My old lady hen has Mareks. How do I keep my exposed chicks healthy?

grnidone

Songster
Jul 9, 2016
203
186
137
Russell, Kansas
My old lady hen has Mareks. I am nearly sure of it because one of her legs doesn’t work, she has skin legions, raised bumps on her skin and green diarrhea. Her eyes also don’t dilate as well. I thought sure she had sour crop. (And, I think she did, I had to massage and give her clotrimazole, which seemed to help the smell.)

Stupid me, I thought she had a stroke. And, so to keep her company, I put my 3 week old chicks with her. I am cursing myself as I write this, although, from what I understand, Mareks is already in my coop.

I read through the Big Marek’s FAQ. One thing that was not addressed was what I do to keep my exposed chickens (and especially my new chicks) healthy. Or, at least healthy enough to not die when they are young.

I’ve added rooster booster to their water. Should I also give them B12? Maybe start them on cranberry? Really, I’m grabbing at strings here. Any help you can give me is appreciated.

I feel so, so stupid.
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
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Vitamins are fine. Cranberry and all that other junk will do nothing. If I suspected Marek's I would put the hen down and send for necropsy to be sure. If it is Marek's then she's shedding the virus as long as she is alive. You will need to scrub and sanitize your coop, get rid of all the bedding, clean poop from the run and clean all the feeders and waterers. Then all you can do is watch your flock and put down any that get sick immediately. Virkon S specifically kills Marek's and is easy to use.
ETA you're not stupid. Marek's can blow in on the wind or be transported in by rodents and other birds.
 
Last edited:

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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If you want to add things to the water, be sure to have plain water available too. Sometimes they know what's better for them, and sometimes they just don't like some flavor, but plain water is a good option either way :)
 

grnidone

Songster
Jul 9, 2016
203
186
137
Russell, Kansas
Vitamins are fine. Cranberry and all that other junk will do nothing. If I suspected Marek's I would put the hen down and send for necropsy to be sure. If it is Marek's then she's shedding the virus as long as she is alive. You will need to scrub and sanitize your coop, get rid of all the bedding, clean poop from the run and clean all the feeders and waterers. Then all you can do is watch your flock and put down any that get sick immediately. Virkon S specifically kills Marek's and is easy to use.
ETA you're not stupid. Marek's can blow in on the wind or be transported in by rodents and other birds.
I have her separated from the others. Do I still need to put her down if I wash the coop and destroy the bedding?
 

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