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The Marek's Disease...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ghull00, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Ghull00

    Ghull00 Just Hatched

    39
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    Jul 24, 2016
    Lincoln, UK
    I DID have 12 chicks, and I now have one. The others had Mareks, and they were pure breds, a huge loss. Am I right in thinking that the last one will probably die too? If putting chicks in the same run and coop, what precautionary measures can I take to ensure the new batch don't get it. Any ideas, ping them through. Obviously, I would properly dig the run over, disinfect the house as well. Should I creosote the house inside and out?
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,802
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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi
    Really sorry to hear about your losses. That must be heart breaking. I'm surprised you lost so many of them to Marek's though. Are you sure it's that and not coccidia or more likely a combination of both? Marek's weakens the immune system and leaves them at risk of other ailments. From speaking to other poultry people locally here in the UK I had been led to believe that it wasn't so lethal here and that is certainly my experience.
    I've got Marek's in my flock and I have 2 or 3 die each year from it but out of 56 chicks hatched this year, I don't think that is too bad. My chicks are broody hen hatched and reared though so they are more robust and less susceptible to things like coccidiosis as a result. I would also guess that they are exposed to the Marek's virus from hatching as they are all raised in the same flock, so maybe that is also a factor in that their immune system has time to respond to it from hatching rather than being suddenly exposed to it at the age when they are susceptible.... ie the 7-8 week age when most indoor reared chicks are usually being put outside.
    It is very difficult to eradicate it from your land once you have it as it is spread via dander dust which is inhaled and it can lie dormant for months. Thoroughly vacuuming the coop before you creosote it might be a good idea.

    I have had birds recover and certainly had plenty of birds that have not contracted it, so I would not assume that your remaining chick will die and may in fact be worth breeding from for possible Marek's resistance, as I do with my flock. I have a flock of about 40 birds that have been exposed. I also care for Marek's sick birds within the flock rather than isolating them and only cull when they give up fighting it, so I can't say that I go out of my way to prevent chicks from being exposed. Of course it may be that the strain that I have is not very aggressive. Some people only buy vaccinated chicks once they have experienced it but you need to practice very strict biosecurity for the first 3 weeks to ensure they are not exposed to it before they have developed immunity. Personally I'm not a fan of the vaccine as there is recent research to suggest that it just encourages the virus to mutate into more virulent and resistant strains.

    I hope that my experience above has given you some food for thought as to how to move forward and if you have any queries about anything, just ask.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Once you have Mereks you can never get rid of it......Were the new Birds vaccinated for Mereks? Did you wait two weeks before bringing them on the property?

    Mereks will possibly kill the new birds too......How do you know it was Mereks? Testing or guessing?

    A lady I know with beautiful Orpingtons lost all her birds to the deadly disease.....She now raises goats......It lives in the soil and can not be cleaned out of coops, the soil or anything else.......

    She was very upset.........


    Cheers!
     
  4. Ghull00

    Ghull00 Just Hatched

    39
    3
    16
    Jul 24, 2016
    Lincoln, UK
    Thank you very much for your advice! We bought 6 Cream Legbars and 4 Silkies originally. We were told that although the Silkies were 2 weeks and the Legbars were 1 day, they'd be fine. However, this was not true and three Legbars were very quickly squished! We of course complained and got two replacements, two Sablepoots. These did not look great when I'd taken them home. One of them died a few weeks later after showing signs of paralysis, constantly falling over. Then, this spread, slowly killing the majority of the flock, leaving me with my 8 full-grown hybrid hens, (which live totally separately) and three pullets/growers. These were one Silkie, 1 cream Legbar and one Sablepoot. The Sablepoot died and I properly dug the run out, disinfected everything. This was probably three weeks ago. I had been losing about 1 bird per week, but when I cleared this out, the two remained until today, when I let them out and the solitary cream Legbar skipped out! She is very healthy, has beautiful plumage and looks like any other healthy POL chicken! Once again, thank you very much for the valued advice. Although I have had chickens for several years, I clearly have a LOT to learn! ;) Its just sad that I learnt it a very hard way, and lost my 16th b'day present, 10 fluffy chicks! How should I continue? Should I speak to the guy where I bought them? have I the right to expect some replacements? He seems to still be in action, despite the dodgy chicks. It now worries me that you have to be so careful where you buy your birds. I guess their unnatural bringing up never helps, they were reared with lamps.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    To be honest......Do not add anymore Birds.......Highly contagious.......You will never get rid of Mereks.....The ones you still have without symptoms are Carriers....You will be infecting every bird you bring in.....Do not take any replacements....Ask for your money back.....Never set foot on that property again....It will stick to tires, shoes, wild birds can bring it also.......


    Sorry this happened........


    Cheers!
     

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