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#1 2008-03-21 06:51:40

Sweetchicks
I Love A.C.E.
From: Irvine Alberta
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 5914
Website

McMurray Sick Chicks

I tried reading a lot of the posts at BYC about sick chicks from McM's...my goodness what a lot to read and try to figure out!
I got a bit tired reading so the first Moderator post I ran into I pm'd and asked the following;

"Hi  there, I heard rumour about sickness/ disease etc in McMurray chicks...many of us in Canada have chicks from MM in March that have died also.
Could you please tell me which post started this at BYC?
I would like to read exactly whats going on and not be lost all over BYC.
I would also appreciate being kept in the loop so to speak.
One woman we know of has lost over a hundred, another close to 100 and so forth....we have all lost close to half of small orders.
When did MM get informed of all this?
What have they said?
How many members have sent chicks to be tested?
I appreciate your time and response.
You can contact me csparker@xplornet.com and at our new Canadian website where we all are wondering what's going on
http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/Albertachickensetc
Caroline Parker
Administrator"

I hope to get a response perhaps when they themselves know what to tell us.

Have any of our members taken steps toward testing?

Caroline


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#2 2008-03-21 13:50:15

Sweetchicks
I Love A.C.E.
From: Irvine Alberta
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 5914
Website

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

I think anyone who knows people placing a reorder at McM's should warn them they may want to put a hold on their reorder at the very least!


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#3 2008-03-21 18:20:52

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

I don't want to breed panic or overreaction but there are posts in the US boards I'm on of problems with chicks from McMurray hatchery getting very sick and having high mortality this season, most reports are after the Feb 18th hatch date. Some chicks have been sent to state labs and been tested. Many more are on the way or in testing. So far the tests have shown Avian Encephalomyelitis as the cause. To be clear only one test set has results that I know of so far, and so only one lab (Penn State University) involved in testing has results so far. More should be waited for before disease outbreak is considered but it is concerning that there seems to be allot of chicks with the same symptoms in lots of locations.

Avian Encephalomyelitis is viral and is transmitted to the egg by infected hens. These adult hens show mild to no symptoms except for lower laying rates but the chicks have very high mortality an survivors do poorly. Avian Encephalomyelitis is highly contagious and transmitted through manure.

Again I'm not posting this to breed panic but if you have chicks from McMurray this year I would suggest you use great isolation from your other chickens until this is figured out. If you have chicks that exhibit any signs of illness please report them immediately and get them tested.

McMurray is aware that there is a problem and is apparently telling people to give good supportive care for now till more is known.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index … 205300.htm

April

Copied with permission from another site.

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#4 2008-03-22 02:01:18

Sweetchicks
I Love A.C.E.
From: Irvine Alberta
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 5914
Website

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

Thanks Mom, what are the symptoms exactly? They say?


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#5 2008-03-22 03:44:49

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

Avian Encephalomyelitis
Synonyms: epidemic tremor, AE
Species affected: The disease is most prevalent in chickens less than 6 weeks of age. Pheasants, corturnix quail, and turkeys are natural hosts as well, but less susceptible than chickens. Ducklings, young pigeons, and guinea fowl can be experimentally infected.

Clinical signs: Signs commonly appear during the first week of life and between the second and third weeks. Affected chicks may first show a dull expression of the eyes, followed by progressive incoordination, sitting on hocks, tremors of the head and neck, and finally paralysis or prostration. Affected chicks are inactive. Some may refuse to walk or will walk on their hocks. In advanced cases, many chicks will lie with both feet out to one side (prostrate) and die. All stages (dullness, tremors, prostration) can usually be seen in an affected flock. Feed and water consumption decreases and the birds lose weight. In adult birds, a transitory drop (5-20 percent) in egg production may be the only clinical sign present. However, in breeding flocks, a corresponding decrease in hatchability is also noted as the virus is egg- transmitted until hens develop immunity. Chickens which survive the clinical disease may develop cataracts later in life (see Table 2 ).

Transmission: The virus can be transmitted through the egg from infected hen to chick, accounting for disease during the first week of life. The disease can also be spread through a flock by direct contact of susceptible hatchlings with infected birds, accounting for the disease at 2-3 weeks of age. Indirect spread can occur through fecal contamination of feed and water. Recovered birds are immune and do not spread the virus.

Treatment: There is no treatment for outbreaks. Infected birds should be removed, killed and incinerated. Recovered chicks are unthrifty.

Prevention: A vaccine is available.

