What do I do to prevent Marek's from spreading?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by buffchick, May 14, 2008.

  1. buffchick

    buffchick New Egg

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    Hello,
    I'm new to this site and have found some of the answers to my questions, but I have searched hi and low and have yet to find any ideas on this particular question.
    I have 11 --1 and 2yr old buffs and 1 silkie. I have recently ordered 6 more buffs, 4 americanas, 10-(but lost 1) cornish x rock meat chicks. STUPIDLY did not get the Marek's vaccine. Now, I think 1 of the meat chicks has Marek's --it is not using 1 leg and is not growing like the others. It can stand on both legs if I stand it up and let go but will not walk a lot. Mostly just drags itself around to get under shelter, water, or to eat.
    Yesterday morning I went to feed and saw bloody poop. It is not coming from this particular chick I don't think, it pooped normally earlier today. Also I have only found this bloody poop in the morning (yesterday and today). I have checked all butts to see if there was any indication of which is having blood and there was no sign on any of them. All my adults are in one pen, my new buffs and americaunas in another pen and my cornish x rocks in another pen.

    So after having said all this-- IF this chick w/ a lame leg does have marek's, how do I keep my adults and other chicks from getting this? Is there a solution of something I could spray on the ground after the meat chicks are butchered? Or do I just close that space off and never put chicks there again or can I strap the soil several inches and throw it out way into the woods or bury it?

    Also, can you eat chicks that have Marek's?--that's why I bought these particular ones anyway.
    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

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    First of all let me say good for you for keeping the different age chicks seperated. As for your limping meat chick it is VERY common for broilers to develope leg problems. Mareks typically shows its ugly head more in the drunk chicken fashion. Sounds as if your meaty fellas need either 1, more space to exercise, or two a slight reduction in feed. This won't help your gimp, but may prolong the rest of the group from also developing leg issues. As for gimpy the rule of thumb in poultry is if its sick cull it, don't eat it and for proper diagnosis contact your state department of agriculture for a post mortem inspection. Most have programs that will test sick or dead birds free of charge.
     
  3. buffchick

    buffchick New Egg

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    Thanks for your post! What do you think about the bloody poop? Should I go ahead and treat all my chickens for Coccidia?

    I have now separated the lame chick and is now in the garage in a box. Poor thing was getting run over a little and it looks like rain outside. It will be time to butcher next week as these chicks will be 6 weeks old. If this is not Mareck's, I will be so thankful and will NEVER buy chicks again that are not vaccinated!! To big of scare for me! If this is Mareck's would all my new chicks be acting funny instead of just one? But now with the bloody poop, I was getting really worried.

    buffchick
     
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Not always, but most of the time Marek's starts on the left side. With intensive care (separation in a small cage with food and water within easy reach), some birds survive Marek's. If the bird does have Marek's, all of the others have been exposed and will always be carriers. Marek's is worldwide and is everywhere in the environment. After having my coop struck with it last year, I will only get vaccinated chicks now. All chicks hatched at my house will also be vaccinated. It's just not worth the risk.

    I truly hope your bird doesn't have Marek's.
     
  5. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Quote:No, most birds never show the clinical symptoms. The disease rears it's ugly head under times of stress and has a 95% mortality rate when the the symptoms appear.
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    We had the same scare here, and a lot of people do. There are a lot of things that resemble it. (We did not have it). I was told Marek's is usually not fatal, but I don't think I would keep a bird that had it, since, you would want to do everything possible to keep it from spreading.
     
  7. NoSpringChick

    NoSpringChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:How do you vaccinate for Marek's?
     
  8. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    It is administered with a very small needle just under the skin. It is normally given at the base of the neck, but some people put it in the leg. It is very important that that the vaccine be given subcutaneously (just under the skin) rather than in the muscle.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I didn't think that Mareks usually showed symptoms until well after the age at which meat birds are usually slaughtered? "Typical" cornish-X leg problems would sound much more likely.

    With regards to the bloody poop, are you using medicated or nonmedicated feed for the chicks? First guess would certainly be coccidia. But you can take a sample to the vet and have them do a flotation test to be sure -- doesn't have to be a 'chicken-friendly' vet, coccidia are coccidia no matter what the animal species [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  10. NoSpringChick

    NoSpringChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Is this vaccine available "over the counter" so to speak...you know for the average folk? Like me? Or do you have to take the chicks to the vet?
     

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