Mareks's or just a "cornish x" problem?

Michigan2

Hatching
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
8
0
7
Started my first batch of 30 Broiler recently. I lost one the first week and put one down that couldn't walk anymore at three weeks. The 28 that I have left are coming up on 8 weeks now. I had one that was flipped on it's back one morning last week. I brought it in the garage and isolated it. Over the past week it has only gotten worse and one leg is totally sprawled out to the side and the bird is immobile. I'm going to cull and burry this one just incases but I wanted to see if anyone could answer a couple things for me.

1. Could this be Marek's disease or something else that could be spread to my layers?

2. When I process my 27 birds do I need to worry that some of them may have Marek's. Can this be spread to humans? I'm sure I'm just reading too much online, I just don't want to be worried that I have a freezer full of contaminated poultry. From what I read online broilers with Marek's should be disposed of??
 
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KatyTheChickenLady

Bird of A Different Feather
11 Years
Dec 20, 2008
5,146
26
251
Boise, Idaho
I am not an expert and you may find better advice on the disease thread, but based on what I hve learned you are probably not dealing with Mareks. What youdescribed is pretty common in CX and Mareks tends to show up at a later age. Also from what I understand pretty much all birds are exposed to Mareks (sort of like a herpes cold sore) but most gain an immunity (which is what the vaccine does) and don't succumb. If that's true most birds butchered would have some type of it in their system. Again I'm not an expert but that's what I have picked up over the past couple of years (minus all of the hype and drama
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RedfogsFlock

Songster
10 Years
Jan 17, 2010
617
7
166
Wittmann, AZ
I'm no expert either, but my guess is no not mareks. I had some that had mareks awhile back. Their legs don't spread out to the sides, rather than one leg forward & one leg back. They become like paralyzed in their legs. Also if you bought your chicks from a reputable hatchery then they should be vaccinated for Mareks. Mine were not vaccinated since I had hatched them all, but all my girls I got from a hatchery did not get sick.


If it were mareks then no you don't want to eat the birds or their eggs. We took ours down to the dry bed and culled them there about 1/4 mile from our home.

So I would check out the sympton checker in the sticky, and wish you luck on finding whats wrong! Maybe a spider, scorpion, snake, etc?

After rereading you post I can't help but wonder what are you using for litter? I used wood chips one time & lost all my chicks within 2 weeks! I found out later that certain wood can harm them.
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turtlebird

Songster
Dec 11, 2009
508
33
176
sounds like the not-to-uncommon going down on their legs problem with CX.
I do not vacc CX for marek's either.
 

Michigan2

Hatching
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
8
0
7
Thanks for the replies. It is probably just a Cornish x leg problem like suggested. I just found it kind of funny how it just hit over night on this one that didn’t have any issues walking prior. The first one that went down had trouble walking after the first week and it just progressively got worse.

These chicks are from a feed store that orders from Townline in MI so I would assume they were vaccinated. They were raised on pine chips in the brooder and now on grass in a tractor. Not many snakes around here either. If I don’t have any further problems I’ll just chalk it up as one of those Cornish cross mutant growths issues.
 

Neil Grassbaugh

Songster
11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
741
20
151
There is a weakness for this malady in meat chickens but the severity you are relating causes me to wonder if it has not been aggravated by nutrirional deficiencies.
They have not had time for MD symptoms to show up. But the time is near.
Your layers already harbor MD virus.
MD is not a health concern to humans
 

jaku

Songster
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
2,134
6
191
Howard City, Michigan
If it's acting like that, I agree with your plan of culling and burying. Personally, I've had a lot of birds die, and I've never seen one on it's back that wasn't either dead or JUST prior to death. Townline doesn't vaccinate their birds unless requested, so I would doubt yours have been, but I wouldn't worry about the others. Get rid of that one and chalk it up to a bad bird.
 

Michigan2

Hatching
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
8
0
7
Jaku - yes I think was it was just prior to death before I separated it and gave it some vitamins in it’s water to bring it back a little. Like you said I'll just chalk it up as a bad bird.. It sounds like you have ordered from Townline in the past? Have you ever tried their other strain (Vantress X Arbor)? I would like to try something that grows a little slower and at least tries to forages a little more. The freedom rangers from JM sound like a good alternative but the most I can do is 40 or 50 at a time and the chick prices aren't that great until you get up to ordering 100.

I appreciate everyone's feedback.
 

jaku

Songster
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
2,134
6
191
Howard City, Michigan
I always order from Townline- and I've only gotten the Hubbards (Cornish x.). I have also ordered Rangers from JM, and they are great birds as long as you aren't selling them to people expecting Cornish x's, as they will be a bit smaller (although still a nice size.). Very hardy, pretty birds that will forage well.
 

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