Susceptibility to Mareks?

rodriguezpoultry

Langshan Lover
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
10,918
131
361
Claremore, OK
Before I move my pigeons into their new loft, the birds (chickens) that were there before are definite carriers of Mareks. Are pigeons susceptible to Mareks? I've recently found out they are not susceptible to ILT so I'm not too concerned on the Mareks front but want to test out my theory before putting all of them into the pens.
 

mightymax

Songster
6 Years
Oct 8, 2013
655
102
128
Central Coast, CA
I have Marek's Disease in my chicken flock. I also raise pigeons. I've done, and am still doing, tons of research on this insidious disease and nowhere have I found any documented incidences of pigeons contracting it. From what I've read about Marek's, quail can contract the disease naturally and turkeys can be infected experimentally with it (although clinical cases have been reported in Europe). Scientists will also inject turkeys with the turkey herpesvirus (HVT), an avirulent strain of Marek's that is commonly used as a Marek's vaccine for use in chickens. An interesting side note on this is that turkeys shed a version of this 'vaccine' in their poop and so chickens that have always been raised free range alongside turkeys rarely, if ever. contract Marek's Disease. This is thought to be because of the way chickens eat while out on the range. They scratch and peck, so some turkey poo can't help but get into their beaks and get eaten and digested. Therefore, those chickens who have acquired their strengthened immunity to Marek's (albeit a la natur-al) have the same risk of getting Marek's Disease as those that were vaccinated using the standard method. But beware...turkeys raised with chickens oftentimes come down with Blackhead Disease...as lethal to turkeys as Marek's is to chickens (and apparently quail also) !!!
 

rodriguezpoultry

Langshan Lover
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
10,918
131
361
Claremore, OK
Thank you. I was concerned because quail could get it. I've started housing the birds in the pens that were definitely housing Marek's infected birds. Hopefully they will thrive in there. It is much larger than they are used to and they are still not too keen on leaving their perches just yet.

Thank you for your help!
 

mightymax

Songster
6 Years
Oct 8, 2013
655
102
128
Central Coast, CA
I keep my pigeons in an outside aviary within spitting distance of my Marek's infected chickens, and have had for years without any health issues. They (the pigeons) have never been healthier, with this year reproduction being at an all time high. Even right now with the much cooler weather and the fairly strong winds we've been having, I have 2 partially feathered juveniles, 2 newborns and 2 hens sitting on 2 eggs each that are do to hatch any day now, so hopefully you'll have the same experience with your birds !!!
Oh...and at first when I put my pigeons in a larger aviary they walked everywhere for a week, didn't fly at all. I think they had forgotten how (or gave up hope
hit.gif
)...lol !!! But once they figured out that they could, you couldn't pay them to walk 2 feet anymore! So don't stress, they'll come to love their new more spacious home!
 

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