Mareks Disease

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SpringFarmChick, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. SpringFarmChick

    SpringFarmChick New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 5, 2012
    I know there has been some discussion of Mareks Disease, because I have read quite a bit of it. Unfortunately it has shown up in my flock. I have an 8 month old Americana cross, that I got as a chick this June, along with five others. I have a mixed flock of 16, including two roosters. One of the Americanas never quite got as large as the others. Last week (it has been very cold, then very warm, then very cold again--50 degree swings) I noticed her limping. She'd wobble and stick out her wing to not fall over. Within two days she was lying on the floor of the coop, immobile, but not dead. I brought her into the house, in a plastic tub with bedding. I force fed her (figuring it couldn't hurt) a mixture of colloidal silver and water at first, then as she perked up, colloidal silver mixed with "emergen-C" vitamin powder. For two days she lay on her side, then moved to lying on her breast, then spent yesterday standing up. After the first two days she started eating again. As she was crawling with lice I also treated her with topical Ivermectin and D.E.

    Today I moved her back to the flock. She is wobbly on her legs, but can run around and fly. However, she is closing one eye now, and pecks at her food several times before finding it (I read about Marek's impairing vision). Tomorrow I will probably bring her back in the house and continue the nursing treatment. Her recovery was remarkable...but everything I read about Marek's says to cull the bird (I have not done this yet, and for various reasons would find it very difficult to do). Also, I am getting mixed messages on the forums. Many say your flock is over if you have a bird with Marek's, many others say all birds are exposed to Marek's. All my other birds are healthy (so far). I gave the flock the choice of colloidal silver and vitamin laced water v. plain water today and they all drank up the doctored water. I have found colloidal silver remarkable in treating eye infections and runny noses. Anyway, is this bird hopeless? Would she be full of tumors? What about the rest of my flock? They are for the most part laying nicely, despite it being winter.

    Thanks for your input...
     
  2. tatiana916

    tatiana916 Out Of The Brooder

    50
    3
    39
    Oct 24, 2011
    Hi I'm fairly new to chicken keeping and my 8 month old sumatra is showing signs of Mareks. I cant bear the thought of putting her down! The last few days shes been walking with her tail really high and waddling like a duck so I thought maybe there was a problem with her abdomen so I gave her a warm bath this morning but as I was running it I noticed she would slide down to sit on the floor legs pointing in all sorts of directions
    What is colloidal silver? Im in the UK and I've never heard of it (probably because I've never needed to look out for it) just wondering whether we might have an alternative.
    Hope your little one makes a full recovery!
     
  3. SpringFarmChick

    SpringFarmChick New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 5, 2012
    Hi Tatiana,

    Colloidal silver is a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver. It has been used and touted for centuries as a natural anti bacterial and anti viral. The Economist, in its science section, had an article about it in 2009 or 2010--I forget which, but you could google it.

    I first heard about it in Patricia Forman's book City Chicks. (Disclosure, I helped edit and proofread the book.) In it she shows how to make a colloidal silver generator. I have one of these. One 16 oz jar of colloidal silver lasted me about 2 1/2 years (I use it when necessary, but do not over use it). I use it on myself, kids, cats and chickens (which is mentioned in City Chicks). Colloidal silver is available in health stores in the US, but is pretty expensive. It is also controversial because dosage and testing are unknowns (as pointed out in the Economist, which also affirmed that it is a potent antibiotic). I just know it seems to really work well on chickens. You can google "how to make colloidal silver" and you will find videos. My generator is two wires of silver attached to a low voltage battery. The wires are immersed in distilled water for 48 hours. "City Chicks" has clear directions on making a generator, and lots of other things about chickens (but no mention of Mareks).

    My Mareks hen seems to be doing well. I brought her back in the house. She is alert and eating and gaining weight. In fact, she broke out of her box last night, which I had loosely covered with chicken wire, and spent the night on my son's bed (he is away at college.) Luckily her diarrhea had cleared up. I'm going to treat her irritated eye with colloidal silver.

    I have decided not to cull my flock. Upon further reading, I have found because my hens free range on my property, probably my whole property is contaminated. I purchased these chicks from a non commercial breeder, so they were not vaccinated. I guess I will only purchase from commercial breeders, and not allow my own hens to brood, and maybe eventually the virus will disappear.

    My sick hen did make what seems almost a miraculous recovery, from lame to lying motionless with drooping head (I force fed the colloidal silver then), to back on her feet, running around and flying. Hopefully another week of TLC with have her back with the other hens.

    Good luck with yours.
     
  4. tatiana916

    tatiana916 Out Of The Brooder

    50
    3
    39
    Oct 24, 2011
    Thankyou I'll have to check where I can get some over here.Sounds like a bit of a fix all solution so probably handy to have in the house.
    Shes going to the vet tomorrow so fingers crossed for her. I know 2 of my hens are vaccinated but the other 2 were brought as eggs along with Magneto our sick one.
    I gave her some cucumber and tomatoes with vitamin powder, cod liver oil and marmite so that should give her a boost today. Fingers crossed Magneto has a miraculous recovery like yours!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by