Mareks is wiping me out, I think..???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MakNat, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. MakNat

    MakNat Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    They are fine, I mean really fine. Then all of the sudden they are crippled... This is happening to a graoud of 12 weeks olds. The first was about 6 weeks ago. Last week one just dropped dead. And this morning other wass crippled. That sounds like Mareks doesn't it??? How can I prevent it? At what age to vaccinate? O r should I? Have 40 eggs due to hatch this friday. It just makes me SICK.. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Buy some vaccine from Jeffers and vaccinate all your chicks with 1 cc diabetic needles (it takes .20 of a cc) as soon as the hatch is over. The vaccine available to us is not as strong and if you are having an outbreak I would recommend revaccinating the chicks after about 10 days for a extra boost.

    Make sure you sanitize your incubator and brooder before hatching any more chicks. Also sanitize the whole area if possible with oxine making sure to get any dust particles.
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I'm really sorry this is happening. Hopefully your chicks won't be out there for at least 6 weeks while they grow their feathers (?)
  4. MakNat

    MakNat Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Quote:Oh No!! I have a big brooder in the house! And I have a big fat hen that has been sitting on wooden eggs, in a big cozy brooder cage in the barn that also has a light at on end.!! I'm going to try the Hipericum (sp?) herb treatment if it happens to another older one. I hate too, but I guess I will vaccinate the ones coming Friday..

  5. ultasol

    ultasol Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
  6. suburbanminifarm

    suburbanminifarm Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    N.San Diego County
    Quote:Oh my gosh thank you soooo much for posting this! It was VERY valuable info to me as I have a unused expensive bottle of vaccine in the fridge and a mixed age flock...I'm going to wait untill my next hatch and then vaccinate everybody--thank you!
  7. cocosandy

    cocosandy Songster

    Jul 14, 2007
    Stamford, CT
    Be careful to keep new vaccinated chicks completely away from any unvaccinated birds you have for 10 days at least...otherwise they can give mareks to the rest of the birds.
    The suggestion is to change clothes when going from where the chicks are to where the other birds are. After 10 days danger has passed.
    I have been having this same problem of my younger weaker birds suddenly getting weak and crippled and slowly dying. I sent 2 up to the UConn extension vet and had a necropsy done, sure it was mareks.
    Well, visual inspection showed no signs of mareks (and mareks makes tumors on all the nerves) but I am still waiting for the lab results.
    What I hear is that you cant vaccinate adult birds, but I do keep 2 turkeys and its possible that they are giving my young birds some resistance (mareks vaccine is made of turkey mareks)
    I had to put down a young beautiful showgirl this was the first time I put a chicken down myself, but she was suffering so I just did the neck pull thing. Her brother is still alive in a separate house outside, and he is doing better, but his legs are paralyzed.
    I dont want to have to put my entire flock down, and it seems like only these few are getting this....the sick birds are all silkies/frizzles/showgirls.
    I lost an older turken the other day and sent her up with the two paralyzed birds and the necropsy doc said that it was obese and a totally different story than the that was a fluke.
    I have had a terrible problem this year with worms, and have wormed them all...after the necropsy I used eprinex and will follow up with another dose...he saw some roundworms in the birds even though Ive wormed them a few times over the summer!
    I strongly suggest that you google your extension agricultural vet and find out what is involved in necropsy. I paid $90 for up to 5 birds....and this is a very expensive part of the country.
    I could have sent one for much less, but I had these and I sent a live one (a friend is a grad of the agrivultural program there and knows them all, so she took them up for me)
    Be very careful with the vaccine if youre not starting over again....and even then, if you have friends who keep chickens, be careful not to visit them or let them near your vaccinated birds for the first 10 days or they could carry mareks to their flocks.
    I cant figure out what to do about the flock if it is mareks. If I had known when I started I would have ordered vaccinated was not suggested to me, and actually Im glad because I do like to buy birds from eggbid. I believe that most of my birds are immune to it from circumstances or the turkeys....I hope so anyway because I have 25 chicks in the basement set to be layers in the spring. I have a new coop and decided to get americuanas and do a green egg project.

    Id love to know what folks here think about mareks and gaining immunity without the vaccine...the dangers of the vaccine if its introduced to a non-vaccinated flock....and how to erradicate it from an existing flock. Are my birds who have not come down with it carriers?

    I would worm your birds...vitamins deficiency can cause this problem too.....try some vit E and vit B (get a capsule with all 11 B vits in it...all 11...and empty it into the water)
    There are other illnesses that look like mareks so dont jump to may be able to send a dead bird to the extension vet and get a real diagnosis.

  8. MakNat

    MakNat Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Cocosandy thanks! I was going to vaccinate and now Am not. I did not know any of that. I am so close knit with the birds and back and forth from coop to cage to brooder all day. What about the Poultry electrolites and vitimans? Is that good enough or do they need the extra E and B? I have E gel pills and B 12 pills.. I've never had this happen, so why all of a sudden? Allot of folks on here seem to jump to the worst possible conclusions. It could be as simple as a vitaman deficancy. I would rather do things as natural as possible! I will read up on more. Thanks, if I hadn't read this I would've put day old vaccinated chicks out with my broody and done so much more damage without even knowing it!
  9. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    There is no documented evidence that marek's vaccinated chicks can pass the disease to other birds. The vaccine virus is a mutated strain and is not contagious.

    If you have any questions about it, call Fort Dodge who makes the vaccine and talk to one of their veterinarians.

    Vaccinating will not hurt your birds if your problem turns out not to be marek's. It is not that expensive either, compared to loosing multiple birds if it is marek's.

  10. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Where did the chickens come from, and are you sure they were not vaccinated previously?

    Moldy food can also cause permanant neurological damage, including leg paralysis, have you made sure there is no moldy food in cracks, crevices, the bottom of a feeder, under the coop?

    The main reason I suggest verification is the 6 week gap between when the first one got sick and the second one got sick. Marek's usually moves a bit faster through a flock.

    Hope you can work it out, and so sorry for the losses.

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