1. Wendyhowarth

    Wendyhowarth Just Hatched

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    I apologize in advance if this is in another post. Nervous new chicken mother. My 2 month old girl has been diagnosed with Marek. The vet said to separate her. How far away should I keep her from the other girls? We have become very attached to her and it's very difficult for us. Is there any hope for her?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. Sorry about your pullet. What are her symptoms? There can be many reasons for lameness, including vitamin deficiency and injuries. Mareks is spread usually by breathing in the dander and dust of an infected chicken, so it is probably already around your other chickens anyway. I would not keep her separated unless the others are bullying her or she has to be kept close to food and water in a crate. Chickens with Mareks can suffer paralysis in one or both legs or wings, twisted or drooping neck, eye changes and blindness, skin or internal tumors. Not every chicken has all of those symptoms, and the disease can vary. I would give some daily poultry vitamins in the water or food that contain riboflavin and vitamin E. Keep her food and water within reach. If you should lose her, I would send her refrigerated body in to the state vet for a necropsy to confirm the disease. This is a difficult thing to deal with, especially with a new flock. Mareks vaccines are available in new chicks from a hatchery, and online to give to chicks who have not been yet exposed. It takes 2-3 weeks for the newly vaccinated chicks to be fully immune, so keeping them away from chicken dust and dander is key. Mareks is common world wide, and not every chicken will get the disease, but the chickens in your flock now should all be considered carriers for life.
    Here are several good articles about Mareks to read, as well as there are some good threads about Mareks that you can do a search for in the box at the top of this page:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/90/mareks-disease/
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/90/mareks-disease/
     
  3. Wendyhowarth

    Wendyhowarth Just Hatched

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    Nov 25, 2016
    Thank you for the great info. The vet said keep her from the others which is heartbreaking because she just cries to be with them. I will definitely try the vitamins. Would it be OK if the others had them too?
     
  4. Wendyhowarth

    Wendyhowarth Just Hatched

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    She is sitting back on her haunches and she loses her Balance very easily. Still eating and drinking. Peeking being nosey etc
     
  5. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she has Mareks then it is too late to separate her from the others - as Eggcessive says the virus is spread in the dander of chickens, so it will already be in the coop, in the air and on your clothes.

    If she has already been in contact with the rest of your flock then you need to consider that they have all been exposed to the virus and are potential carriers.

    Therefore if she is able to be with them for all or part of a day then I would personally let her integrate - as long as you can be certain that she will not be picked on by the other members of your flock. When chickens are sick they try to hide their illness for as long as possible, as any weakness in a bird is immediately noticed by the others, who will chase the affected bird away in order to try and protect the rest of the flock from possible contamination. If she is losing balance and falling over then the other birds may well notice that and start to attack her.

    I had this exact experience with a rooster who had a severe form of Mareks and from being normal one day, within 24 hours could barely stand up, let alone walk. On the day he got sick he tried to stand still for as long as possible, and then the others took no notice of him, but as soon as he moved he fell over, and they would run over and peck at him to try and get him to leave the flock. That particular bird sadly had to be euthanised, as he deteriorated so rapidly that there was no chance to save him. However I have other birds who have suffered symptoms, recovered, and continue to live long and productive lives - each bird is different, and you have to treat each case accordingly.

    One way to protect your bird would be to place her in the coop / run / garden but in a box or cage that lets her see and 'talk' to the other birds without letting them attack her if they sense her weakness. That way she will have contact with the others, but without any risk.

    Marek's is a terrible disease, and at the end of the day you are the person who sees your bird every day, and only you can decide if it is best to continue treating or to euthanise. Whatever decision you take will be the right one for you - no-one will criticise you for persevering with treatment or for ending your bird's suffering. Both are acceptable options, and depend upon the state of health of your bird, the available treatment options, and your ability / time to spend caring for a sick bird.

    All the best for you and your bird. Please let us know how she gets on - all information is good feedback for others in our community who are going through similar problems.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    That could be Mareks or a riboflavin deficiency. Sitting or walking on hocks and having some curling under of toes, is a sign of vitamin B2 riboflavin deficiency, so try the poultry vitamins, and make sure they have riboflavin. Beef liver, plain yogurt, mushrooms, and other foods are high in riboflavin. B complex tablets can be ground or dissolved and put into food also. Treating this as soon as possible has a better chance of success.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  7. Wendyhowarth

    Wendyhowarth Just Hatched

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    Thank you for the info. She is now scratching her neck raw. Unfortunately now she can't be with her sisters.
     
  8. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone I know has recently had a hen diagnosed with Marek's. She had taken her to an avian vet who gave her the diagnosis. Her instructions were to give vitamins, give a higher protein food (and treats) and the chicken was put on antibiotics. She has improved and is still with her sister hens. (Vet did not say to quarantine, perhaps since she already had the disease and was showing symptoms?) I think with this regime the symptoms have cleared up. Not sure of the prognosis however.
     
  9. Wendyhowarth

    Wendyhowarth Just Hatched

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  10. Wendyhowarth

    Wendyhowarth Just Hatched

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    Nov 25, 2016
    This gives me hope. I wish the vet had given me antibiotics. I feel he was just like "oh well, There's no cure". Wonder if I called they would give me some. Unfortunately I can't put her in with the others at this point because she is scratching her neck raw and they are pecking at it
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016

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