Ocular Marek's? (photos)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by goonius, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. goonius

    goonius Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2016

    This is Storm. She is between 9-11 weeks, an easter egger. I just thought she had unusual eyes, perhaps a genetic trait. Aside from a bit of diarrhea (which cleared up after treating with Corid), she seems healthy and vibrant. Her eyesight seems good. She still occasionally sheds some intestinal lining in her poo, but even that has become less prominent. She has no other obvious health problems.

    She was one of three pullets we got a couple of weeks ago from a breeder who had positive reviews from other buyers, with the hopes of integrating with our existing 15-16 week old hens. Because of my ignorance (we only got our first babies this spring, and have been learning as we go), the rest of our young healthy flock has been thoroughly exposed; they are all free-ranging in our large backyard. I thought Storm was healthy too until I stumbled onto something about blue/gray-eyed hens having Ocular Marek's. Is there any hope it could be anything else? I'm so devastated. I checked with the breeder of our existing flock of buff orpingtons, and they were not vaccinated for Marek's and thus are totally vulnerable.

    I've read a lot of the existing long thread on Marek's since learning of it. I guess I just wanted opinions on Storm. Is there any reason left to hope for the survival of these birds I have grown to love?
  2. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know anything about Marek's but I do have cochin chicks who all have bluish green eyes. They are 9 weeks old and eyes are darkening now. Just assumed it was that breed and nothing wrong. I think different breeds can have different eye colour. See what others with more knowledge of Marek's says. Good luck.
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I haven't had ocular Marek's in my flock but I have had the strain that causes paralysis and tumours. I have lost a few birds to it but fortunately I have a mild strain of the vius and the fatalities have been a minority.

    Since you say that your whole flock has already been exposed to this bird, then let's hope it is not Marek's, but I don't think anyone on this forum would diagnose Marek's from the single symptom of your chicken's eyes, if the bird is otherwise healthy. I would just hope it's a genetic deformity whilst remaining vigilant for other symptoms. You could also give them a vitamin supplement as that will boost their immune system and keep them as stress free as possible, which in my experience involves weeding out any juvenile roosters you might have before they start pestering the pullets.

    Good luck

  4. goonius

    goonius Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2016
    I appreciate the comments. Perhaps it could be genetic after all? It is reason to hold out hope, at least.

    I will remain vigilant. At this point, I believe all our birds are pullets. I'm not sure what we would do if we have a roo, as our neighbors would not tolerate it, and under the shadow of possible Marek's, my backup plan of sending roos to a friend's farm is out.

    So far the henpecking has been minimal, and our orps seem to have accepted the new birds, even going so far as to travel alongside each other at only a slight distance as they make the rounds of the yard, even at treat time. They allow the newcomers to sleep nearby on their roost -- so long as the new ones understand who is "boss," and the new ones seem amenable to this arrangement. They do have a great deal of space in which to roam, and they are only put away at dusk. I think that helps.

    What kind of vitamins do you use for your birds? Something like Poly-vi-sol? Or more chicken specific?

    We do feed them only organic food -- from their starter crumbles to their veggie scraps. Hopefully that will be less taxing on their immune systems as well.

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