Chicken Vaccines? - Page 2
You do realize that Marek's remains on a property for 7 years. In the soil, coop, etc? So the resistant birds might be resistant but they are still carriers and selling those birds would infect someone's else's flock? Along with vaccinating, I am also trying to develop a disease resistant flock. It isn't that easy.
I don't vaccinate, though I sometimes buy vaccinated birds without batting an eyelid. I gather some diseases may be spread by certain vaccines (i.e. some make the bird a carrier of live virus) so it's worth reading widely.
Marek's is a terrible disease, but I prefer breeding for resistance, i.e. you can end up with a Marek's-resistant flock in about 1 generation. The first generation you may get many losses, and in some vulnerable strains there might be no survivors. I prefer to buy hardy birds that have some hope of surviving these things, and if Marek's appeared tomorrow I'd deal with it by humane culling and really valuing (and breeding from) those that stay asymptomatic. I wouldn't do this with too many other diseases, but Marek's is a special case.
Good luck whatever you choose, don't let anyone tell you not vaccinating is irresponsible. There are many ways to achieve a healthy, disease-free flock. Vaccination sometimes results in a flock that carry contagious disease agents, so it isn't perfect. However it may be the only way some pet strains of chickens can survive, so by all means do it if your birds are your friends.
Just my thoughts,
Thank you. I'm glad that I could help.
Dawg...good advice. Unfortunately, I was just building my flock when Marek's hit. You can't quarantine for Marek's..as the disease symptoms take too long to manifest themselves...and a closed flock wasn't an option since I didn't have a flock yet :( It was, and still is, a very hard way to learn a lesson.
I've never had my birds vaccinated. It's a personal choice. I think it would be wise to find out what poultry diseases are prevelent in your area and possibly vaccinate for that particular disease(s.)
Here where I live, it's fowl pox and alot of people vaccinate accordingly. Most of my birds have had it and are immune to that particular strain. Biosecurity and a closed flock goes a long way in preventing diseases as well.
- Flock Mistress
The only way to avoid Marek's is to keep a closed flock. Which is only hatching eggs or day old hatchery chicks.
For those who won't vaccinate, the US had a Marek's crisis in the 70's. 60% of egg and meat chickens were dying of Marek's. Since that time, with some better practices, and vaccinating, they lose less than 1% I believe. Those chickens that laid those eggs for the stores, or chickens raised for meat have all been vaccinated for Marek's.