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#6 2008-03-22 13:50:59

Sweetchicks
I Love A.C.E.
From: Irvine Alberta
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 5914
Website

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

This answer from April;

Hi Caroline

Sorry to hear you have chicks in Alberta that seem to be involved with this.  I don't know of any in BC but did put a post up about it at Canadian Chooks to alert folks.  Have you guys contacted the CFIA?  The testing should be free for you, and I'd sure want to get it done.  How spread out are the chicks?

So far the labs done that I know of have positive ID (as in final results) in only one case which showed AE, then 2 others are in Prelim with AE.  The results take a week total so sooner is better than later to submit some chicks. 

I'm not really sure what to say about survivors.  If it were me I think if confirmed to be AE I would cull all the chicks and clean up really good.  There is conflicting information on if these birds will shed for their life, and this is just not something you want to have around.  The bigger problem is if this shipment has already exposed the chickens you already had.

If I can be of any help please ask.  So sorry your going through this, I was in the Lower Mainland for AI, I know the stress!

April
adoptedbyachicken, Moderator, BYC


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cheers,

April


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#7 2008-03-22 13:55:56

Sweetchicks
I Love A.C.E.
From: Irvine Alberta
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 5914
Website

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

This copied and pasted from another site posted by a member;

From the Merck Vet Manual

Avian encephalomyelitis is a worldwide viral disease of Japanese quail, turkeys, chickens, and pheasants, characterized by ataxia and tremor of the head, neck, and limbs. Ducklings, pigeons, and guinea fowl are susceptible to experimental infection. The causative picornavirus can be grown in chicken embryos from nonimmune hens. It is transmitted for ~1 wk through a portion of eggs laid by infected hens, and then spreads laterally in the hatcher or brooder to susceptible hatchmates. 
Clinical Findings:
Signs commonly appear at 7-10 days of age, although they may be present at hatching or delayed for several weeks. The main signs are unsteadiness, sitting on hocks, paresis, and even complete inability to move. Muscular tremors are best seen after exercising the bird; holding the bird on its back in the cupped hand helps in detection. Typically, about 5% of the flock is affected, although morbidity and mortality may be much higher. The disease in adult birds is inapparent except for a transient drop in egg production. The disease in turkeys is often milder than in chickens. 
Lesions: No gross lesions of the nervous system are seen. Lymphocytic accumulations in the gizzard muscle may be visible as grayish areas. Lens opacities may develop weeks after infection. Microscopic lesions in the CNS consist of neuronal axon-type degeneration (“ghost” cells) in the brain, particularly in the brain stem and in the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord. Gliosis and lymphocytic perivascular cuffing can also be seen. Visceral microscopic lesions consist of lymphoid follicles in the muscular tissue of the gizzard, proventriculus, and myocardium, while numerous lymphoid follicles can be found in the pancreas.
 
Diagnosis:
Avian encephalomyelitis must be differentiated from avian encephalomalacia (vitamin E deficiency), rickets, vitamin B1 or B2 deficiency, Newcastle disease, eastern encephalitis, Marek’s disease, and encephalitis caused by bacteria, fungi (eg, aspergillosis), or mycoplasmas. Diagnosis is based on history, signs, and histologic study of brain, spinal cord, proventriculus, gizzard, and pancreas. Virus isolation in eggs free of avian encephalomyelitis antibody is sometimes necessary for confirmation. Serologic testing of paired samples is helpful, using virus neutralization or ELISA tests. Microscopic lesions are sparse and may not be found in infected adults. 
 
Prevention and Treatment:
Immunization of breeder pullets 10-15 wk old with a commercial live vaccine is advised to prevent vertical transmission of the virus to progeny and to provide them with maternal immunity against the disease. Vaccination of table-egg flocks is also advisable to prevent a temporary drop in egg production. Affected chicks and poults are ordinarily destroyed because few recover. A combination vaccine for fowlpox and avian encephalomyelitis for wing-web administration is widely used. The disease does not affect humans or other mammals.


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#8 2008-03-22 13:57:09

Sweetchicks
I Love A.C.E.
From: Irvine Alberta
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 5914
Website

Re: McMurray Sick Chicks

Intro
Avian encephalomyelitis is a viral disease of the central nervous system of chickens, pheasants, turkeys, and quail. It has a worldwide distribution. Morbidity 5-60% depending on the immune status of the majority of parents, mortality high. Vertical transmission is very important, transmission occurs over about 1-2 weeks, some lateral. The route of infection is transovarian with an incubation period of 1-7 days; lateral transmission is probably by the oral route, incubation >10 days. Virus in faeces may survive 4 weeks or more.

Signs
Nervous signs.
Dull expression.
Ataxia and sitting on hocks.
Imbalance.
Paralysis.
Tremor of head, neck and wings. Tremor may be inapparent but is accentuated if chicks are held inverted in the hand.

Treatment
None

From: Thepoultrysite


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