So frustrated- Merecks Disease

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bnreimer, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Bnreimer

    Bnreimer Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2012
    Abbotsford BC

    So I purchased 8 Rhode Island hens and a rooster back in fall. I added them to my collection of batam hens and a rooster. I also had 4 Rhode Island reds that were about 4 months old.

    About 2 weeks later my bantam rooster started acting werid. He was tipsy. Couldnt hold his head up and we later culled it. We then lost a total of 3 hens from merecks disease from the 8 that I purchased from this breeder.

    I am SO fustrated as I have been battling mericks disease for months. I just noticed today that another hen has it. I thought I was in the clear because it has been at least 3 months since my last death.

    Now I also noticed that one of my hens face is balding around her cone. One of the hens that I autopsied that merecks and northern mites and we treated the flock in fall. Could it be mites again.

    Someone please help!!!
  2. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Are you sure it's Marek's that you lost the other hens to? Did you get them tested?

    Were any of the birds vaccinated for Marek's as day-old chicks?

    If it is Marek's, then you and your flock are 'married' to it. The virus can remain viable in their environment for months at a minimum.. some sources say years, possibly. Any bird that was exposed (you can assume all birds at this point) will shed the virus for life, even if they do not succumb to it. While it does seem to hit younger birds hardest, it can appear at nearly any time in the bird, even years later. The best you can do is provide healthy, clean conditions for them to help their immune systems, but there is no cure. It is highly communicable and it would be immensely irresponsible to ever sell or give away any of your birds as they can all be considered carriers.

    Here is a good starting point for learning about this ugly disease:
    1 person likes this.
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    You just can't introduce any chicks or chickens to your flock. You have to buy day old hatchery chicks that are vaccinated day one, or you can hatch them in your incubator , vaccinate them yourself, and quarantine them for 2+ weeks. Or you may try hatching your own survivor eggs. Anything else will die, any number of them. You can't ever rid yourself of Marek's because it will live in your current birds or property for years.

    I have some info at the bottom in my signature that may help.I and many others have had this happen and we now all practice the vaccination way, or hatch our own chickens' eggs.

    Seeing that so many have died, I would guess it's Marek's as well. [​IMG]

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