Unknown disease decimating flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LittlePeck, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. LittlePeck

    LittlePeck Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2015
    All of my chickens are dropping dead, sometimes with symptoms and sometimes without. At times they appear to tumble off their perches during the night after having no discernible trouble the day before. (Notice I say "discernible, as all birds are masters at hiding illness to throw off predators). Others spend a few days with little use one side including wing and leg. Yet others just look punk; these either recover or die. My pens are such that anything can pass easily between them, which is what happened.

    It hasn't happened all at once, but after near a year I lose two per month. I gave them a five-day course of the legal alternative to Sulmet.

    Has anyone had anything similar happen? If I have new chicks inoculated for Mareck's, will they be immune to it when exposed to the others?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    It sounds very much like possible Mareks disease. To get confirmation, you would need to contact your state vet or poultry lab to perform a necropsy on one or two birds. If it is Mareks, then any new chicks would need vaccination as day old chicks, and kept away from any dust or feather dander of your other birds for the first 2-3 weeks to develop full immunity. They would still be carriers of the disease for life, but should not get the symptoms. There are other diseases that can look like Mareks or cause lameness. Things like botulism, lead or heavy metal poisoning, mold in feed, insecticide or chemical poisoning, and even dehydration or coccidiosis can be possible. How old are the birds that you have lost?
     
  3. LittlePeck

    LittlePeck Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2015
    Having never had this happen before in flocks past, I'm going to go with Marek's. The hatchery offers immunizations, so I'll go with that. The ages of the birds affected are from 1 1/2 years to 8 months. Funny thing is that I swore I'd never order chicks again!
     

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