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Need advice about getting new birds after Marek's epidemic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gypsylion, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Hey folks!

    I am a first-timer, and recently lost three 5-mo-old chickies to Marek's all within a week of each other (confirmed by the CT state vet's necropsy of 1 of the 3, and lab tests of tissues from one other), and my one remaining Sebright has been fighting it off for over a month. I don't know if he was vaccinated and the others weren't, or if he's just more resistant to it, but while the others all died within a day of showing noticeable symptoms he's been hanging on for a while and doesn't appear to be getting any worse. I'm also treating him with Moody's homeopathic Hypericum treatment, so maybe that's helping.

    I'm ready to get more birds and I'd like to know how to ensure that my new babies won't just die. I'd like to get 4-5 new birds that are around 5-6 mos, and I plan to get a mix o' bantams (cochin, d'uccle, easter eggers, etc.) from local breeders and chicken keepers. Is it enough to make sure they were vaccinated for Marek's as chicks? Will they need to come from a resistant flock?

    What should I do? I can't handle losing more of them so soon... :-(

    Thank you for any advice!
    ~Gypsylion~
     
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    When bringing new birds into an area that is Marek's contaminated- the best thing I have read is to bring correctly vaccinated birds- and bring in older pullets only. After they reach around 5mo, they have better developed immune systems and are more resistant. If you can find a source for genetically 'resistant' birds, that is good- but it is hard to prove if birds are resistant, or just not exposed. There is some work being done on the genetics of the resistance- but I don't think it is readily available to the consumer. No young birds is idea, but if you must bring in chicks- then keep them is as separate a place as you can from the contaminated areas. The virus is spread via inhaled dust/dander- so can move readily from one area to another- hard to avoid exposure in the average home-farm set ups.
     
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    Ditto mypicklebird. Get vaccinated pullets. It's too late to get chicks. They won't be feathered enough to survive the CT winter.

    Right now you have time to clean the coop, run and air it out and on super cold days leave the door open to kill any virus,bacteria that might be hanging around. Soak all of your feeders and waterers in a mild bleach solution for at least 30 minutes after washing them with soap and water.
     
  4. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Thank you both for your input!

    The coop is brand new and was just painted inside and out, so that should help, and all of the feeders and waterers have been thoroughly washed. As far as I know it's in the garden and such AND my last remaining bird is definitely a carrier, so my new chickies will be exposed whatever I do.

    BUT I was planning to get older birds anyway to have eggs sooner and so they can go straight outside, so it sounds like that's good. And any new chicks I get later I'll definitely vaccinate. Who knows, maybe *I'll* start breeding some resistant birds. [​IMG]

    If anyone else has any experience with this and has any other tips, I would really appreciate the advice...

    Cheers,
    ~Gypsylion~
     

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