Is this Marek's??

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Is this Marek's??

Postby madcatlady1972 » 08 Oct 2013, 19:27

Hello, first time on a forum of any type, please excuse me if I'm being thick! I have brought a young Legbar cockerel home from work because he's unwell and after googling his symptoms, have scared myself into thinking he has Marek's. He is about 14-16 wks old and is lame. He isn't paralysed as such, in fact on grass or paving can stand and walk but has a jerky gait a bit like John Cleese! He can't stand very well on my tiled floor indoors. He doesn't seem to have any other Marek's type symptoms and has come out of a run that contained other chooks of the same age/breed. None of them have become ill since he was removed. He has had a few days on Metacam to relieve pain but didn't have any today and seemed no better or worse. He has been like this for about 5 days and was going to be despatched because my boss didn't want him, but he seems so bright and well apart from the lameness that I thought I had to give him a chance. He is eating very well. One odd thing, since being like this he has become super friendly, wanting to be picked up all th time and when you do he will happily sit on you for ages and wants to snuggle his head under your chin and go to sleep! Is this relevant?! Can anyone shed any light on this and does it sound like Marek's disease? Thanks for any help or advice, much appreciated!
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby ladyplumber » 08 Oct 2013, 22:59

Hi and welcome to the forum

It doesn't sound like Marek's to me, but hopefully someone with more knowledge of the disease will come along soon.

He sounds like one happy chappy !
1 BlackRock 2 Speckledys 1 Black Brahma 3 Light Sussex 1 Auracana 1 (noisy) Silver Laced Wyandotte 4 Marans x Cream Legbar
4 Barnvelder x Cream Legbar 1 Blue Splash Orpington 2 Chocolate Orpington 5 Gold Laced Orpington
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby Henwife » 09 Oct 2013, 07:17

The only sure diagnosis is obtained by PM. I spent many years breeding Cream Legbars (I know nothing of the hybrids) and the early years were plagued by Mareks, but I eventually had a resistant flock. Any bird you even vaguely suspect might have Mareks should be culled - your boss was right I'm afraid. If it's a Cream Legbar, and was mine, I'd cull.
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby drfish » 09 Oct 2013, 08:54

Don't want to overlook the obvious, but have you checked his feet in case of bumblefoot?

The affection side of things is natural when you start any kind of social interaction with them. They are flock animals, and taken away from the flock, they need to find security, and that's what you are providing for him.
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And a lot of Ibuprofen.
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby madcatlady1972 » 09 Oct 2013, 09:12

Thank you everyone for your advice. Have checked his feet thoroughly and they're fine. I haven't the heart or stomach to cull him I'm afraid, so will observe very closely for now and as long as his quality of life isn't compromised I'll persevere with him. Just hoping that because Marek's is said to be highly contagious and we have no other birds that look remotely poorly in our collection of several hundred at work that it means it's not Marek's. The unfortunate side effect of my job means that I ( being both a mug & a soft touch ) end up taking lots of rejects home. I currently have a wonky-faced Orloff, a blind Legbar who lives in my house full-time and is an utter tyrant and a Legbar-maran cross who is a hunchback!!!! I do have some normal chooks too, thank goodness. Xx.
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby drfish » 09 Oct 2013, 09:46

Might be worth a course of antibiotics, just on the off chance it is an infection or something bacterial. If it is viral, I suspect that will pretty much prove it if the AB's don't make any difference.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby son of eddy » 09 Oct 2013, 10:20

Welcome in, I'm going to be blunt but not unkind/unfriendly just honest.
You have two choices in this situation treat or cull. As you have rescued him from culling then you have a duty to treat. I would suggest getting in touch with a poultry knowledgeable vet who will be able to treat and advise you. I have put up a quite comprehensive poultry vet lists here - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=44583 have a look and see if there's one anywhere near to you. If not get back in touch as I have further work to do on the list and may be able to find one in your area.
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Re: Is this Marek's??

Postby Henwife » 09 Oct 2013, 15:16

Bear in mind that Mareks can be spread about by wild birds. That said, it doesn't spread through flocks at anything like the rate people will try to tell you. To build a resistant flock I had a certain number of PMs carried out, but the birds that remained symptomless obviously had a natural resistance and from those I bred. It just took a long time - genetic modification would have been quicker. I do know about retaining the halt, the lame and the blind; I retained a small group who I always assumed would be with me until the end of their days..........then I was asked by another lunatic whether she could have the whole group. I've known her for a good 30 years, she lives locally and I get updates about them - she gets the eggs!
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