Anyone know how to vaccinate in ovo?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 4, 2010
Ogden, UT
I have a BO that may have Marek's (unequal pupils, no other symptoms) setting on a clutch. I'd like to vaccinate for Marek's in ovo. Has anyone done this? I've read to insert needle in big end of egg 1 inch, but that sounds a little far. I was planning on doing this at 18 days, then sealing off the hole with a dab of wax. What gauge needle should I use? Is there a technique to keep the eggs from breaking when you insert the needle? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks.
Seems to me that a 1" needle stuck into an egg at 18 days is going to hit something. Where is the VAX supposed to go? maybe you could do it while candling so you could see where that needle is going, although the parts of a chick are hard to distinguish in the egg.
I know the needle needs to go past the air sac. Beyond that, I can't imagine going too deep would be a good thing. Maybe I'll practice technique on some eggs in the fridge first. I should know around Father's Day how they fared, then I'll report back.
I vaccinated with Marek's, standard dose, 3/4 inch needle in big end of egg, then sealed with soft wax. 3 of 6 hatched and died. Not sure if it was a result of vaccinating, as I noticed my hen and her brood were covered in tiny mites just before the 3rd chick died. I sprinkled them with diatomaceous earth, which completely eliminated the mites and probably also clogged the pores of the remaining eggs. I won't do it again. On a happy note, the same hen adopted my vaccinated hatchery Houdan chicks and all are happy and healthy.

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