Mareks Disease...IS IT AT ALL TRANSFERABLE TO HUMANS< Cull or not?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 13newbabies, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. 13newbabies

    13newbabies Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2008
    17 week old bantam, Black Beauty. I found her lying on her side in coop, I thought she had been attacked by the older chickens, took her to vet, and although it is not definitive, it does look like Mareks. IS IT AT ALL TRANSFERABLE TO HUMANS??? They want me to keep her indoors, but I do have two small toddlers and DO NOT WANT TO RISK ANYTHING. Has anyone dealt with it? I am not heartless and very sad about her, but at the same time, I honestly dont have alot of time to nurse a fatally ill chicken. She is an adorable black silkie and sweet as can be...I dont know what to do... can anyone offer advice? Thanks
  2. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2008
    It is NOT transferable to humans. HOWEVER, in my new un-official capacity as BYC's "doom & gloom Marek's survivor," I have to tell you that if the bird cannot walk around on her own, she will not pull through this. I nursed a couple birds like it was my job and it was all for nothing. They died. Actually, I had to put them down after many hours spent syringe feeding them and treating secondary conditions like a bacterial infection and a case of sour crop.

    I spent a ton of money and time on these poor things and all I did was prolong their suffering. [​IMG] That is my regret. They had to suffer while I tried everything. I wish someone had told me that my efforts were for nothing. The vets that I went to (yes, that's plural!) did not advise me to do the humane thing and put them down. If the bird is laying about, it will die. That is what I know. Better for you to put your efforts into promoting the health of your flock, so that any birds exposed might fight the Mareks.

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Not transferable to humans but I would cull her. Some birds will recover from the effects of Marek's but they will remain carriers for life infecting others & if used for breeding they will produce chicks that are also susceptible to the disease.
  4. 13newbabies

    13newbabies Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2008
    Thanks so much to you both for replying so quickly, very relieved it is not transferable to humans, but of course, very sad about our girl, she is sweet and the kids love her, but I do think we will have to euthanize her. I can't believe I am asking this, but HOw do you euthanize a chicken humanely? I asked the vet and is $90 ( my husband is not at all amused , seeing as we just spent nearly $400 for the chicken to be seen emergently on Friday nite and then it had to stay at the vets for the weekend....YIKES >>>because a tree went down across my road and it is the only way out, so I couldnt get to the vets on Saturday and they wouldnt let me pick her up on SUnday....YIKES...I thought this chicken thing was supposed to be easy and fun!
  5. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    HI, sorry about your little chickie.
    I had to put a 2 week old chick down and I found the most humane way to be a home made gas chamber. I put vinegar in the bottom of the bucket and then I put the chick in a plastic butter dish and floated in the vinegar. (my chick was tiny and light) Then you add baking soda, and cover the bucket with plastic. I waited 20 minutes and little chick was gone to sleep. Apparently, it does not take long and they do not suffer. It is the same as carbon monoxide poisoning that happens to people in their homes...... they just get tired and fall asleep and die.
    Do a bit of research on this site, where it is a bigger bird, I am not sure of the amounts you will need, but a lot.... buy a whole jug and a whole box. this is better than $90 at the vet. If you raise chickens, I am learning too, that there are times when these things happen and you have to be ready to do the right thing.
    Again, sorry about your little chickie. I hope you find some strength to end his suffering.

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    The easiest & most humane way to kill an adult chicken is with a sharp hatchet or axe. Hold the chicken by the feet, place the head on a block of wood & quickly seperate the head from the body.
    As to taking a chicken to the Vet your situation speaks volumes. If you wouldn't have paid $400 for that chicken why would you spend that much at the Vet? Even a basic office visit exceeds the value of most chickens.
  7. chickygirl2

    chickygirl2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    upper marlboro. md
    Mareks is everywhere. Wild birds will bring it to your flock if your birds are outside and have not been vaccinated.

    If you really like the bird, you can give her some time to heal. You will need to put her in a box, propped up with a small amt of water.[I do this with old rags .]They tend to fall in and drown if the water is too deep, because of the paralysis.I would also get some cranberry caplets- Target carries it in the vitamin aisle. The cranberry helps them recuperate quicker.You can add it to the feed. Crumbles tend to be easier for them to eat at this point.It will take a few weeks to see if she will recover.

    I had 2 birds,some years ago that came down with Mareks at the same time. 1 made it and the other didn't. The surviver led a full and happy life until a fox got her years after. She was quite sweet because of all the extra attention she got while healing. I had no other cases for a very long while, so carrier or not, no one else seemed to "catch"it. Wishing you sucess if you try........
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  8. 13newbabies

    13newbabies Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2008
    WOw, you guys are really great. I appreciate all the good info and support. It really is sad situation, as she is so sweet, and it is hard because one minute she is up and peeping and even able to fly to the top of her box (it is only a office box right now) and the next minute she is falling over and having trouble getting up. When I see her flying to the top of the box and even perching, I think, "oh she is getting better"...then she flops down again. I feel horrible as I am a total animal freak and cant believe I am saying this, but I have two toddlers at home, a dog, 12 other chickens and a big house and husband to care for and I honestly dont think I have time to make sure she isnt drowning in her water or something else!
    BUt, that said, I am slightly more optimistic hearing your story about two having it and one living a happy life afterwards. That sounds good, but as the one person said, wont she infect the rest of my flock and be a carrier for life (I KNOW we dont have any babies by her, so this may not be an issue, but i do care about the others) then I also heard that they can do better, but then eventually die of tumors later in concern there is, if we cant see she is physically ill, is it really ok to eat her eggs??? Cause I cant possibly keep her separated the whole rest of her life so I know which are her eggs!
    I really hear both sides (cull, it is better for all....or hang in there and she may be ok) My heart wants to hang in there, but like I said, in my previous life WITHOUT children , I would've had NO problem nursing her back to health, but with all the other stressors in my life....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
    It is so hard....I will still appreciate any and all other thoughts on the matter, as well as hearing personal experiences to help me make my horribly difficult decision
    thanks again to you all! (BTW...she WAS Vaccinated, as the feed store says....)
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  9. claud

    claud Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    I hear ya on having the toddlers at home.
    I had a nice yard with few weeds pre-children and wow - all that free time.. [​IMG]

    Is you silkie eating and drinking? Are any other chickens picking on her?
    If yes, and no I would wait and see. Make sure she has something easy to eat. Maybe give her some extra treats - like scrambled eggs to give her a boost.

    If she gets worse and you can't care for her then I think culling would be your best option. It is sad I know but probably best for the chicken in the long run.
  10. shabbychick23

    shabbychick23 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 11, 2013
    Wow I think my polish has it...very it a blood test to test for mareks disease? Any help thanks.

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