Consumer demand for Marck's Vaccination?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by brothfeder, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm working on designing a poultry breeding/hatchery business on my farm. I know most hatcheries and many breeders offer Mareks Vaccinations for chicks. However, going through the logistics it seems like it could become very confusing/time consuming/expensive to offer this service for a small time hatcher/breeder. In fact I've heard one case where a breeder purposely set their Marek's vaccination price high to discourage customers from buying the shot. For a start up operation I'm considering not offering the service. Do you think this is a deal breaker for many buyers wanting hatched chicks? Will I be alienating customers?
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Really, it depends.

    Many people have not had much or any experience with Marek's disease, or have never heard of it. They will not be turned away by you not offering the service.

    But, those who have had experience with Marek's or have lost birds to Marek's will likely not buy birds that haven't been vaccinated. Since Marek's remains in the soil for sometimes years, any birds that come into a flock that has/has had Marek's could get the disease. Therefore, people vaccinate to protect their chickens. In some cases, bringing a non-vaccinated bird into the flock would be a death sentence for that bird.

    If I was you, I would vaccinate the chicks. This is because Marek's is extremely prevalent and many birds do die from it. A $20.00 bottle of vaccine may only vaccinate a small number of chicks if you have small hatches, but it could save their lives. If you hatch out 20 chicks, that's $1.00 per chick on vaccine. Just raise the price of the chick when selling them. To me, that extra price and extra time it takes to vaccinate would be worth it if it prevented the customer from losing birds.
     
  3. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your input, I really appreciate that.
     
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For me yes that would be a deal breaker.
     
  6. TaylorHobbyFarms

    TaylorHobbyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are not large in comparison to most hatcheries, only hatching about 200 chicks every 2 weeks. From one small time hatcher/breeder to another, I would recommend vaccinating. Most of our customers requested this, prior to us doing it, and yes, we had some that would not buy from us without the vaccine. One thing that helped us was getting a Y-Tex Simcro bottle mount syringe 6.0 mL from Jeffers Livestock. It saves us time in having to measure out each dosage of Marek's for every chick. We just mount the bottle, set the dosage once, and with each pull of the trigger, the correct amount is given. It cost $30, but is well worth it. It takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. to vaccinate all chicks each hatch, and we have went up some on our chick prices to cover it. Rather than have to separate which ones get it, and which ones don't, we vaccinate all chicks. I hope this provides a little more insight in what to expect with offering the vaccine.
     
  7. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many chicks are you planning on hatching at one time?
     
  9. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eventually around 280 a week if consumer demand is met. So I would be throwing out over half a bottle every week. But I think y'all have convinced me that I should just vax every chick I hatch and factor the costs into the price per chick. Even at 17 bucks a bottle and 40 bucks for shipping (you can get several bottles shipped at this price), I should be able to keep my prices reasonable while offering a better product.

    That reminds me, to anyone who vaccinates chicks: whats the average shelf life on the Marek's vaccine BEFORE you mix it? I need to gauge how often I'll have to order and how many at a time.
     
  10. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So at 280 birds about $.21 per bird.Just automatically include the vaccine and add $.50 to the cost of each bird.Then you can say all your birds have been vaccinated for Mareks. Also look for a source closer to your location so you can save on the shipping costs.[​IMG]
     

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