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Highland Poultry Adoption - finding homes for chickens, geese and ducks in the Highlands of Scotland

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Highland Poultry Adoption - finding homes for chickens, geese and ducks in the Highlands of Scotland

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Different faces, different
Posts: 318
Isle of Skye
Gender: male
Marek's Disease
Mar 26th, 2015, 12:49am
A recent breakout of Marek's disease serves as a timely reminder that no bird owner is immune to this very upsetting disease.

During the summer of 2014, we raised a number of bantams, including some Silver Laced Wyandottes. A week or so ago I noticed that one of the young males was having trouble walking. Having noticed it I made a mental note to see what the next day brought. Many birds go lame now and again, usually it turns out to be a sprain of some kind and in a few days they are back to their normal selves.

However, the next day the male Wyandotte was showing the signs of Marek's. He had completely lost the use of his left leg which was outstretched in front of him. It has been quite a while since the last outbreak. We put him to sleep that afternoon.

Our Hamburg bantams have come through a couple of outbreaks in the 5 years or so that we have kept the breed. We have found that one of the best ways of keeping it at bay once an individual within a flock has shown signs, is to throughly sprinkle and mix in Stalosan in the bedding. We tend to use a few handfuls at once (wear a mask).

One the whole it's bantams that are most at risk from this disease. Symptoms/Signs are drooping wing (usually one side to begin with), greyish coloured iris, week legs, inability to walk properly, losing balance, one leg outstretched or useless.

Once an individual within a flock shows signs, their flock mates will have been exposed to the virus. Hence the need to be generous with the Stalosan. It's effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and helps to sanotise the beddng.

Mortality within a given flock is about 10% to 25% depending on the strain.

Hope this helps someone.

The poor photograph shows one of our female bantams with Marek's. This was over 12 months back. The recent affected male was from the same flock, so not totally devasting.

It's normally spread by wild birds.
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« Last Edit: Mar 26th, 2015, 8:48pm by Administrator »  

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