Possible Marek's, But Not Sure

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eggsakly, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2015
    I started my chicken life with five little bantam EEs that I bought from a local person. Four turned out to be boys, so I found them new homes and kept the one pullet in a large dog kennel in the house in my spare room. That might not sound so extreme when you consider that I live in Alaska, and it's just not safe outside for one little bantam. Also, she would have been lonely, so she was a "house chicken." She was sooooo sweet, and I adored her. My EE was just shy of 16 months old when I purchased some buff brahma bantams. I ended up with five brahmas, 4 pullets and 1 cockerel.

    My EE was integrated with the little ones right away, and she was great with them; mostly she ignored them but she liked their food. When the babies were six weeks old I moved everyone into a new coop in a little building on the property. One day after they had been in the new coop about 2 weeks I noticed my EE seeming to stay on the nest a long time, and when she had stayed in one place a whole day I brought her inside and put her back in her dog kennel. She was clearly sick. She began to have trouble walking, then some days later her head began shaking and she had trouble eating as she couldn't connect with her food. When it was clear she would not recover, I very sadly had to end her life. I still miss her, she was so nice and fun.

    From everything I could find on the internet, Marek's symptoms most closely describe her illness. But none of the brahmas have gotten sick. This confuses me because I've read that Marek's is highly contagious. ?? I lost my EE in September, and almost 5 months have passed and the brahmas are still going strong.

    I have never been able to completely clean the room I had all the chickens in before they got moved to their new coop, and where I cared for the sick hen, due to number of tools, etc., in there. So I'm sure I carry dust from that room with me pretty much every time I go to the coop to tend my chickens.

    I'm concerned about hatching out chicks from my brahmas if there is Marek's on my property now, and I want little brahma chicks! And I'm concerned that I have Marek's on the property.

    Any thoughts? Advice? Could my hen have had something other than Marek's? None of my chickens have been vaccinated that I know of. The EE certainly not, and I did not order vaccinations for my brahmas.

    Thanks for any insight, cleaning advice, managing once you have Marek's, etc.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Rebascora is very good at explaining how Mareks acts, and may chime in here to help you. Mareks cannot be diagnosed without testing feathers or tumors from a sick or dead bird. Many diseases can look like Mareks, including dehydration, and there is a large chapter on lookalike diseases in the last link below. I would do some reading, but if this happened a while ago, and you have not seen other chickens get sick, then it may be something else that made her sick. Click on the links below:
  3. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2015
    Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate it very much. I have read the Marek's thread, and I remained confused. I'm very new at this . . . So I appreciate the insights of more experienced chicken friends.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by