One pullet left since Marek's hit.. Now what???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Leihamarie, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My poor little 15 week old BR is all alone as of today. I've lost 2 out of 3 pullets this week and while the necropsy pathology results aren't back yet, the vet and I are 90+ percent sure it's MD, which means I'll probably lose my BR too, but until she starts showing symptoms I won't put her down.

    Besides being exhausted, devastated and still in shock, I am worried about helping my little remaining pullet survive as a single hen until I can get this all sorted and figure out a plan for future flock re-population safely. Any experience would be greatly appreciated!

    P.S. Marek's SUCKS!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Mareks is a weird disease. Chickens can get it and be fine, others get sick. It seems to come and go, I had one this year, but I haven't seen any come down with it in years. I assume everyone has been exposed. That's rough only having 3 birds. I am personally against vaccinating for it, but in your case you might want to get vaccinated birds next time. If you can find a few birds that are about the age of your pullet or older to introduce to her might be the way to go. I'm sorry you lost your pullets.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    So sorry! When the necropsy report comes back, you can have a plan. If it is Marek's disease, new birds will need to be vaccinated and isolated away from your place for three weeks afterwards, to build immunity (if they are chicks). You might be able to find birds about her age who were vaccinated as day-olds; they would be safest. If other diseases were involved, plan for that. Marek's disease is truly the pits! Mary
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You have my sympathy if you are indeed dealing with this deadly and tenacious virus. It's not only extremely contagious but it lingers a long time in the environment, having the capacity to infect a future flock.

    I strongly urge you to read all you can on how to deal with sanitizing your premises. There are good products that can kill virus pathogens, and I would track it down and scrub down the coop and run as thoroughly as possible. It may not be Marek's, and I hope it isn't. Other related viruses are easier to eradicate from the environment than Marek's, and hopefully it's one of them you're dealing with.

    If it is Marek's, you may need to relocate your coop and run, as it gets into the soil and lingers for years. Just be prepared to execute extreme measures if you discover it's indeed MD.
     
  5. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so very much for your replies. "devastated" doesn't really do justice to how I feel right now. I have been hoping and praying that it's not Marek's but because I'm in an arid, temperate area (San Diego), it probably is. Marek's runs rampant here according to all the avian vets I've consulted in the last week. They see Marek's frequently. The good news is I know a lot about what it's not. It's not parasites or worms according to several fecals, it's not NCD or botulism or bacterial in nature or a vitamin deficiency. The 2 pullets who died DID have masses in their internal organs. Both had enlarged spleens and kidneys. One had lameness and the other died of pneumonia which is presumed a secondary infection. All signs point to Marek's.


    Unfortunately, I only have one place that falls "within code" to place my coop & run, which is of course right where it is so relocating it isn't really an option :-(. At the first sight of the possibility of Mareks, I bought Ozine and a fogmaster Jr. The good news is that because activated Ozine is pretty powerful, it should take care of whatever is going on.

    My remaining pullet is sad and listless. She keeps crying whenever I go out of her sight and her tail feathers are drooping now, even though she's still running around in the yard "foraging". She's not willing to eat much in the way of solid nutrition. She turns her beak up at the chick starter crumbles I went back to feeding them when the first sign of illness hit. She's too lively to submit to tube feeding and I'm leaving town for work for 4 days starting tomorrow. UGH!!!!!!

    If she makes it til the end of the week, I'll be getting her a couple of similar age vaccinated pullets. I'm hoping she makes it. What a terrible shock for her. She's not the "lone chicken" type. I know some chickens can get by... she's not one of them. She needs other chickens.

    this was not how I envisioned my backyard chicken-keeping adventure. The good news though is that I am well-versed now in chicken illness and warning signs. Everyone here has been REALLY kind and helpful. Thank you!
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    From my understanding disinfecting does nothing as far as Mareks, it can be carried in on the wind or by wild birds, and you should assume ite everywhere. I feel for your remaining chick as she has no idea what has happened, hopefully she is strong.
     
  7. Carter Critters

    Carter Critters Out Of The Brooder

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    I just got hit 2 weeks ago with this disease!! I am so sick over this.. I have had my little flock for 3 almost 4 years. This year we hatched some spring/summer babies and for the first time had success.. we didn't lose any. Normally we lose quit a few to my lab who thinks the squeak of a baby chick is a chew toy. But this year we were prepared. Figured out the squeak problem . Now the babies are out of squeaking range and 3 have come down with this.. Right now I have them in slings and we have battled for 2 weeks.. but after a butt load of research and lots of advice from this wonderful board and I have realized it is of no use. It is so gut wrenching because not only are my babies gonna die but also I feel like my little hobby is over. I don't want to hatch any more if there is one chance of them having to go through this.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Please do not give up and do not do anything until you have a diagnosis. It may not be as bad as you think.

    I found out several years ago that my flock is carrying lymphotic leucosis. It's a virus very similar to Marek's, causes tumors and serious illness and death, it's just as contagious, but the saving grace is it's not very long lasting in the environment, and not all my chickens are affected, though they do carry it.

    If this turns out to be what your flock was infected with, you can disinfect, and you do not need to relocated your coop and run. But you absolutely should not get any more chickens until this last one is gone.

    I would love to start all over with new chickens, but I have twenty five from age eight weeks to eight years. I'm too attached to them to cull, and besides, all seem very healthy in spite of the virus they carry. Many chickens have a resistance to many of these viruses.

    I understand how distressing it is to have a lonely chicken, but you need to wait until you know for sure what killed the rest of your flock before you do anything further.
     
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  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I know of a person that had Marek's hit her flock. The survivors were doing okay and she used them in her breeding program - using only the strongest, healthiest ones in each generation. She made no effort to nurse the ill ones. Her "strongest will survive," birds have been doing well for generations. Since Mareks is everywhere and anywhere it makes sense to me.
     
  10. rachel9947

    rachel9947 Out Of The Brooder

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    You're right. There's nothing sadder than a lone chicken. They are very sociable animals. I think you will find that she perks up as soon as she has company. It may be Marek's (horrible!) but just suggest you paint the inside of the chicken shed with creosote? This kills everything and, if you do it in the morning, should be dry by the time they go to roost. If it also lives in the earth underneath the shed then I suggest you douse it with Jeyes Fluid. This deals with viruses on plants but I am not sure about Mareks. Anyway, can't do any harm. Hope she lives! Feeling for you.
     

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