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Marek's disease...again!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aeb1960, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. aeb1960

    aeb1960 Chirping

    Nov 28, 2012
    We are so discouraged....it had been several weeks since the last chick (two had had to be culled a month apart) showed signs of Marek's (leg paralysis) and we had put it down. I was hopeful. Today we lost another, at about 20 weeks of age. I have kept the chicks isolated from the established flock, but was getting ready to incorporate them in a couple of weeks. Now I am really wondering: WHAT SHOULD WE DO with the remaining six chicks? Can we just butcher them and safely eat them? What a costly meal they will make, considering that we have been feeding them since the end of November just waiting for those delicious eggs!

    Here is our set-up: Since the end of November, the chicks (pullets, I guess at their age!) have been in a separate building from the adult chickens, which will not be used for chicks in the future, as it is too hard to clean, and do not walk on the same ground as the older ones. Some people think I can still put them back with the older chickens even if they eventually show signs of the disease, figuring that the older ones have probably already been exposed and have survived (they were given to us, and vary in age from one to two or three years...one is five years old!)

    My fears: 1) the older chickens may come down with the disease
    2) the permanent coop and all the grounds will be infected, since the chickens free range over most of the yard (albeit not where the pullets go)
    3) in this case, it would be so much work to treat the big coop, and I would have to let the ground just "sit" for a couple of years before getting any more chicks/chickens

    My thoughts: 1) just get rid of the pullets (can we use them, can we eat them?)
    2) wait until NEXT spring (2014) to get new VACCINATED chicks (I won't try fall chicks again)
    3) in the meantime, maybe we would just butcher all the existing flock, after this summer, as they are getting along in age (all of this is new to us..I guess you can tell!)
    4) OR..instead of #2, new chicks, find some year old chickens somewhere

    YOUR suggestions, please!

    Thank you!

  2. Mr Peeps Mama

    Mr Peeps Mama In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2011
    I will be interested to hear anything anyone can tell e about Mareks Disease. I have a rooster that I have quarantined fro the rest who I think has it. He started out with a limp, I thought one of the other roosters had put the thump on him...couple days later he was dragging that leg...I brought him in and put him in a large dog crate and I honestly thought he had some weird thing going on with scaly leg mites (since it was his leg that had the problem AND I'm currently doctoring a few for the scaly leg) ugh. Anyway, the next day both legs were paralized. Thennn I started in search of answers and came across Mareks Disease...he has all the symptoms. :( Poor little guy. Soooo, I'm thinking I'm probably going to have to have him put down (I just CANT do that myself) It just breaks my heart because I've had him a long time......he hatched here! He wouldnt hardly eat and felt feverish to me so I give him 1/4 of a baby aspiring 3 times a day...(You can give 24 mg per day per pound) so I give him 1/4 of an 81mg. After he takes the aspirin he eats and eats but he's picky about what he eats....grapes are one of his favorites (yayyy hydrating!) eggs, shrimp, tomoatoes, rice...whatever he'll eat I give him...and I give him pediolyte as well. I have read that they can recover? Even after having both legs paralyzed? If theres a chance I want to save him but I dont want him to suffer if the end result will be the same. Any thoughts? I have a flock of 34... as I said I have him quarantined but he's been out there with him so theyre all exposed. :( Just makes me soooooo sad! I called my vet to ask for advice and was told that they dont do advice until they see the patient. (Ive taken 2 chickens to this vet AND my dog so it makes me mad bcuz I said "all I want to know is IS there a chance he will survive IF he has Mareks?" They said, "You'll have to bring him in." They consider a chicken an exotic and the office visit is $65...euthanasia on a chicken is $65 as well. I'm looking for another vet. The last time I took a chicken to this visit when I left I paid him $325!!! The other time is was $90 and my husband said no more $$ to a vet for a $3 chicken. (He's not a chicken person...gee can you tell that or what?) Sooooo, I'm doing all I can do for my little "Stuey". Anyone treat Mareks Disease successfully?

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