Merek’s vaccine SB-1 & HVT

Merci BeauCoop

Songster
Feb 4, 2019
176
336
147
Oregon - Portland Area
We are new to raising chickens and have hatched our chickens from carefully selected breeders (except one wildcard because I wanted particular breed). The chicks from the wildcard breeder turned out to not be the anticipated breed (surprise) and have developed problems with walking. One was a rooster which was processed just as we noticed a limp. The other is a poultry that has just reached egg-laying age. We took her to an aviary vet 2 1/2 weeks ago and she was diagnosed with Merek’s. The vet said she was 90% sure it was Merek’s but we wanted to try everything we could to save her so she was put on Clavamox (antibiotic) and Metacam (non-steroid anti-inflammatory). So 2 1/2 weeks later, our little pullet is still hobbling around but not getting any worse. She is eating and drinking but doesn’t seem to be getting better or worse. If it is Merek’s, is this typical? Should we euthanize or keep up hope?

Also, we had already ordered additional hatching eggs and they are currently in the incubator. We have 2 weeks before they hatch. We want to have them vaccinated with SB-1 and HVT. I have also learned that this can be done in the shell at 18 days just prior to lockdown. How do we go about getting them vaccinated? Where do we find the vaccine or hopefully someone who can administer the vaccine?
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,930
832
California's Redwood Coast
If it is Merek’s, is this typical? Should we euthanize or keep up hope?
Very typical. Sorry you are facing it. :(

The best info I have seen on the subject...
Marek's

Honestly, if people would stop keeping vaccinated birds maybe the virus would kill itself out. Sounds like IF you are indeed dealing with Marek's that is is not very virulent. Some folks keep their Marek's birds alive just fine. Some will waste slowly and some will relapse. Some will overcome and just be carriers. I personally breed for resistance as one gene was identified that does give resistance. Vaccinated birds NOT welcome here, ever. Noting that the vaccine does NOT keep birds from getting Marek's, it just hides the symptoms if they do get it.

If it is Marek's your other birds are already exposed and carriers. You can either let her live if she isn't being picked on and it isn't a bunch of excess work for you. Or you can cull so you don't have to worry about her anymore. These things like vaccination and culling are very personal decisions and the later is NEVER an easy choice. I would likely quit treating with the antibiotics and anti inflammatory and just keep nutrition high to support the immune system.

If I did cull or she passed, I would suggest getting a necropsy at your state lab for confirmation. Links to help with that...
How to Send a Bird for a Necropsy

State poultry labs

Sorry I can't help with finding or administering the vaccine.

Best wishes for you, your flock, and your hatching eggs! :fl:jumpy
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
60,112
52,093
1,322
southern Ohio
Can you post a video of your pullet walking, and post it to YouTube with a link posted here. Sorry for your loss. If you can treat your chickens with B complex vitamins daily in case of a riboflavin deficiency, that would be helpful. The only Mareks vaccine I know of that one can buy is this one:
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/md-vac
Chicks who are vaccinated as day olds must be keep away from any exposure to dust or dander from the other chickens for a minimum 2 weeks. I hope you are not dealing with Mareks. If you do lose another, I would send the refrigerated body to your state vet or poultry lab for a necropsy and Mareks testing. Here is a list of state vets:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,925
707
Cleveland OH
EggSighted gave you good info. I also super suggest reading the great big mareks guide they linked to. Mareks vaccinated birds are always a risk and I also try to avoid getting mixed up with them. Someone around here used to advertise their specialty flocks vaccinated for mareks and bragged about it a lot. They stopped bragging about it - maybe got educated - but I still won't do business with them because I have no way of knowing if their flocks are safe or not. I try to only buy from unvaccinated flocks though it's hard sometimes.

Practice intense biosecurity if you plan on keeping your birds, and treat every single bird you own now and into the future as Mareks carriers. Always wear your chicken shoes. Mind what you wear when going to and from places where other chicken keepers gather. Have guests use boot washes if you can. (We have special outdoor shoes for guests, just old big brown loafers, if we need them.)

It's up to you to decide how you want to deal with the disease, assuming you test positive for it in your flock... Only you can decide how to deal with it. Some people breed for immunity, some people vaccinate and hope for the best, some cull the whole flock burn it all down and try again. It's really only you that can decide that... But please don't let your birds waste away and suffer. Be prepared for a lot of losses you'll have to deal with even if your birds are vaccinated - the vaccine is very leaky and some vaccinated flocks still lose half their birds.

Definately get a necropsy if your bird doesn't make it to make sure you know what you're dealing with.
 

Merci BeauCoop

Songster
Feb 4, 2019
176
336
147
Oregon - Portland Area
Very typical. Sorry you are facing it. :(

The best info I have seen on the subject...
Marek's

Honestly, if people would stop keeping vaccinated birds maybe the virus would kill itself out. Sounds like IF you are indeed dealing with Marek's that is is not very virulent. Some folks keep their Marek's birds alive just fine. Some will waste slowly and some will relapse. Some will overcome and just be carriers. I personally breed for resistance as one gene was identified that does give resistance. Vaccinated birds NOT welcome here, ever. Noting that the vaccine does NOT keep birds from getting Marek's, it just hides the symptoms if they do get it.

If it is Marek's your other birds are already exposed and carriers. You can either let her live if she isn't being picked on and it isn't a bunch of excess work for you. Or you can cull so you don't have to worry about her anymore. These things like vaccination and culling are very personal decisions and the later is NEVER an easy choice. I would likely quit treating with the antibiotics and anti inflammatory and just keep nutrition high to support the immune system.

If I did cull or she passed, I would suggest getting a necropsy at your state lab for confirmation. Links to help with that...
How to Send a Bird for a Necropsy

State poultry labs

Sorry I can't help with finding or administering the vaccine.

Best wishes for you, your flock, and your hatching eggs! :fl:jumpy
Thank you so much for your generosity in time as well as knowledge. Your advice is truly helpful and gives us a lot to consider.

She is not on any medication at this time, as it ran its course about 1 1/2 weeks ago. I have been giving her vitamin B-Complex and hoping it was a vitamin deficiency. Do you know of any other nutrients that we can supplement? Vitamin E? I wouldn’t know the dosage and I know that it could be toxic if given too much. Since her brother seems to have had the same disorder, is it possible that it was a genetic disorder? We have another pullet from the same “breeder” that is 3 weeks younger - we will be watching her closely to see if there are any similarities.

I prefer to use a more wholistic approach to raising these little beings so the vaccinations were out of my comfort level to start with. You have given me some good reasons to think twice about that approach.

Thank you again for your generosity. :love
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom