We finally had to put Pixie down. She was just getting worse and seemed to "spastically" peck at the food only when I held it right in front of her, and wouldn't take water much if I held it in front of her. Poor girl. She was a beautiful 12 week old BR and the one with the most personality in my flock. I had 14 chicks, and my daughters and I named them all, but there were only a few we could actually call by name- the others were hard to tell apart or not as friendly. Pixie was the first one who everyone in my family could call by name because we all knew her. Well- to move on- my husband culled her for me and we packed her up in a cooler and shipped her off to a lab about 3 hours away from us. They called the next morning (well, almost noon) to let me know they received her and were inputting our info into the system. To my surprise I already had a preliminary report in my e-mail inbox tonight when I got home. I expected it to take longer. Now for the bad news- the prelim findings are Marek's Disease. It says that the histology has been sent out to confirm, but the nerves on her right side were enlarged (her right leg and wing were mostly paralyzed). So, once I receive the confirmation in the final report I'll have some decisions to make for my flock of, now, 13. One is a confirmed roo who I was not planning to keep, but don't have much choice anymore, and the rest are hopefully pullets. The good news is I believe from what I've read, the eggs are still safe to eat with a Marek's carrying flock, correct? So I can keep the birds I have for eggs and just have a closed flock. I was planning on adding a few, but I guess I won't be able to do that...? Also, even if I keep them and don't add more and don't get rid of them- once they all died from old age or whatever, the Marek's will still be in my soil for years, right? So I wouldn't be able to have a new, healthy flock for a LONG time. Ugh. This is just awful. My other 13 birds seem resistant to the actual disease, as none of them got sick from it(at this point anyway). But I have also heard that it can hit them when they get older or if they get sick from something else and their immune system is weakened. What have you all done in this situation, or what would you do? Is there a way to clear your land from the disease once your carrier chickens are gone? I'll update when I get the final report.