Never ending sick chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fam project, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Fam project

    Fam project Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2012
    I hatched my original flock from hatching eggs and also added 6 hatchery chicks that were mareks vaccinated. This was approximately 2 years ago. About six months in, I purchased 2 separate adult trios from a breeder at a show. Those 6 birds have never shown a sign of being ill and up until that point all of my other chickens were fine. They were kept separate but much later I found they had mites which did spread to my others by some pen moving I did. About 6-8 weeks later a few of my originals became ill. Some got stinky diarrhea became lethargic and died. Others had more neurological symptoms with partial paralysis or twisted necks before dying. I have had two hatches since and I usually lose about half at the 3-4 month mark and then another handful at the 6 month mark. I keep thinking that those who survive will have better immunity and eventually I won't loose as many. Long story cut short, what am I even dealing with here? Can I sell their hatching eggs? Can the larger boys be eaten safely? As a new chicken person I am trying to learn as I go, but I feel I am not learning fast enough. Is there anything I can treat the symptomatic birds with?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If it were my flock, I would take a bird that was showing symptoms to a lab/avian practitioner for euthanasia and post mortem evaluation in order to find out exactly what you are dealing with. Good luck. Survival of the fittest may very well help you develop a resistant flock, but that would take a while. Until you know exactly what you are dealing with you should probably not sell eggs for hatching. Good luck in diagnosing the problem.
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    It does sound like Mareks. After vaccination were the birds kept from exposure (outside and adult birds) for at the very least 14 days while their bodies had time to develop antibodies and immunity? If not although vaccinated they can catch the virus before they have had time for immunity to develop. Also even in the best circumstances vaccine is not 100% but it's our only line of defense as of now besides breeding for resistance.i agree testing should be done to conform or deny the presence of Mareks. As you probably know Mareks is every where and lives on land for years and is a highly contagious airborne virus. Having Mareks in the flock does not mean all birds will be symptomatic but if in the flock it does mean the birds are likely carriers and can infect other birds.its recommended to vaccinate any birds brought in and give ample time for antibodies and immunity to develop before exposed to outdoors and adult birds. I hope this helps and let us know what testing revels. Best wishes to you.
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Sorry for your losses, I would have a necropsy done.

    Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health
    Michigan State University, 4125 Beaumont Rd, Ste 201H
    Lansing, MI 48910 Phone 517-353-1683 Fax 517-432-5836

    I'd also read up on parasite control.

  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I too suggest having some testing done. The sooner you can find out what you have going on in your flock, the sooner you can come up with a plan for treatment and management of your birds-- and it will also give you an answer on if it is safe to sell hatching eggs, etc.
    The best we can do is guess, but a necropsy will give you a more solid answer.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

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