Rescue with Marek's. What should I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FrizzledFarmer, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. FrizzledFarmer

    FrizzledFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2011
    Hi all,

    We originally had two hens that just started laying. We raised these from day-olds and they were vaccinated for Marek's etc. All things were going well, so we decided to enlarge our flock! We picked up 5 more laying hens from a woman who inherited them from her mother. One looked in particularly rough shape, but she was a frizzled cochin that we thought we could nurse back to health. One week after we had her, she went downhill terribly, and we culled her. About 2 weeks later one of the rescued hens stopped laying and then began looking depressed and droopy. Finally, she could barely hold her head up and stopped eating and drinking. Because we had no idea what we were dealing with, we took her to the closest state agriculture laboratory and had a necropsy done. The results came back with a high level of ascarids and caprillaria (roundworms) and low levels of coccidia. The histology report also found "neuronal lesions indicative of Marek's disease." Well, everything we have looked up on Marek's disease seems devastating. We can easily treat for the internal parasites, but nothing to do for the Marek's. What should we do? Some sites suggest culling the entire flock, decontaminating the coop and living area, and starting from scratch next season with vacinated chicks.

    Any suggestions? Any help? We would hate to have to start over, but we also understand that this is part of what we signed up for by raising backyard chickens.

    Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
     
  2. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. FrizzledFarmer

    FrizzledFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! So from what I am reading, there is some homeopathic remedy that can help them deal with their symptoms, and I should NOT cull the flock. Some will never show symptoms, some will and recover, and some will die.

    OK... I will wait and see what happens.
     
  4. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    If you cull your whole flock, it will still be on your property. What I'm doing myself is to just vaccinate and quarantine. It's the only way you will eventually end up with some control.
     
  6. Alfred's Mama

    Alfred's Mama Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    I feel absolutely terrible for anyone having to deal with Mareks, it's a horrible disease, I hope you can find a way to make her comfortable, such a shame when birds need to be culled for any reason [​IMG] I definitely agree that the best way to deal with it is to quarantine her and look after her seperately to the others, I'm nursing a chicken with rickets and wry neck and sympathise greatly with you, best of luck to you both.
     
  7. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Right! Birds can develop lifelong immunity either through a vaccine or gradual exposure to a virus. Anyone who doesn't come down with it has immunity. This is always easier said then done but minimizing stress is your No. 1 goal because stress lowers their immune systems. Any bird that doesn't have immunity is susceptible for getting Mareks while under duress.

    By not culling non-symptomatic birds, you're doing your flock a favor by going with the survival of the fittest model which, lets be honest, you can't get better than that.

    Thank you for taking in those poor birds. I'm sorry they brought this to your flock, but more knowledge is a good thing.
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    "Survival of the fittest" I like that!
     
  9. FrizzledFarmer

    FrizzledFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for your thoughts. As of now (after the necropsy sacrifice) we have none showing actual symptoms. However, the diagnosis on the sick (now dead) bird scared me as to what might happen to the rest of my flock. Right now, everyone seems healthy and happy.

    Should I be hesitant to add any additional pullets next season to the flock? If they are vaccinated, everything should be fine, right?

    THANKS!!
     

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