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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:06 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Victoria
lovemygirls wrote:
Yes Azira, that's the plan he is able to vaccinate all the chicks that hatch.

That's good to hear. Do you know which Mareks vaccines he'll be using?

lovemygirls wrote:
I lost a silkie and a pekin to mareks disease this week. Two deaths in one week was rough. One was 1 and a half years old and she'd been fine since the day I got her, never a problem with her, then she went through a major moult and got sick. I'm at a loss as to why they die when they get to that age.

Sorry to hear you've lost more. Were those birds vaccinated at all?

I've been doing some reading into the different MD vaccines, and it was interesting to read that the more commonly available HVT vaccine is really only effective for short lived birds like broilers. The HVT vaccine works by reducing the virus' ability to replicate, but doesn't stop it completely. In a bird that is only living a few months, it's all well and good as the virus never has a chance to build up. But in a bird that goes to live on with MD in it's system, the HVT vaccine loses it's effectiveness at reducing the rate of cell replication, those cells then go on to develop into tumours, and eventually the bird succumbs to MD. My guess would be that the tumours will have been slowly building up in your birds system as they got older, and the moult just was too much for the body to handle so the MD took it's final toll.

That's where the live Rispens vaccine (Strain CVI988) is really most beneficial. It has the ability to create immunity against the protein that causes the tumours to develop, stopping them from growing at all. The HVT vaccine cannot prevent tumour growth whereas the Rispens vaccine can, therefore is the most beneficial to birds that are going to live past broiler age.

Any birds you move onto your property I would be making sure they are vaccinated against MD with the Rispens vaccine from now on, to ensure they have long-term protection. If you can vaccinate for both HVT and Rispens I'd do that to cover both bases, but if you only pick one, Rispens is the one. They may live with MD in their systems, but with the Rispens vaccine in place, they have a chance to live a long life without tumours developing and causing death.

I didn't know there were different MD vaccines until andrewschooks mentioned it. It's actually exciting to read about it and realising that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for all of the hell you have had dealing with it.

lovemygirls wrote:
I know of a few breeders who have had mareks on their property and still show their birds. Just for the sake of discussion, how is my situation any different to theirs? They have mareks and take their birds to shows .....

Personally, I don't agree with them doing that either. I couldn't in good conscience do something like that, I don't even like going near people if I have a cold for fear of inflicting it on someone else, lol.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:10 am 
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Proud Rooster
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LMG, I don't know if I wrote this in your other thread a few months ago about mareks, but many Aussie native birds carry the disease & 'drop it off' where ever they hang out.

I had some Plymouth rocks that began dropping like flies at around 16weeks. Sent one away, came back mareks.
Vet said the local native birds like magpies carried it & if they drank out of the same water bowls or pooped in a pen or even ducks on the dam, all those things could spread it to my chooks.

It's always made me wonder how your poultry keeps getting reinfected. I wonder if it is the local native birds that keep dropping it off in your pens. I think you are making a wise choice to let your friend raise the chicks. I know it means you wont have the fun & excitement of the little chickies or the growing birds, but you'll end up with adults that you'll have for a good length of time & be able to become attached to without fear of them dropping off the perch from some terrible disease. Hopefully you'll be able to show them then.
Good luck with that venture & have a good day at the show.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:48 am 
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Proud Rooster
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I think your vet may be wrong in suggesting mareks is spread via other bird species Clissa.
Most diseases and even a lot of parasites are species specific as far as I know.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:49 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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ClissaTSoyFreeChooks wrote:
It's always made me wonder how your poultry keeps getting reinfected.

It can survive in coops and in soil for months and years, and it's constantly being shed from infected birds. And it's not so much that her birds are being reinfected I think. It's more that if they aren't dying younger from the nervous form of MD, they are succumbing later to the visceral form of MD (the one where tumours grow and eventually kill the bird).


ClissaTSoyFreeChooks wrote:
I think you are making a wise choice to let your friend raise the chicks. I know it means you wont have the fun & excitement of the little chickies or the growing birds, but you'll end up with adults that you'll have for a good length of time & be able to become attached to without fear of them dropping off the perch from some terrible disease.

I think that with the correct Rispens vaccine, that is possible. However if LMG or her friend uses the HVT vaccine then they will still potentially die from the tumours, they will just be older than the birds raised and HVT vaccinated on her property when it happens (as they haven't been in the environment and infected from hatch).

LMG, I guess first port of call is the vet to work out how to get the Rispens (or HVT & Rispens) vaccine. Or maybe even the manufacturers to see if they can advise the best way to get your hands on it and the best way to use it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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fuscipes wrote:
I think your vet may be wrong in suggesting mareks is spread via other bird species Clissa.
Most diseases and even a lot of parasites are species specific as far as I know.



Probably need to tell that to Qld Vet Uni at Gatton. That's where the dead chook went for testing & it was they who said the native birds were carrying it & dying from it too. That was in 1999 or 2000 & I was at Maleny in those days. My vet had an interest in MD via someone at Gatton College which is why the chook went there for testing.

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going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:35 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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ClissaTSoyFreeChooks wrote:


Probably need to tell that to Qld Vet Uni at Gatton. That's where the dead chook went for testing & it was they who said the native birds were carrying it & dying from it too. That was in 1999 or 2000 & I was at Maleny in those days. My vet had an interest in MD via someone at Gatton College which is why the chook went there for testing.


I can find no support anywhere for the proposition that other bird species are vectors of Marek's disease. Other avian species do have related herpes virus diseases but none of them are harmful to chickens. With respect Clarissa, might you have misunderstood the veterinary advice?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:37 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Thanks so much Azira for your advice.

Re other birds being carriers of mareks - I'm sure Ive been told by a couple of different sources that pigeons can be carriers of mareks disease. I can confirm that with the Melbourne Bird Clinic and report back what they say.

I went to the show. Lots of lovely roosters were entered but not one silkie rooster :roll:

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