Marek's strikes again

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 1kasey, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. 1kasey

    1kasey New Egg

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    Apr 9, 2013
    One of my chicks was diagnosed with Merik's 4 months ago. I took it to the poultry disease center and the man I talked with could tell I was attached to my little chick and encouraged me to try to save it but warned me the chances were very low that it would survive. I nursed it 24/7 for 4 or so days and it pulled through like a champ and is a huge hen now! She has three surviving sisters that never showed symptoms and look healthy enough. They are all fluffy and shiny. The problem is they won't lay eggs which is the main reason I got chickens. I know now that I should have culled them all when I first noticed the signs, but I thought it was like a cold that could be cured and forgotten. Now I know that they will die from tumors later if they contracted the disease.

    Would it be safe for me to buy new fully grown hens or are they likely to get sick?
    If the hens I have now started laying eggs would they even be safe to eat?
    If I decide to cull, do I have to kill them all or just the affected bird?
    Does Marek's stay in the soil? If so, how long?

    Thanks so much for any advice you can give.
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 24, 2013
    You could buy new hens, but make sure that they are vaccinated for Marek's Disease. This way, they will not die from the disease, even if they catch it from the infected birds. You could also get day-old chicks, but make sure they get vaccinated.

    It is perfectly safe to eat eggs from infected birds. Marek's Disease does not harm humans. You would have to kill all of the birds, as all of them have been exposed to the disease.

    Marek's Disease can stay in the soil for almost forever. It will likely always be in your area, even once the infected birds are gone.
     
  3. 1kasey

    1kasey New Egg

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    Apr 9, 2013
    Thank you for replying.

    So new hens would be at risk regardless of whether I culled the infected birds or not, so I may as well let the chickens live? It won't make much of a difference?

    If I find adult hens that haven't been vaccinated, can I vaccinate them or does it have to be administered as a chick?

    I'm really sick of raising chicks, it takes forever for them to grow up and they die so easily. I'd much rather get adults.
     
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I think they would still be at risk. There are some measures you can take to eradicate Mareks disease, but I don't know a lot about them. Vaccinating adult birds for Mareks is usually useless, as they have likely already been exposed to it. The reason why you vaccinate chicks is that they have not been exposed to the disease yet.
     
  5. 1kasey

    1kasey New Egg

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    Apr 9, 2013
    Well that sucks :/ seems like I'm in a no win situation here.
     
  6. montanalulu

    montanalulu New Egg

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    Aug 19, 2013
    we only got chickens for the first time about a month ago and they are all only about 4 months old...we noticed that the light brahma had come up lame after about two weeks and figured she had injured her leg coming out of the coop....a week after that one morning she couldn't stand at all. She didn't seem to be growing much, though I made sure she got her fair share of feed and water. Amazingly the three others didn't pick on her and seemed to hover around her and call for her in the evening 'til she made it into the coop for the night. Sadly, we took her to the vet last weekend and she seemed to think it was probably Marek's. She only weighed 10 oz.'s and seemed so sick and frail that we had her euthanized and gave her a proper burial in one of our flower beds. She was such a sweet little thing and I felt so bad. But in the meantime the other 3 seem to be perfectly healthy and are growing like weeds. Is it possible that they could come down with Marek's at a later date? 'Hoping not!
     

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