Chicken Vaccination: Why Is It So Important?

By BantamFan4Life · Mar 10, 2015 · ·
  1. BantamFan4Life
    Why are chicken vaccinations so important? Most chicken raisers ask this question, and simply assume they are unimportant. Chicken vaccinations are actually very important! They insure your flock immunity or some immunity to disease, prevention from chicken disease outbreaks, and facilitate taking care of chickens.

    (A picture of a Fowl Pox vaccine with the medicine to inject into them in the bottles and the wing web injector in front of them. Picture from: Stromberg’s Hatchery.)

    Vaccinations enhance immunity to birds, or at least some. Most vaccinations provide full immunity to birds where if they are exposed to the disease, they will get no illness. Some vaccinations such as the one for Marek’s Disease, give birds some immunity to help the disease not be as extreme. With the Marek’s Disease vaccination, it prevents paralysis of the wings and legs (or it to say a bit more complicated, it should stop the growth of tumors at an earlier stage to where it won’t paralysis the places where the tumors grow like the legs or wings). Even though it won’t stop birds from getting Marek’s, it is still a verygood idea to vaccinate your birds for Marek’s. Anyways, whether it enhances a little or full immunity, it is still worth doing it.
    If you give your birds vaccinations, it can help prevent further outbreaks of chicken disease. Vaccinating your birds is especially important if you show your chickens, because the chickens will be with a myriad of other chickens that could be sick, or it could cause other people’s birds to get sick from your possibly ill bird. But, even if you don’t show chickens, it can still prevent outbreaks. I’m sure if you have a flock, you frequently or at least sometimes, have other people see them. If those people have chickens, they could expose those chickens to an infectious disease your chickens had, and then the disease spreads. Vaccinating your birds for New Castle Disease, Marek’s Disease, and Infectious Bronchitis are good disease to do because those are very common, wide-spreading diseases. Vaccinating birds for diseases to help prevent outbreaks which helps sustain chickens and your community.
    When you vaccinate your birds for diseases, you make the job easier for yourself in the long run. It may seem like a hassle to pay for the vaccine, do it yourself or have a vet do it, and having to be careful not to stress out your chickens, but if prevents diseases it’s all worth your time. It’s frustrating walking into the coop with listless, dead, lame, paralyzed, or emaciated chickens. It stresses the owner out a lot, because they have to quarantine, find out what their bird(s) have, cure it, and keep them healthy in the future. All the frustration could be simply stopped by vaccinating your birds.
    Vaccinating your birds gives your birds good immunity to disease, prevents outbreaks of diseases, and makes the job of raising chickens easier for you. So look into vaccinations, vaccinated chicks when you get them, and keep your birds healthy!

    Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please leave a comment! :)

