Avian Leukosis

This is what Miss Cecily, and one other animal on the Big Softie Ranch - Hoppy the Chicken - had contracted: Avian Leukosis. It is a vertically transmitted virus, from infected mother to embryo chick. Miss Cecily's body was riddled with these tumors. All her major organs were affected (especially her liver), and her skeletal muscles as well. There is no cure. It was a minor miracle we kept her alive for this long.

With two separate birds/breeds post-mortem diagnosed with Avian Leukosis, this means the poultry breeder from whom we bought these girls has some problems. To be fair, however, no breeder is completely free from this issue. There's no way to tell if a young bird is infected other than biopsy. Regardless, because of other problems we have encountered with birds from these folks, we have already started buying from another breeder.

Photo: a retrovirus, courtesy of The Full Wiki.


  1. Retrovirii suck. I am sorry for your loss; I know Miss Cecily was truly one of the family. And, I'm glad she had you guys to love on her in her last days, and I'm glad that you know what the issue is.

  2. The scary part would be having to make the effort and insist on viewing records to be sure other breeders have not mixed their batches up with that breeder, as well. What a mess. I'm so sorry you had two much-loved pets that were stricken with the illness.

    Different circumstances but same in some ways - Horse Haven of East Tennessee will have a booth set up at the movie theatre in Knoxville for their entire screening of Secretariat. They'll be providing literature and answering questions about all the hap-hazards and irresponsibility of breeding and the shallow considerations by so many of those who purchase - only to dump them on humane organizations at some time. Something I think is much needed when it comes to any kind of animal ownership these days.

  3. I am so sorry. I loved reading posts and seeing photos on Miss Cecily.
    The Eggman


Of Mice and Various Snakes and new Duck Feed Station

As mentioned in the previous post, our region is experiencing a near-Biblical plague of mice. "It's due to all the moisture we had...