Mareks disease!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by edmick, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. edmick

    edmick Out Of The Brooder

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    So my neighbor down the street has had two 9 week old chicks come down with mareks disease and after talking to a local small hatchery on the subject he described it as borderline pandemic. Has anyone else heard of this issue rising in their areas? I live in southern california by the way.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Mareks has always been lurking about. It's always best to either vaccinate or keep a mostly closed flock. Hatchery chicks are best for replacements and don't get chicks from multiple sources. I don't think it's a pandemic, now the bird flu, that was, and is a pandemic.
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    ABSOLUTELY!! In fact, I live in southern California as well and I MAKE SURE ALL my chicks are vaccinated for Mareks disease. It IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE! The virus can travel MILES in the wind and once it's on your land it's all but impossible to get Rid of. I had a Silkie breeder that didn't live too far from me and she had the most Beautiful show quality silkies! I asked her if she vaccinated for Mareks. She said, " no, she never had a problem"...And then her ENTIRE flock got Mareks disease.. Not only was she heartbroken watching her beautiful birds die in AWFUL ways her livelihood was effected. She could no longer in good conscience sell birds off her land with Mareks..it was such a devistating tragedy!After seeing that I ALWAYS vaccinate now. The way Mareks works is some birds can have the virus and not display symptoms but be a CARRIER and infect others. Mareks is so HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS the vaccine is given to chicks at HATCH because after that if they have been outside or around adult birds they are already considered Exposed to the virus. Mareks is like a chicken Cancer there are different forms. it basically causes large internal tumors that can rest on the nerves causing paralysis. also wasteing of the bird. it causes the birds legs to stick out in strange positions and they are stiff and unable to walk. THERE IS NO CURE. The vaccine is not 100% however it prevents tumors and is the birds BEST CHANCE at protection. The vaccine is a live virus but it IS NOT THE MAREKS VIRUS AND WILL NOT GIVE THE BIRD MAREKS. it is derived from a turkey virus and will NOT make your bird sick.The vaccine only costs about .50 cents at the hatchery per bird and is very much worth it. I really hope this helps and wish you the best.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  4. edmick

    edmick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2016
    southern california
    Thank you so much for the info. I have a flock of six and I'm just concerned about anything that goes around. Especially when it's 7 houses down.
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Jan 17, 2013
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    Oh wow yes. if she has Mareks in her flock just 7 houses down I would absolutely vaccinate any new birds coming in. As I mentioned, it Can travel live in the wind even.from what I understand it is pretty much everywhere. when my breeders flock came down with it, it really opened my eyes to the importance of the Mareks vaccination. She didn't live far from me either.Some people continue to say "well I've never had a problem" until, they come down with it in their flock. They might even have a silent carrier without symptoms spreading it. it's very affordable at around .50 cents a chick. there's no reason not to get protected at that price. Hope this helps a bit.Best wishes. it seems it always "hits home" when someone you know has the virus! I figured when my breeders flock got sick it could have just as easily been my own flock.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    When you buy vaccinated chicks, they must be TOTALLY ISOLATED from your flock for the two to three weeks it takes them to develop immunity. That means serious biosecurity efforts on your part, and not sharing equipment with your other birds. Mary
     

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