Not an Emergency...Marek's in the Flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Haunted55, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No point in contacting them...it was Mt. Healthy. In my experience with them in the past...if something goes wrong with their birds, it's your fault. Enough said. I have been advised to contact my State Vet and let them know of my concerns, but I think first I am going to check into testing on the carcasses. Frozen as they might be, if the retrovirus is present, it will be in all tissue in my understanding. Trouble is, right now, it is going to be sporadic contacting as I really, really have to get myself and birds ready for Winter. I am now stuck with doing the work of two people and even working from sun up to sun down, I'm not making it folks. I'll take and make the calls daily but will have to play phone tag unfortunately.

    Deb, how old and how soon are you going to be processing your birds? Where did they come from? Is there anyway you can keep a couple as long as I did? One good thing from what I have so far...Lymphoid Leukosis isn't as transmittable as Marek's is. Here's some things to watch for....funky green poops, that get better all on their own. I thought they were because of the heat we had, now I'm rethinking. Cocci in meaties, who ever heard of that? Never had it until this year and I've raised 4 batches of them before this. Expert? Heck no! Vigilant? Better believe it, I have Marek's here. I am just giving you the few symptoms that I have thought of today. Are they relevant? Your guess is as good as mine. I do know that the weird green of their poop let's me know of liver involvement.

    Okay, it's late for me and the sun comes up early still. I don't have any answers right now, just questions and suppositions. Neither does anyone any good. Without testing, it is all guess work and may not be a thing to worry about. Do I believe that? No, I don't. My luck doesn't run that way.
     
  2. hogster160

    hogster160 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry to hear you are having so much going on right now. My wish for you for today, a peaceful day. No worries. Just let it all go for the day.

    As far as the meaties go, yes I could probably make a few last that long. These birds came from Meyers. I did have one bird that I took over to the other part of the yard, so she could show the chicks what to do when outside. First time foraging. She got close but never touched them. They were in an enclosure, she was not. But she was close enough to see them, and them to see her and copy her. Which they did. They had a blast out there. They are 10 days old today. They are on ff, so I was figuring instead of 7-9 weeks which is recommended with dry feed, 10-12 weeks. It seems as the ff slows the growth rate down some, so I can see easily enough leaving a couple for later.

    I couldn't get them outside yesterday as it rained and rained. 4" of rain we got yesterday! No one here was really happy yesterday.

    I hope you are resting well

    Deb
     
  3. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you process the birds yourselves? If so, I can certainly tell you what to look for.
     
  4. hogster160

    hogster160 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's our plan. But hubby might be gone working. He leaves out of state for several weeks a couple times a year. Not sure if he will be back in time. And to be honest, I'm just not sure I can do the kill. The cut, probably not ever. I may be able to shoot. I've read of a couple of people who prefer that method. So on the off chance that he will be gone, I have found someone who will process them for me. $2 each. Amish group about 35 min away. They do it while you wait, and give you all or just what you want back of the bird. I will want all back, they can keep the feathers tho :) These are the people who processed my neighbors turkeys. $3.50 each. I really thought it would be more.
     
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    Haunted, a lot of your questions I cannot answer definitively. Wish I could! But I am not an expert. That said, I was told that they test organ tissue samples for Avian Lymphoid Leukosis. Did you discard this when you processed your birds?
    My bird was tested at the University of Georgia. The sequencing took several weeks, and was expensive. I guess it was worth it to me to know, and I also was told that they didn't have people test for this often so they cut me a discount because it was a good learning practice. I got the impression that they were curious about my bird and went the extra length for me.

    The (small) amount of reading I can find online relating to ALL suggests that commercial breeders/hatcheries supplying the industry can test the albumen in their eggs and they remove carrier hens from the program. I am under the impression that this is voluntary, though, so can we expect it from hatcheries? It's really hard to say. I don't know. Especially hatcheries that outsource their breeding stock.. a lot of variables at play, there.

    In the end, I have a closed flock anyhow because of Marek's, and I find that I cannot worry too much about ALL (even if my rooster had tested positive, which he did not)... because essentially the care for my flock is the same. Keep them clean and reduce stress. The vertical transmission rate is something around 20% so even if I decided to breed my own birds (to keep) then the chances are probably about as good or better than they would be for straight up Marek's. It is cited that most of the transmission of the virus happens to chicks that are exposed after hatching.
    The only thing I can think of that an ALL positive flock that is different than a Marek's only flock is that one should not responsibly sell hatching eggs (which one could theoretically do, in a Marek's flock, if the eggs were carefully cleaned and handled).
     
  6. kimchick621

    kimchick621 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi guys...last April I had a Welsummer die from what appeared to be Marek's so said the necropsy. I now have another girl who's lost a ton of weight, and this morning seems like she's wasting away. I'm not sure if it's Marek's, but she's laying down all the time, the wind practically knocks her over...so I'm assuming it is. It's Saturday, and I don't think I can drive her to the state and have the necropsy done until Monday...and I shouldn't wait.

