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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend who is new to "backyard" chickens and they have begun dying. She took one to a vet who did an autopsy and said it died from a virus called myelocytoma. I did google it, but am wondering if anyone knows anything about this virus or has had experience with it? Ive had chickens for 15 years and never heard of it. Feel bad for her, as the vet said she might lose them all (started with six) - it cant be treated.

thanks,
kbt
 

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Sorry I don't do chickens. Can't help. Did the vet say what to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My friend said that maybe she would have to put the whole flock down - just wait and see if any more develop symptoms. I am pretty sure that's what the vet told her. I think she meant one at a time if so, but not sure. Shes not breeding so it wont spread...just wanted to have a flock for herself. Its sad as she and her son would come over and always went to see our chickens which led them to buying their own from a local farm (who has told her they have never had any problems) - now its become a disaster. I just feel bad cause I cant help with this one, and of all my "chicken" friends, this has never come up before.
Thanks for the replies,
kbt
 

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Is it something that if the infected flock is gone can she start up with new chickens right away or would she have to wait a while ?
Such a shame :( So sorry :( Why not get a second opinion ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From the vet's report (two sentences!), it "doesn't last long in the environment". I am assuming that it cant survive without a host, but I haven't come across info on a wait time, and the vet didn't really say that I know of.

re a second opinion I think its a good idea and will suggest it to her - thanks!

kbt
 

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I've been keeping chickens for ages and this is the first time that I've heard of this disease. I looked it up, and apparently it's a retrovirus that causes what are, for all practical purposes, cancerous tumors that invade the liver and other organs. Weird.
It's also pretty rare, and that leaves me to wonder where it came from.
I've dealt with Marek's disease before, and that stuff's a royal pain, but this myelocytoma is a new one for me. The good news is that it won't stick around in the environment for very long. If she has to start over with new chickens the odds are that they'll be okay.
 

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What are her current management practices? It would be a huge boost to their immunity if she started fermenting their feed and gave them more space with nice green grass and juicy bugs. Veggie and meat scraps from the kitchen would be good too. Warning: No avocado skins or pits.
It's super easy to ferment chicken feed - Google it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Her chickens have a run for when shes not home, and free range her back yard when she is - so I'd say they are out and about more than not. She feeds em scraps and veggies and yogurt, along with feed, etc. She used the medicated feed when young - she takes really good care of her birds. When the first was sick she took it to work with her so it didn't miss any care...

I will pass on the fermentation advice. Maybe I will try it too.

What gets me is close to what Greybird said - I have had chickens a long time and never heard of this. The worst I have dealt with is a hawk, a fox, and an eggbound every so often. Maybe I am just lucky or naive.
 
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