Mareks in newly hatched chicks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by joyce v, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. joyce v

    joyce v New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2009
    I have hatched some bantam chicks with some quails in the incubator and have had a good hatch rate (about 50% which is pretty standard when I have hatched chicks in the past). The quails hatched over a long, 5 days period and the last 2 came out with paralysed legs, only one surviving which died this afternoon. Since hatching, many of the hens and chicks have suddenly died. My kids are beside themselves with grief as in the past, we have always successfuly hatched chicks and reared them into healthy happy chickens. When we woke up this morning, 4 more of the chicks (2 bantams and 2 quails) were found dead. I am keeping the quails and bantams in separate boxes. We only have 2 bantam chicks left (and 2 other bantams from the same batch which were hatched under a broody hen and remain outside) and 5 quails. My daughter noticed that before the other quails died, their legs went purple. Three of the five remaining quails have developed purple legs and a slight limp this afternoon and I am afraid they may die too. I have looked up Mareks disease but it seems it does not affect newborn chicks, only when they are a bit older - or does it? I have 16 other beloved hens in my flock outside and do not want them to contract Mareks if that is what it is. Can someone please help me? Thankyou
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I think the long hatching is more your problem then Mareks would be. What type of bator do you have and what temp and humidity do you use? If you are only getting 50% hatch on eggs, their may be a problem with incubation.....which in turn makes weak chicks
     
  3. DPhillips

    DPhillips Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2009
    Terre Haute
    Joyce,
    I will honestly say that I am not sure what is killing your bantam chicks, but i think i know what is killing you quail chicks. I raised many quail and when I first started out I was losing 50% of my hatches to the same thing you are experiencing. Purple legs, limping, etc. I couldnt figure it out either. What happend to me is that the quail chicks were pecking at each others toes to the point of cripling each other. Some of them even had missing toes. An old man who had raised bobwhite quail told me that if u are going to raise quail, you have to de-beak them during the first week or you will eventually lose almost all of them. He said that sometimes they are worse if they feel over-crowded, and sometimes they just do it anyway. What you do is take a pair of fingernail clippers and carefully snip the very tips of the upper beaks off. Try not to cut too much, or it will bleed. (ive done it and they still lived) The reason for this is obviously so when they peck at each other, they wont drawl blood. I would start by trying this. It worked for me. I only lost two more chicks after that and that was because they were already injured and didnt pull through. You may even know all this already, and if that is the case, then I have no clue what it could be. And as for the bantams, maybe someone else has some suggestions.
    -Darin
     

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