Can chicks get Mareks from a vaccine? (Warning: Graphic pictures)


7 Years
Jun 21, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
I got a shipment of chicks this morning. My second shipment ever. I'm a newbie. So please bear with me...
One chick arrived dead (Chick #1). I think it got trampled?
After getting everyone settled, I noticed that 2 seemed weak, shaking, wobbly and lethargic, so I set up a second brooder to keep them isolated.
I've been watching them all day. The weakest one (Chick #2) has been pretty much face-down sleeping. But every once in a while, this afternoon, it seemed to have a spasm and kicked its legs and flapped its wings a bit, and then went back to laying still. The last time I went down to check on them, it was barely breathing and in the classic Mareks pose.
The other one is still lethargic and face-down (chick #3).
I ordered all of the chicks from a popular multi-breed online supplier.
I paid to have all of them vaccinated for Mareks. The 3 chicks mentioned are all different breeds.
Can chicks get Mareks from the vaccine? Am I just having bad luck? Is this something I need to be worried about or just a "bad batch"? I know that losses happen. It just seems like a lot for having only ordered 17...

No it simply died- (I don't know the answer to your question about whether the vaccine can give them Mareks, but that chick is too young for it to be the reason for the posture from what I have read).

I am sorry for your losses!!! I know it is heartbreaking to see the little ones pass.

I would definitely give them sugar water- the recipe is on McMurray's page and there is a super stressed sugar water recipe if you scroll down:

It is shipping stress you are dealing with, most likely, or genetic defects, or something along those lines. From my experience the little one that is barely breathing will not make it.

The one that is lethargic but sleeping- you must dip its beak in the water as often as you can, for it to drink the sugar water, or it may die.
You don't have Mareks disease, that is simply what happens when chicks are stressed during shipment. Most of the time everything goes smoothly, but with our weird weather and late spring, chicks will get cold, delayed in shipping, or even will pile up on each other resulting indeath. Sorry you are going through this. I have seen chicks at the farm store (banties) who have been having the same symptoms, and usually they die within a few days.
no they can NOT get Marek's from the vaccine. the vaccine is NOT the Marek's virus. so no. they can't get it from the vaccine. hope this helps.
I'm saddened by the losses, but so, SO relieved that you guys think it's not Mareks!!
I was about to panic. I have 14 other little fluffy-butts peeping in the brooder next to the other ones. Plus I was worried about my existing adult flock...
I've been helping the sleepy one get a drink a couple times, each time I'm checking on them, about once an hour. I didn't want to stress it out by handling it too much.
I will have to dog-ear that list of common reasons for chicks to die. That's a great resource.
And the recipe for the suar water.
Thank you all for your help! We'll see what the morning brings...

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