We have a mixed flock of some 5-months-old Israeli chickens, 4-months-old mixed Rhode Island/Sussex, a mixed (probably cochin/silkie) roo who's about 1 year old, and some ex-battery white Leghorn hens who should be about 18 months old. Around a month ago, a RIR/Sussex cockerel showed a limp. We thought at first it was an injury, but when the cockerel showed signs of rapid paralysis, wasting away and death in a few days, we realized it must be some sort of disease. Then, about 2 weeks ago, the same symptoms were seen in one of our Israeli pullets: limping, then almost complete paralysis in one leg. She's still fighting though, hopping around on one leg, eating and drinking just about the same as always. Then a few days ago another 4-month-old cockerel started limping, and we are getting desperate. After reading obsessively about every chicken disease out there, I have the evil foreboding it's probably Marek's, because of the neurological symptoms and age of birds. Or could it be something else? We're not going to do a necropsy, don't want to risk being told we must dispose of all our chickens. We didn't vaccinate our flock. We had the foolish optimistic assumption, when we started out, that providing food, clean water, safe shelter and ample free-range should be enough to keep a relatively low death rate. We didn't expect an epidemic. In the local villages no one vaccinates their birds, and they have been keeping poultry for many centuries, so how come are we so affected?! Vaccinations in general are, historically, a new practice, so how did the species even survive for so long? I had especially high hopes for the local breed to be more hardy, but one of them is affected as I said, and of course if it's Marek's all my birds are carriers. Right now I'm honestly at a loss of what to do. Vaccinating small flocks isn't cost-effective around here, and it's just heartbreaking to see them all get sick and die one by one, so I've even talked to my husband about opting out of keeping chickens altogether, although it would be a horrible disappointment for us and the kids, we do love our chooks so much. For now we maintan a "none in, none out" policy. I think I've read half the Marek's threads on the forum and they are all heartbreaking. What should I do?