Marek's or something else? Need advice :(

Miss Mel

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 4, 2013
24
0
22
Northeast Pennsylvania
We have chickens that are approximately 18 weeks old. A couple weeks ago one of our Chanteclers started stumbling and falling over. We separated it from the others. It eventually became totally paralyzed and my husband culled it. Now we have another Chantecler with the same symptoms and have separated it. So far, our Silkies, Wyandottes, and guineas have not been affected. Is there anything we can do? Will we eventually lose the entire flock? Is there a way to have our sick chicken tested so we know whether it is definitely Marek's? The information I've read so far is completely overwhelming, and it seems that many conditions can look like Marek's. Thank you for your help!
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
58,760
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It does sound like the illness may possibly be Mareks, but certain vitamin deficiencies and toxins (especially botulism) can look like Mareks. A necropsy done by your state vet with a request to look for Mareks is one of the best ways to find out. There are several national laboratories that will test for Mareks. Here are some of my favorite Mareks links to read, and the first has a section that lists conditions that may look like Mareks:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502#/disease/Marek's_Disease

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
 

shannag

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 10, 2013
18
0
24
If you call your state agriculture department they can point you in the right direction.
But don't panic just yet. I have had a few times I thought I had mareks in my flock and either it was something else and they recovered or a necropsy determined it was something else. Good luck.
 

Miss Mel

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 4, 2013
24
0
22
Northeast Pennsylvania
Thank you, Shannag! I will look into that! I'm afraid we will make the mistake of culling one of our chickens that might have otherwise recovered. I hope we didn't make a mistake with the last one, but he was on his back unable to upright himself. We couldn't bear to watch him suffer any longer
sad.png
 

Miss Mel

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 4, 2013
24
0
22
Northeast Pennsylvania
Thanks, Nambroth. I did read that information, which left me even more confused. That's why I really am going to try and find someone to do the testing, so I know for sure what we're dealing with. Have no idea what it will cost, but not knowing is really bugging me.
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,111
312
Western NY
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My Coop
Thanks, Nambroth. I did read that information, which left me even more confused. That's why I really am going to try and find someone to do the testing, so I know for sure what we're dealing with. Have no idea what it will cost, but not knowing is really bugging me.

I'm sorry. Yes, it is often a very confusing disease, especially since many other things can look similar. Some people have chickens perish from Marek's and never even knew it... and some people think they have chickens perish from Marek's and it is actually something else.

Please let us know what you find out, and if you need any help!
 

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