I would like to hatch some chicks this spring but am worried about mareks . I have only gotten them from hatcheries before and always had them vaccinated. Do I need to be concerned?
What do You do about mareks vaccinations for home hatched chick?
I really don't know.. Wonder if you could get them vaccinated yourself?
this thread might help.. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/153556/buy-ship-use-mareks-vaccine
What breed are you hatching? some breeds are more resilient to it, silkies are not! I've had it in my patch, the adult birds were fine, but 2 of my young 4 month old silkie crosses came down with it and ended up being culled, 2 other birds from the same hatch were immune and were fine, so it all depends really it is the luck of the draw as to whether birds come down with it or not, the older they get the less likely they'll go down with it, I believe it is been spread by wild birds? if you have never had a case of it you may be lucky and not have it, though if your birds have been vaccinated they may now be carriers and could shed it? it's a tough call, if it was me I wouldn't vaccinate and would rely on the birds natural ability to fight it, I don't know anywhere near here that has the available vaccine either but I will never raise silkies again knowing that Mareks is out ther.
There is a pretty good article about this presenting all sides in the current Backyard Chickens magazine (haha, my christmas present from the kids). It says, in short, depends on your philosophy and the breed. Some breeds are more susceptible than others to different things. Some people think you should vaccinate, some think you should never vaccinate. Those that think you should never vaccinate say that vaccinating ultimately weakens a breed. Of course, you have to expect losses at some point if you don't vaccinate (but those that survive breed resilience). And so on. The article was good because it talked about what other vaccinations you could consider besides Mareks. I don't know if there is an online link to it... you could search... One other point... if you think you might show your birds, you probably should vaccinate because every show is swarm of other birds and whatever they may carry. Backyard flocks, maybe they don't need vaccinations... many points to consider.