    Share This Article


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. Sylvester017
    Hi silkiecuddles - vaccinating continues on a case-by-case decision for my flock and Marek's vaccinations has become one of my "musts" for chickeneering after long deliberation. We don't vaccinate us humans since we're retirees with no children at home. As for antibiotics I'm hesitant with birds since there can be long-term antibiotic treatment resistance in humans who consume eggs/meat of treated animals. My bird has to be at death's door so-to-speak and a last resort decision by our vet before an antibiotic is administered - and I haven't regrettedt saving 2 of our sweet girls that had respiratory issues - one girl was wheezing so badly my DH and I sat up with her all night thinking we would lose her before the vet's office opened in the morning. And IMO is how antibiotics are to be used - as a last resort to treat serious illness and not willy-nilly for every minor ailment out there. I understand your concerns about the misuse of medicine and it's good to keep putting out food-for-thought on these posts to get people thinking.
  2. silkiecuddles
    Sylvester- There are tons of facts and stories connecting vaccines with Austism and other problems. There's even such a thing called Vaccine Court. If you or your child were ruined by vaccines, you can pay tons of money to fight in that court.
    Vaccines effect so many people, even though they may not realize it till later. They affected someone very close to me. Not horribly like some cases, thankfully.
  3. Sylvester017
    Yes, seminolewind - food-for-thought. As long as no one individual is made to feel challenged for their methods BYC is a nice place to hear and share different practices. I love to hear WHY a practice is used which is why I appreciate the posts and reference links that support others' views. I thought it was nice that silkiecuddles felt comfortable enough to share their practices. Some posts have really come down hard on others with heavy-handed know-it-all arguments and I've come to ignore those types of trolling. I have a comfort zone about certain views but also reiterate that they are my choice and from my own experience and in no way to inflict that method on others. As long as each of us doesn't think our way is the only way these forums are a joy to peruse, read, and learn. Your posts are a joy to read and I love your touches of humor!
  4. seminolewind
    I think it's important to hear all sides. If anything, food for thought.
  5. Sylvester017
    Hi silkieciuddles - I don't mind your ranting. You aren't slamming any particular person but just adamant about how you feel. We all should feel comfortable voicing opinions as long as we realize our way isn't the only way but have a forum to throw out food-for-thought. There's been a lot on the news about the side effects of vaccines and so far the continued consensus after a lot of research is that the autism scare was debunked - should we believe it? It's too major a news topic in constant limelight not to be correctly reported so I'm inclined to believe there is no association of autism to vaccinations. As for other symptoms I'm certain there are sensitive individuals that could possibly develop rashes and such but not being a doctor I would decide on a case-by-case basis whether to take vaccines or not either for ourselves or our pets after getting trusted medical input. I bought 2 birds from someone who believed in the organic natural raising of their flock and even has a beautiful website of their breeds - they thought ACV and garlic water prevented worms without the use of known worming treatments available for poultry. Well, we had to put down one of their birds less than 3 weeks after it was shipped to us because they don't believe in vaccinations/medications - the other bird we managed through a lot of vet bills to save and whether I liked it or not I had to use antibiotics because of multiple complications that could've been prevented if the breeder hadn't been adamant about using home remedies only - herbs and garlic can't take the place of real medicine! I only buy vaccinated Marek's birds now and if I lived in a Fowl Pox tested community I'd make certain to have that one too and if we lived in a frigid climate I'd be inclined toward the bronchitis vaccine as well and for worming I use a known wormer and submit a fecal test of every one of our chickens at least once a year. Nice to have natural immunity breeds but unfortunately not all breeds share natural immunity. JMHO and not to argue for or against immunizations but just voicing IMO and personal experience only. Natural prevention methods are nice if you think they work but I view many as mere "snake oil" panaceas and prefer to save a chicken with medications after dialog with our vet who luckily exercises treatments on the side of caution. He doesn't believe in preventative medication unless an actual problem/malady is present after lab work or examinations identify a specific problem. We have been fortunate to have him - while schooling as a vet he had worked in the poultry industry and is very familiar with the maladies accosting birds. So many chicken owners live in remote areas without access to qualified avian vets and have to rely on self-teaching for treating their birds.
  6. BantamFan4Life
    I understand your concerns. I have never heard of them putting strange things into the vaccines, where did you hear about that? I know people that have been messed up by vaccines, but it is usually because of an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Chemicals in vaccines probably transfer to the eggs, but I think you are suppose to throw out the eggs a certain amount of days, at least once the vaccine "settles in." It is hard to give immunity to your chickens, but the best is to get breeds or strains of breeds that are genetically immune. You are lucky that you have not dealt with those diseases. Even I have dealt with Marek's and such. It is great that you are giving your chickens non-GMO and organic feed. That is a great idea. :)
  7. silkiecuddles
    Interesting article, good job writing!
    Buuuuut, hate to be the pessimistic, as bad as vaccines are for humans, wouldn't they be horrible long-term health wise for those small bodies of a chicken? With all the terrible things in vaccines nowadays (aluminum, mercury, chicken embryo, etc.), which are messing up some people so horribly to the point of autism, etc., should we really be giving our chickens them? I understand for those of you chicken breeders who are breeding purely for show, then that may be good and all and save you a lot of heartache and stress later, but for those of us who are raising chickens for eggs and to sell, will the vaccine not go into the eggs at some point, thus coming into our bodies? Is there no other way to naturally build their immunity to such diseases? I have never, in my 5 years of chicken raising, encountered Marek's, New Castle, Infectious Bronchitis, or such.
    Also, my chickens eat organic feed and forage daily. With the absence of GMO feed, they may grow slower, but they will be healthier in the long run.

    (BTW, I don't want this to turn into an argument, so if it is not decent to post this here, then we can take it to a PM. Also, I apologize if any of my above comment comes across as rude.)
  8. Chickenchick11
    Very good article!!! [​IMG]
  9. BantamFan4Life
    ScenicViews, I have plenty of information I can give you. I will PM you when I get the chance.
  10. ScenicViews
    I am new to chicken keeping, so, sorry for all the questions...

    1 - I have 7 chicks 4 weeks old, when should they be vaccinated for New Castle Disease?
    2 - How about Infectious Bronchitis?

    They were vaccinated for Marek's when I purchased them. Where in the world would I find info on doing it myself? Not sure if I can do that, I have never had animals before. Well, we had cats, but I just took them to the vet for all of their shots...

    Thank you in advance..
  11. Mountain Peeps
    Great article!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: