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Older Chicks with Marek's... please help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by steedchristopher, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. steedchristopher

    steedchristopher In the Brooder

    We now have a flock 8 (mixed assortment of breeds). We have a few girls that were standards and so came vaccinated for Marek's. We also have a few bantams that were not vaccinated before we got them. We've had 2 girls come down with Marek's within the last month (both were silkies). After euthanizing our first girl, we just couldn't bring ourselves to do the 2nd one. I've read a lot on Marek's, but at times it seems what I read is conflicting.. so I was hoping someone could give a definitive answer on the forum... so here goes-

    I have 2 girls that were born July 18th (not vaccinated) and I have 1 other girl that we got from a friend locally (probably born in the beginning of May) and I don't think she was vaccinated either. Any reading I do on Marek's always says to vaccinate the chicks at "A DAY OLD". I've just returned from the vet who euthanized our 2nd silkie earlier this morning. [​IMG] Anyway, he said chickens who aren't a day old can still be vaccinated for Marek's (even if they have already contracted the virus). But as odd as it sounds, the livestock vet didn't have any vaccine on hand and didn't seem too knowledgeable on the subject. If I can find the vaccine online and want to vaccinate my other girls, how much do I give them (the same amount you would give a day old chick)??.. since they are older than a day old. Is there anywhere someone might recommend getting the vaccine online, since I've never purchased something like this before? I know the other girls who haven't already been vaccinated probably already have the virus, but the vet said giving them the vaccine could take effect before they start showing the signs of Marek's and therefore they could beat it. Please help, anyone?? And if we are able to vaccinate the other girls in time and they don't show outward symptoms of Marek's, what's to say they won't have tumors and such that we can't see?? Will this affect the eggs we get from them? Should be nervous to take any of their eggs if they do make it? Any information would be soo appreciated! These girls are our pets (not for meat, just for eggs) and I truly have a problem when my animals get sick. I'm trying to do my best in preventing any others from this same fate.

  2. coloradochick

    coloradochick Songster

    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    Hi, I've never experienced Mareks but I know there is much to read on it here on BYC.

    Hopefully someone will come along and be able to help. Good luck.
  3. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Alot of people get the vaccine at twin cities poultry online. They are alot cheaper.
    Vaccinating exposed chickens is most likely not going to save anyone. The vaccine at one day old exposes the chicks to Marek's that they can't catch. Then the day olds produce alot of cells in the blood that will attack the real thing at some time in the future. Your chickens are already exposed. They have not had time to grow those attacking cells. And if 2 have died already, it's just too late to vaccinate the rest because they've already been exposed.

    Some of your chickens may have some resistance already. I've lost a bunch lately, mostly 8-16 week old chicks, but my original flock of 28 is still unaffected, and I know they all were exposed 2 years ago. My original flock is 3-4 years old now.

    Silkies and Polish are pretty vulnerable to getting it.

    The only way to know if it's Marek's is by sending a dead chicken kept cold to an animal lab for necropsy. I hope you don't lose anymore.

    I have not found any evidence written about exposed or sick chickens being saved by the vaccine given when they are sick or exposed. I've done alot of reading of research on Marek's, on and off of the internet, since I had 10 chicks die from it, and some adults as well. I would have done anything to save them. But according to scientists who work on this stuff, there is no cure.
  5. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Songster

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    We experienced Mareks at our place in AZ. Every single baby we ever hatched died of Mareks. Right at about 7 to 9 months is when we lost each of them. We had one rooster one time make it to 13 months old when he got it.

    I have read forum after forum, tried remedy after remedy. I have a cabinet FULL of things supposed to cure Mareks. The most humane thing we have found is to put em down. Seminolewind is right about the silkies & Polish because those were the first ones to get it at our place. AND they were the quickest to die from it.
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Quote:Redfrog, that's exactly what I've gone through. It's a sad thing. I wish it would stop now. Now I am losing a vaccinated , quarantined for a month, Polish chick.

    Has it slowed down for you? I've been "being humane" as well, and I'm so tired of the funerals.
    Is anything getting better by you?

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