and paralised. Just started. Those two bird did come from a hatchery and should have been vacinated. I have all the birds in runs right now. I usually free range.

    Is there a vacine I should use on the other birds that I have hatched this year?
     
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Be careful with that link. Not everything is accurate. It lists wikipedia as one of it's sources and there is no guarantee that bad information is not placed on wikipedia by well meaning people. There is a lot of junk information floating around the internet regarding Marek's. First of all there is more than one way to vaccinate. Large hatcheries sometimes vaccinate while in the egg. Chicks can also be vaccinated using a small needle. Secondly, the virus in the vaccine is not the same as the Marek's virus. It is similar enough to cause immunity. Birds that are vaccinated and properly quarantined for a period of time after vaccination do not acquire the disease and do not shed the virus.

    My sources for this are veterinarians in the poultry departments of universities and the veterinarian at the lab that makes the vaccine.

    Also, there is more than one type of Marek's. The vaccine only protects against the paralysis type. You will probably never "see" a skin lesion on your bird. If you want to attempt to save your birds, put them in small cages with the food and water right in front of them. They may or may not go into remission (they are never cured - they just go into remission). It could take a few days, but will most likely be weeks. Birds that do not have this type of intensive care only have a 5% survival rate. My neighbor and I have both saved birds this way. The recovery is long, but Mareks is not painful. The pain and suffering happens when the bird is not confined and is injured by other birds or hurts itself trying to get around. If the paralysis gets to the neck, you probably will not be able to save it because it won't be able to eat or drink. At that point the humane thing might be to put it down. Whether or not you want to save the birds or cull them is your decision. All of your birds have been exposed and are carriers for life. If you are not selling or showing birds, that may not be a problem. All unvaccinated birds are potential carriers. Marek's is everywhere in the environment and is worldwide. That is why more and more people are choosing to vaccinate. We were hit with Marek's once, and now all new birds on my place will have been vaccinated as chicks.

    Good luck
     
  5. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Quote:Did you specifically ask for the Marek's vaccine? There is more than one vaccine offered. Some people just get the cocci vaccine and not the Marek's. Chicks are not vaccinated unless you ask for it and pay for it. Also, the birds need to be quarantined for about 10 days for the vaccine to take effect. If they were exposed to the older birds or where other birds have been during that time, they can contract the Marek's virus before the immunity sets in. When quarantining babies you have to keep them in the house, not wear the same clothes handling them that you had on while handling your other birds, and you must wash your hands before handling them. It is probably too late to vaccinate any birds you already have.

    They can survive this with care. They will probably limp and not keep weight on as well, but they can survive and be happy. I have a Marek's survivor that I would never give up, and my neighbor has a few.
     
  6. sueg6255

    sueg6255 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not going to show birds but are the eggs ok to eat from birds that are not showing any signs. I can't find this information anywhere. Will all of the flock die?
     
  7. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Quote:Yes, the eggs are fine. The disease doesn't pass through the egg. The hens that have had an active case of it will more than likely be infertile, and they will probably not be as productive as your other hens, but the eggs are safe.
     

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