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

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

  1. grazie29

    grazie29 Hatching

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    This Tuesday I noticed Red just sitting on the floor of the coop under the hen boxes. Normally everyone comes running to see what's new when the door opens. I assumed she was content and uninterested but it still seemed odd. Wednesday morning did not seem out of the ordinary but I was in and out of the coop quick. In the evening everyone came running but her, she could not get her balance and could not stand, basically rolling backward or onto her side. I brought her into the house and fed her yogurt and a bit of applesauce she seemed to get a little bit in but not her norm, almost pecking at but not eating. By Thursday morning she could no longer keep her neck straight nor keep any balance at all or use her legs. She basically stayed in a propped position in the corner of her box all day, it was horrible to see.
    Sunday was their first full day outside in the coop yard (prior they were in the coop and run until we could finish the mesh for the yard). Sunday they were eating various grass, flowers, whatever was growing in the coop yard. Otherwise any treats eaten outside of their chick feed from Agway would be things like watermelon, corn and hardboiled egg.
     
  2. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Songster

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    Actually they most probably were vaccinated properly. One of the resons I will not get this done for any I buy, is I know I have a very resistant strain of coccidia where I am. From talking this question over with a hatchery owner, it was decided it just wasn't for me or mine. It's too bad, coccidiosis can take as many or more birds than Marek's, if you can't stop it. I always hesitate to tell someone to go this route because of my own experiences. For some, it might be the best thing to ever happen. For me and others in a similar situation...not so much. I would still have to treat for cocci with Corid and also with Di-Methox. Not only would this negate the vaccination, I would still lose some birds to the cocci. That's how it works for me.

    The wild turkeys could provide some resistance, yes. Trouble is there is a disease going through the flocks here in the NE. Right close to me someone shot a male that had it. It can be transfered to our birds.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/763930/please-look-at-these-pictures-and-help-us/10 post 10.

    I have become very careful with allowing the peas and turkeys out right now. I have the wild ones coming right up to the electric fencing and walking all over the yard. I am going to be waiting until Fall and the first few frosts before mine will be able to range again. Not even sure if that will be enough. This actually sounds and looks like a form of Marek's. Poor buggers are blinded and starve to death.
     
  3. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Songster

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    When did you put the birds into the coop? How long had it been empty before yours went in?
     
  4. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Songster

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    Off the top of my head, this sounds more like poisoning, either from chemicals or the ground. Like a botulism. I don't think it's Marek's from the symptoms. Marek's is normally slow and you have time to see the progression over days and weeks. A vitamin deficiency can also seem to appear suddenly and would be my second guess. My third would be a problem with the feed.

    What I would do, first check the feed. Any clumps? Musty, moldy smelling? Stains on the outside of the bag? How about their water? Changed daily? Wateres cleaned with an antibacterial? Coop, any mold growing? The walls stained and or black ? What about the floor?

    If I am reading your posts correctly, this showed up after they went into their coop yard and fairly quickly. I would be checking to see what is there. check for poisonus plants, mushrooms...basically everything. Two things you should have in your medical kit for your birds, 1, activated charcoal tablets or capsules and 2, Super B Complex vitamins, the human kind. I am never without them after losing ducks last year to botulism.

    For your other birds, to rule out a problem with a vitamin deficiency, you could get them a poultry vitamin or if you have the Super B Complex already, crush one pill and add it to a gallon of water. The paralysis can be a sign of a B vitamin deficiency. Another you will want to have is Vitamin E 400iu. this can be used to treat Wry Neck along with the B Complex. I don't really think that's what this was, just giving some info for just in case you ever see this.
     
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  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Grazie, I pm'd you. For educational purposes, I'll reply in a nutshell here. Haunted is very well read with the strains, so I just learn that from her about that.

    She's right, you can pick up stuff from the last chickens that were there. But because your symptoms happened so fast, I suggested Botulism , because it's the same symptoms as Marek's, but it kills them faster, where Marek's birds that I've had could last indefinitely. I don't think any of us can say it's not Marek's. Marek's keeps getting more and more different symptoms. But since they were vaccinated, and the chick went down so fast, I can't rule out Botulism or something toxic. If another one dies, you can send it to a state animal disease lab, or Texas A&M to find out exactly what it is.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. grazie29

    grazie29 Hatching

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    Thank you to all that replied, I'm feeling a bit better that perhaps this might turn out to be an isolated incident-fingers are crossed. I re scraped the chicken coop floor and tossed any mushroom I could find. All else seems to be as it should and I do think it is somehow related to the move to the coop and yard. In the coop now for 2 weeks but only in the yard once on Sunday. To reply to the question of how long ago the previous owner had chickens in the coop as far as I know it was within the last 6 months and they were mainly free range. I will keep you posted and again thank you for the advice and I will be certain to pick up the suggested items to have on hand.
     
  7. Read the turkey article, yuck!!! Our wild turkey population, here in the mountain's are very healthy, so far...this Tom was gorgeous and huge...I have seen him the past couple years, with his flock, and no signs of disease in any of the flock, so not really worried about this new disease...they live on the property and the surrounding properties, with other chicken keepers, and no one has reported having any disease problems, in our area, with the chicken flocks...thank God! Was just wondering if the turkey marek's vaccine, which some reputable breeders are now using the poop on their properties, to "vaccinate" their heritage flocks, would be the same as farm raised turkey's?

    I don't think we have a super cocci here...or resistant strain...the birds are slowly recovering and today, they seem much better...it's been just a tad over 2 weeks since their last dose of corid water. I understand it can take 2-3 weeks for them to build an immunity? I also put them back on a medicated feed, as I think one bag was just not enough for this hatchery lot. Mr. Roo seems much better today, and the pullets, all but one, are back to normal. I am wondering if the one pullet I have, that still has runny poo's has some kind of tummy issue? They have only been on the ground, for about a week, so all the new things they are eating could very well be an issue for her. I have tired many things, short of worming her...which I do not think she has worms, or atleast not an overload...I gave them all a handful of blackberries, back a bit, this week and noticed she had a huge pile of runny poo's. Beginning to wonder if she has a weaker digestive system? They are hatchery birds, and it's obvious that their genetics are a mess!!!! She is still eating and drinking though, just not as active as the rest of the pullets, so could lose her...as I am pretty much out of options. Looked for the pumkin, can not find it in our stores up here...just the pie mix stuff. Pumkins are not on the market yet either. Other than that runny poo and a bit less energy than the others, she seems to be holding her own, so far.

    Anyways, my question is, is the turkey marek's, the same in the wild population as the farm raised? Thanks!!!!

    I am not trusting the hatchery to have vaccinated, as they said they did...truly do not think they did!!! Which is why I was wondering if the wild turkey marek's is the same strain as the farm raised...thinking that if they were not really vaccinated, they might get the immunities from the wild turkey's? No idea if wild and farm raised are the same strains?
     
  8. hogster160

    hogster160 Songster

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    Well the initial necropsy showed no mericks lesions in my bird. He said it should take a week to 10 days for the rest of the results to be back. He will call me then with the results and send me a hard copy. There was skin tearing and puncture wounds, but from just looking, my bird was healthy.

    Deb
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    While I have had a bird go from 'almost normal' to ' flopping and dying' in less than four days from Marek's, the timeline you are giving doesn't quite fit. Two weeks seems to be too short of an incubation period for the virus, unless they had picked it up before you moved, and it was just coincidental. Still, I'd probably be looking for other causes first, myself.
     
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I'm so happy it's not Marek's so far. I'll be watching for the results. I wonder what the puncture wounds were?
     

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