Should I give him away?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickerchick, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. chickerchick

    chickerchick Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2016
    I have to give my Orpington cockerel away because I have four cockerels and its becoming a nightmare. He is a sweet little guy and i'll be sad to see him go. A lady is interested in him but she says she has just had an outbreak of mareks. My guy isn't vaccinated. She says she is all clear now, should I go ahead with it? How likely is it that he'll get mareks if none of her hens now have it (i.e. can he pick it up from the environment?) thanks
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Marek's doesn't work like that; once a bird is infected, even if it recovers, there's a high probability it will remain infectious carriers for life. Once it's in the flock, it's there forever.

    How old is he? If he's over 5-6 months I wouldn't be worried, since it's very rare for a bird that old to show symptoms, though all birds will be infected once exposed regardless of age. Even if he isn't, I'd suggest considering giving him to her anyways. Finding non-meat homes for cockerels is next to impossible and he may well have a better shot in a flock where he might come down with Marek's (a very common disease and in some areas found in the majority of flocks, not the minority) than waiting months to find another home or eventually going for someone's dinner.
  3. Mereks will live in the soil, coop and run for years.
    Very deadly.
    Some birds are carriers of the disease and never show symptoms. Some die.
    I vaccinate all my Chicks for Mereks from the Hatchery. Even then they are not always safe....
    If the person recently had the disease in their birds? It is still there.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by