    I'm going to have her put down some time this weekend, but here's my question. My remaining flock. Should they be vaccinated? I have girls ranging from 6 months to 1 year and a half. I have eggs in an incubator, I'm assuming they should all be vaccinated. Will I forever have Marek's in my flock? Should I just plan on vaccinating the rest of my new chickens forever? Will I be fighting this forever? I'm slowly learning more and more, and I apologize if these questions have been answered in this thread before. I'm just so sick of dying chickens. :(
     
  7. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nambroth, the offal is all gone as these were done last week and the signs on the big guys liver were consistant with Marek's. I wasn't in a place mentally even consider anything else as I know there is Marek's here and being very busy with the processing...you get the idea. The big boy was the worst and his liver showed the most rings, darkening and two others had some darkening of their liver but not to the extent of the first one. The last 5 were 'clean', ie their liver was normal looking, no spots, rings or discolorations. Other organs looked normal as well, both male and female. The big guy's organs had nothing to make me think there was anything wrong either, just the liver and the lumps[?] around the sciatic nerve tree. No clue...

    Since this is a RNA/DNA issue, I am going to be contacting and researching testing for it. I would like to find someplace that could do the albumen testing on the regular chicken eggs. I really think this is the way to go for me now. The meaties are no longer viable unless I can find a lab to test the bodies. Eggs on the other hand... If the hatcheries can do the testing on their own, there must be some kind of lab that can/will do the testing on them.

    Since we gots it [Marek's] we both know the care that must be taken to ensure we don't become Typhoid Marys and also just how far we have to go to keep our flock from getting something else to bring it out full force again. I did have hopes of selling fertile Show Girl eggs and had ordered 16 silkies for the breeding with my Splash set I have already. There goes that idea...unless I can find testing for eggs. Cripes, I'm not even sure if there is something to worry about here. I do know that the signs of something is and I have to find an answer. All I do know is that this didn't come from here, 99% sure, this came with the birds and if it hadn't been dragged out so long I would never have know. Now here's the real poser...how many others around the country or the NE also got their birds locally, delivered to the store by this hatchery? How many others have infected their other flocks and possibly someone else's? We wonder how peoples birds are getting sick with this stuff [Marek's and others]...if this is ALL, I think we have a really good idea of the hows and whys of infections.
     
  8. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes vaccinate, yes, you probably will be fighting this for a very long time if you do not cull, clean and start over after a wait time. With Marek's already there in your flock, vaccination and breeding for resistance is about all you have left to you if you want to keep the birds you have now. I understand the dying and being sick of it, been there and still going through it occasionally. You will reach a point where the birds left have some or a very high resistance to the disease. Breed for it with your survivors. If you bring in anything new, they have to be vaccinated, period. If you do not, you are just prolonging the agony. I don't mean to sound harsh, but this is the way it is. Yes, you can have chickens after a Marek's hit, but it's hard, as you know, and it's long. Another thing brought up in earlier conversations in this thread, is the revaccination giving much better survival rates to exposed and pre exposed birds. If you can't find it, going back , let me know and I'll try to post the links again.
     
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  9. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. triton77

    triton77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Can someone school me on marek's?
    A little bit about us
    We are first time chicken owners. We live in a town that recently approved backyard chickens(so it shouldn't be in the soil). We ordered 6 heritage breed pullets from a well recommended farm.
    The pullets at time of arrival were between the ages of 9-12 wks back in June.
    In July one of the Marans couldn't walk on her leg and her toes just curled up. Well we thought it was a injury then her wing would stick out and she started seizure like activity so we put her out of her misery(we tried to save for two wks).
    Fast forward to this wk one of our lavender chickens couldn't open her eye and keeps her head twisted and cocked to the side. We started rinsing it with saline hoping that it was just a scratch(there is no swelling or obvious injury) but it didn't get better. Well we took her to the vet yesterday and they said it was mareks ocular form. Ugh. So we brought her home and plan to make her as happy as can be til it is time.
    So my questions are this:
    I have one chicken that is laying she's ok now that she made it to adult right? Or can she still succumb to it?
    Did they get marek's at the hatchery or could they of gotten it here?
    What I don't understand is why this hatchery that has breeds that are rare to the US are selling birds with mareks. Any thoughts?
    Do all chickens have mareks but only some are affected? Or is it possible to get a chicken that doesn't have it at all?
    We've been looking to move out to the country so if we do should I take any remaining chickens with me or cull them and start new? I'm guessing start new that way we don't take this awful disease with us.
    I'm sure I have more questions but right now I'm just numb from the shock of this. The lavender that is sick now is the nicest bird so friendly it breaks my heart to see her sick.
    Thanks for the advice!
    Janelle
     

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