Sick chick LAB TEST Results

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Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
16 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
I personally do not have any sick chicks, or have dealt with these chicks myself. These are the results of others.

This is a post of what Preliminary or Final Diagnosis have come from the Necropsy's done on chicks recently shipped from MM.

If you get preliminary results, or definitive final results, from a state lab/private lab please make a thread and PM a mod to have them add your results to this list.

Ideally, try to include:

# of birds tested/sent for necropsy.

How they were stored prior or if live chicks were sacrificed (as post postmortem, a lot of tissues begin to degrade and causes can be lost).

What lab did the testing.

What they found.

What if any advice you were given in the care or outcome of the chicks you still have, and who that came from.

Please understand that this is to be factual only, people involved in this need just facts right now, not speculation. Veterinary opinions following test results is however good information and should be included.

My chicks have been diagnosed with AE. This is positive and definite, and should be an answer to some of the fatalities this spring.
Avian Encephalomyelitis is the proper name for this condition.

MM chicks, hatch 2/23/08, testing at the Pennsylvania State University.

I was told to keep up with the water, food, vitamins just as you would normal chicks and hope they pull through, keep them seperated from your healthy and hope for the best, it shouldnt affect your adult birds for it only affects chicks in the short period from hatch to about 6 weeks or so. Please check this out on the net sites for more accurate info as I am not a vet specialist. I was informed that this IS NOT HARMFUL TO HUMANS, I STRESS STRESS STRESS THIS.
Carousel 3/21/08

I have started a new thread as they keep getting off track.
Please understand I have chosen my words with great care. Please don't read into anything, it is what it is.
Remember the big deep breath.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me keep this thread on track. I'm not INTERESTED in the blame game right now. I'm interested in LEARNING what I need to know. And sharing what I'm learning.

I will deal with McMurray they have been fair, My vet is also willing to contact them and I will also send any reports if they want them.
We took the 3 worst of my 5 chicks that have had problems. I'm going to let the 2 that are doing better try to recover for now.
the vet did a necropsy on the most affected chick and she agreed it was a proper decision to euthanize them.
Her preliminary comments
They are perfectly normal, no parasites, no bacteria, nothing abnormal, she was amazed that they had as good weight and condition as they had (have been trying to keep them going with some high calorie food).
She is very very concerned and suspect of AE (Avian encephalomyelitis) based on their history and the chicks symptoms are classic. I repeat these are her words, what she is seeing is what she 100% would expect to see with AE. (ie gross necropsy 100% normal) and the chicks clinical symptoms, age and how they are affected is classic for AE.

Tissues samples were being prepared tonight and will be sent out on Friday with a bit of luck we will have answers on Monday.

I repeat
I'm not trying to spread rumors or gossip.
as far as what this is "costing me" it is of course out of my pocket. My choice because I want to know.
My other chicks continue to do well.
does anyone had any questions for me at this point?

So I do have a bit of a wait, until we have a positive dx I'm treating them as IF they have AE.

The vet did say that the 2 chicks I have at home could recover just fine based on the progress they are making already. IF it is AE this is not a 100% a death sentence for my chick flock. She said most losses with AE are prior to 4 weeks of age.

But as she mentioned it could be something else? And that news could be better or worse.
Trying to keep good quality food in front of them and wait it out.
She suggested I just continue to offer them good care and that the vits and electrolytes are not a problem, that I could continue.



A poultry inspector from the Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture took 3 of my live, sickest chicks on 3/19 (chicks hatched 3/1) to the University of Connecticut lab. Initial necropsy did not show any abnormalities. They are doing further testing -- results to come in a week or so.
MNKris 3/24/2008

The official diagnosis is AE. The diagnosis was extreme and obvious in my 10 birds according to the VDL at the U of MN.

Hatched on 2/9/08
Tested Positive, all standards size
Buff Rocks
Auracana (EEs)
Partridge Cochins
Blue Cochins

Hatched 3/1/08
Tested Positive, all standards size
Buff Rocks
Auracana (EEs)
Partridge Cochins
Blue Cochins

AE is a reportable disease in MN and The MN Dept of Animal Health and MM have been/will be notified.

I just spoke to the Avian Pathologist at NC State and he confirmed that the 5 chicks I brought to him had Avian Encephalomyelitis. He was very definite about his diagnosis, he said he was certain. The virus is passed from an infected hen to the egg.....then the chick gets it when it hatches and it spreads among other chicks through droppings. Hens may have the virus but they do not show symptoms.......but if they lay an egg that is then hatched, the chick will show the symptoms. Then, the infected chicks pass it to their brooder-mates through droppings. The chicks we have that are still alive have been exposed to AE and almost certainly have the virus, even if they are not showing symptoms. At this point (3 1/2 weeks old) if they are not showing symptoms, he said that they probably will not ever show symptoms. However.......they will not be good layers and, as I said before, if they lay an egg that is hatched, the chick will show the symptoms. (And consequently continue to spread the virus.)

AE is a reportable disease in North Carolina. He said he has already talked with the USDA and they may be calling me to get some information. He will be sending me an official report tomorrow, and then I will call Murray McMurray to ask for a total refund. I can't imagine that they will refuse.

I am planning to euthanize the few chicks I have left. I went in on an order with 4 other people and I haven't heard from them yet whether they are going to keep the remaining chicks or not. I'd be happy to discuss anymore if someone wants to PM or email me.
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