It’s been about three week’s since I realized Blondie and Dotty have Marek’s Disease.
Marek’s Disease is pretty much an automatic death sentence in a large flock. Through additional research, though, I found that occasionally a chicken will live. A survivor would still be disabled and would have to always be separated from the rest of the flock because they will continue to spread the disease for as long as they live, so, surviving may or may not be a great option. All I can do for now is wait and watch.
At this point, Blondie and Dotty are still both alive and functioning. Blondie even looks stronger. He seems to be walking better and even flaps his wings vigorously enough to make me worry about him flapping himself out of the temporary pen. Dotty has not been so lucky, so far. I may need to develop a splint for him as he has a toe that folds under his foot when he walks, much like what happens with diabetic neuropathy of the foot in a human. They are both still eating well and get themselves into and out of the rabbit cage they now call home. They get chicken vitamins and/or apple cider vinegar in their water and they get lots of extras (produce from the house) to keep their diet varied and interest up.
If they make it I’m going to have to build them a more permanent shelter before winter settles in. I will keep monitoring the situation.
None of the other chickens have shown symptoms of Marek’s Disease, thank goodness. My heart skips a beat though when any of them sit down. I am constantly evaluating each one’s gait as they walk. All I can do is continue to watch them.
When we separated the flock into sickies and well-chickens, we thoroughly cleaned the coop and replaced the bedding. We also moved the chunnel to a new area of the yard to keep them as far away from the sickies as possible. They, too, have been receiving vitamins in their water to keep their immune systems in good order. They also get variety to their diet in the form of fresh grass (by moving the chunnel) and food from the house – apples, carrots, other produce, etc.
The extended run has been shelved until we know whether we need to provide a permanent coop for the sickies, if they recover.