Leukosis is a virus that attacks the internal organs but not the nervous system (which Marek's attacks the nervous system) and leukosis compromises the bird's immune system so that ailments like cocci or respiratory issues don't seem to respond to treatments and the bird gets thinner in spite of eating/drinking, and eventually gets lethargic and loses its sparkle and outgoing personality. Some birds die early while some linger on well into their juvenile age. But the outcome will be the same for leukosis birds -- they will eventually die if not euthanized -- there's no cure or effective treatment. Many chicken diseases show the same symptoms but now that I've had birds w/ leukosis it has been easier to distinguish from Marek's symptoms.Have you wormed them?That will cause weight loss and other ailments.
Having results sent to another address is a good idea. I'll keep that in mind if I decide on future testing. I don't breed so spending money testing a dead bird is kinda moot for me who only wants pets -- I'm zone-restricted to 5 hens, no roos. For now, I've got my hands full raising 3 baby Doms as layers for the New Year. I have two adult hens (Partridge Silkie and Cuckoo Breda) left outside after losing our precious Black Silkie yesterday.Sylvester,she looked sweet and I'm sorry for your loss.As for the AG office,there are ways around the government.You can have sample results sent to a family member or a friends house,they don't need to know it's you.I'd be leery,too,but they may be able to give you a definite diagnosis at a cheap price.