Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?

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Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2008, 17:26 »
All is not lost even if it is Mareks and it might not be.

Mareks is a virus but not all birds develop symptoms by any means.Certain breeds are notoriously susceptble to it and silkies are the ones that spring to mind.
I had mareks here about 8 or 9 years ago. One day my birds were in fine fettle and the next, one of them would develop a limp of drop a wing. Sometimes it would start to manifest itself in a very mild form with what I would describe as a droopy or lazey eye. The Americans call it Range Paralysis by the way. For some reason, it always seemed to take my very best and quite often a few days before a show as well.
I had two choices to make at this stage. I either innoculated all my chicks at day old, or I could choose to only breed from stock that seemed resistant to it. As I say, the disease only seemed to hit certain strains and i dispensed with these and only kept and bred from the resistant ones. My strategy seems to have worked and although a bit of luck may have been involved, I havent had a case for the last six years.
I was lucky I guess, because even at its worse I only had half a dozen cases a year, I've heard of breeders who suffer far more.
One thing I do recomend is not to mess about with anybirds that you supect of having Mareks. You should simply cull them and dispose of their bodys ASAP. Inspite of what people say, there's no way back from Mareks, if anyone tells you that they've nursed a hen back from Mareks, then take it from me that the bird never had the disease. Its very much a progressive disease.
From what the poster has described, I'm not certain that the bird has the condition. Sometimes the condition comes on very quickly and you may find your bird dead. On other ocaasions it may take a considerable time to run its unavoidable course. The characteristic pose of a bird that has died of Mareks is for it to have one of its legs stuck out rigidly behind it, a wing dropped or both.

You quite obviouly havent put the whole nations health at risk by what you've done in caring for your pet. :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  but in this case I'd cull the bird and dispose of it.


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Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2008, 17:43 »
Thanks for that detailed information Bodger and it verifies some of what I said in my previous post.  

A bird which recovers from Marek's, probably helped by our excellent nursing care, will succumb again and eventually die.  They will, however, be a constnt danger to the other birds in the flock even when in remission as they will still shed virus.
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Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2008, 10:17 »
Just an update on the rooster and thanks to everyone for their support.

He is still the same unable to stand but still has very good colour on his comb and wattles and bright eyed, eating and drinking little and often. I am going to give him till wedneday/thursday (unless he goes downhill before) and then I think it would be kinder to send him to the big rooster in the sky. :cry:

Forgot to mention that he Doodle OOOO'd this morning too, the first time since he's been poorly.


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Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2008, 12:36 »
Have got everything crossed that he pulls through. TLC goes a long way...lets hope it's not Marek's and he's just under the weather but, if he recovers, best keep a close eye on him.

Good luck little cockerel...we're all rooting for you!




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Re: Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2009, 11:30 »
Hi, I am a new member called Zoe.  I do not know how to make a new topic, so have replied to your email from a year ago! 

I have a 7 and a half week cockerell and he seems to have the symptoms of Mareks disease.  One leg goes one way and the other goes the opposite.   He is alert and stressed and the other 8 hens I have are attacking him.  'Mum' has 3 other hens same age as this that came together and they seem ok at the moment.  Will they get it, how do I know what to do?

I have put him in a box with food and water and he stayed in the house last night and he is outside in the box now.  He tries to struggle to his feet and then sits down again.  It is really upsetting and is breaking my heart.

How long do I wait to see any improvement - if any?  Is he feeling pain as it looks so uncomfortable?

Anyone with any suggestions, please can you write.

Many thanks Zoe in Preston, lancs



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Re: Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2009, 11:49 »
oh well we are stuffed.....not only do i bring my poorly chickens into the house...i kiss them as well :tongue2: :D, my children kiss husband dosent....but he kisses me :D :D
i will get a bio-hazzard sign for my gate and warn people of the danger!
flocko, i hope he gets well for you hunny x
u to zoe
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 11:51 by dizzylizzie »



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Re: Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2009, 13:01 »
been there twice in the last week, losing both of them, different breeds, both apparently vaccinated as day olds, very sorry but there is only one end result.
take it to a local vet to get some anti biotics to see if it works.
i know how distressing it is trying to feed and look after them, these are our first as well.
good luck and hope she pulls through.



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Re: Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2009, 16:28 »
Hi again, i posted  on here a yr or so ago re: Mareks disease as we had a banty hen who developed this after being freaked out by a loose dog that came on our land and chased all the hens killing some.  It was all very upsetting as our hens are our pets, all have names. When any off kilter we always bring them in and look after them. Sadly, the banty had to be dispatched to the great chicken coop in other realms, she couldnt walk and not fair to keep them like that.

A couple of wks ago - same thing happened again - loose dog on our land killed 3 of our hens - we still havnt found one of them and last wk a young cock was seen limping so we checked out his feet and all ok, next day he couldnt walk so we brought him in and fed and water him  but it was so sad to see him unable to walk and move around and do all the things hens do so he had to be dispatched - all very upsetting and we cried. It makes me angry that people with dogs let them for whatever reason run wild doing damage, killing hens and causing all this distress.

I noticed that the young cock and the banty that both developed Mareks were related, the bantam was a pure breed and maybe more suseptable to this. Another hen that was chased and grabbed but escaped minus her tail and other feathers hasnt developed Mareks and not related to the other two.

It is good to read how other people on here have pet hens and look after them and bring them in when poorly.



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Re: Help!!! Could it be Mareks disease?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2010, 17:31 »
I am comforted that there is someone else out there who is worried about Marek's. My hen elspeth has been twisting her head from side to side and tilting back. She appears to lose consciousness now and again. Her appetite is still really good-I've been giving her chick crumbs (ex-bat) and tonic. She can hardly stand up. It is heart-breaking as the rooster tries to support her and sits alongside her. regarding the bossy intervention regarding avian flu-that was callous. we love our birds, that's why we give all our time to give out special care, and I've been in tears....

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