Mareks disease questions

Liv's chickens

Chirping
Nov 6, 2017
68
36
81
hello everyone! A couple months ago my one of my chickens became ill, and since then I’ve lost around 5 more, and I’m quite positive that Mareks was the cause.

I have some guinea fowl who laid some eggs, and I hatched four babies from them. How dangerous is it to sell a couple keets to someone if my adult chickens have Mareks? I’ve tried to be careful not to handle the babies after I was out with the hens but I wanted to know if it wouldn’t be ok to try to sell some babies if they could possibly have gotten in contact with the disease at some point.

Also, is there a way to get my chickens tested to confirm that they have Mareks? Because it would be SUCH a relief if they didn’t. All the chickens seem pretty healthy at this point but I know Mareks doesn’t always show signs in some chickens.

I appreciate your input
Thanks!
 

coach723

Crowing
Feb 12, 2015
4,413
8,141
491
North Florida
Have you seen this? https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
The best way to determine whether you have Marek's in your flock for sure, is to have one necropsied. I have heard of a feather shaft test that may be possible for testing, but don't know much about it other than snippets I've heard, I don't think it's widely available, you would need to call around and ask. The most common way of finding out is necropsy. If you are selling birds then that really should be what you do. It would be irresponsible to sell any and possibly spread the disease to another flock. Marek's is highly contagious so it's very unlikely that you have not carried it around on clothing or shoes, so I would consider them exposed until you have definitely ruled it out.
If you are in the US, here are some resources for necropsies:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
http://www.heritageacresmarket.com/poultry-necropsy-labs/amp/
 

Liv's chickens

Chirping
Nov 6, 2017
68
36
81
Thanks so much for the info! I have read most of the Mareks disease article, and I will look into the necropsy.

Have you seen this? https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
The best way to determine whether you have Marek's in your flock for sure, is to have one necropsied. I have heard of a feather shaft test that may be possible for testing, but don't know much about it other than snippets I've heard, I don't think it's widely available, you would need to call around and ask. The most common way of finding out is necropsy. If you are selling birds then that really should be what you do. It would be irresponsible to sell any and possibly spread the disease to another flock. Marek's is highly contagious so it's very unlikely that you have not carried it around on clothing or shoes, so I would consider them exposed until you have definitely ruled it out.
If you are in the US, here are some resources for necropsies:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
http://www.heritageacresmarket.com/poultry-necropsy-labs/amp/
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
49,556
39,732
1,122
southern Ohio
Welcome to BYC.
Can older chickens, 4 To 5 months be vacinatedfor Merck’s?
They can, but most say the vaccine needs to be given as day old chicks for them to have protection from the disease. A vaccinated chick should be kept away from any area that has been exposed to chickens who have Mareks for at least 2 weeks after vaccination to develop immunity.
 
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