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vaccinating chicks?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

When you order baby chicks online, you can choose to vaccinate them.  Since we are doing this ourselves for a small backyard flock, do I need to vaccinate them?  if so - do I just call my vet?  How old do they need to be to have this done?  Would love to hear peoples thoughts on vaccinating.  We have the medicated chick food.  thanks!  I am soooo nervous about the chicks hatching after reading so many warnings online!  We made our own incubator, in candling them we had 8 of 12 that looked good.  For a couple days it seemed we could not get the temp about 97/98.  Now they are in the 3 day phase aproaching hatch and I can not get the humidity past 68%.  If my thermometer is correct.  anybody else have this and have things go ok?  I find myself checking on them in the middle of the night as well!  This is worse than being pregnant!  I feel so responsible!

post #2 of 6

I've hatched several groups of chicks here.  None of mine have been vaccinated, even the ones that came from a hatchery.  It should not be necessary in most backyard flocks, hopefully.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps030

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #3 of 6

REspectfully, I think vaccination protects all our flocks from disease. Merecks is available thru Jeffers. Most vets don't know chickens. Several good threads here on BYC on vaccinating for Mereks. I always spell it wrong -so here are the 2 spellings One is correct: merecks, mereks. SPelling not my thing any more--sorry.

THere is a thread talking about natural immunity via genetics, among different breeds; most breeds do not have immunity against mereks; and other diseases cause large number of losses with only a few that might survive. Our populations have been protected for a long time--there are strains with exceptions.  I'm not willing to loose any at this point to Merecks.

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             Bourbon Red and Sweetgrass Turkeys

 

             Black Copper Marans, Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussex    

  

 

Grow where you are planted. --Unknown

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NPIP Tested Clean

 

             Bourbon Red and Sweetgrass Turkeys

 

             Black Copper Marans, Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussex    

  

 

Grow where you are planted. --Unknown

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post #4 of 6

I chose to vaccinate the chicks I have hatched. I ordered from Jeffers, and yes, the smallest quantity for Mareks is 1,000 doses (so a lot gets thrown away). I figured it was worth the investment. Giving the vaccines is interesting - I think I was more traumatized than the chicks.

3 pit bulls, 1 chihuahua, 4 alpacas, and way, way too many chickens...
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3 pit bulls, 1 chihuahua, 4 alpacas, and way, way too many chickens...
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!  Did not know it was an option to do it ourselves!  had not read that anywhere online.  we'll have to think about it if the local vet does not do it. smile

post #6 of 6

I've been keeping and hatching chickens for a good few years now, and I've never vaccinated any of the ones I've hatched myself. The ones I've bought in form local hatcheries have all been vaccinated and I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever in health, vigour or longevity. I've never fed medicated starter either. I think diseases and disease prevention is as much a matter of scrupulous hygiene and good animal husbandry as it is of vaccinating. Big hatcheries have to vaccinate as they are hatching thousands of chicks at a time and keeping them all in close proximity. If you just have a few and you look after them well and follow careful hygiene procedures, most likely they won't need to be vaccinated.

I say all that as someone who lives in an area with relatively few chickens and no recent outbreaks of any diseases. If I lived somewhere that chicken diseases were prevalent, I'd most likely want to vaccinate.

Breeder of Marsh Daisies; keeper of a pick-n-mix laying flock of Leghorns, Marans, ISA Browns, Black Rocks, Daisy culls and various Mystery Muttleys. The dogs in my avatar pic are fat Sam, the assumed cross of a greedy black Lab and a sneaky Collie, and grumpy Meg, the smallest and narkiest Jack Russell for 50 miles in any direction.
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Breeder of Marsh Daisies; keeper of a pick-n-mix laying flock of Leghorns, Marans, ISA Browns, Black Rocks, Daisy culls and various Mystery Muttleys. The dogs in my avatar pic are fat Sam, the assumed cross of a greedy black Lab and a sneaky Collie, and grumpy Meg, the smallest and narkiest Jack Russell for 50 miles in any direction.
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