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Do feed stores generally order vaccinated chicks (marek's)? Should I?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ArizonaDesertChicks, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    I've purchased most of my chickens as baby chicks from the local feed store - they get them from a hatchery. I'm about to order chicks straight from an online hatchery for the first time and am unsure as to whether or not I should pay extra for the mareks vaccine. If the feed stores don't order vaccinated chicks, then my entire flock is already not vaccinated (they've been very healthy).
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    As I understand it, if you introduce vaccinated chicks, they will shed the disease, as it is a live vaccine, so you would be introducing Marek's to your current flock with the vaccinated chicks.

    I have not heard of feed stores ordering the vaccination in their chicks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2009
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Quote:I agree on both parts.

    I doubt that the feed store would buy vaccinated chicks, that would cost extra and lower their profits. If you are unsure whether the chicks from the feed store are vaccinated you can call the feed store and ask them. I doubt that they were.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  4. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Thanks so much Dawn & Shelley. I had not heard of the possiblity of an unvaccinated flock catching mareks by being with vaccinated chickens.

    I was guessing that the feed stores wouldn't have paid extra, but wasn't sure. I forgot to call today and they're closed right now. My flock came from 2 different feed stores & I also have a few 12-14 week old chickens that I hatched from purchased eggs and those pullets are definitely not vaccinated.

    I guess I'll skip the vaccine.
     
  5. lisamarie

    lisamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    from what i can tell in my area, all of the feed stores purchase vaccinated chicks from the hatcheries. apparently, marek's is prevalent here in northern california (don't know that for sure since i just moved here, but saw it posted by someone who sells chicks here).
    lisa
     
  6. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    I just called the feed store where the majority of my chickens came from and they do not buy vaccinated chicks. I asked them if they knew if people in my area vaccinated their chicks after purchasing them and he said he had never heard of anyone doing that.
     
  7. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    My local feed store always gets their's Marek's Vaccinated from Privet and that's why I got mine from them in Feb 09.

    Two others in the area don't and sell theirs for cheaper but it is worth it to me to spend a little extra.

    I just ordered the MPC Rainbow Pullet special - 25 chicks for 41.50 FREE Shipping. Paid 40 cents each ($10.00) for the Mareks.

    Totally worth it in my mind. I do everything I can to protect my girls from sickness, preditors alike.

    Being a new chicken Mom this spring, it's important to me to raise happy healthy girls.
     
  8. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Bought ours from the local lumber/ranch store and theirs are vaccinated as well.
     
  9. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    I can't speak for every vaccine out there, an I'm not a vet ... disclaimers aside, I don't think you can introduce Marek's from vaccination. That would make no sense ... think about it ... you would "vaccinate" by injecting the disease? You'd be infecting the bird you vacciated!

    "Live virus" vaccines typically use either a related virus that does not affect the species being vaccinated (it is similar enough to the condition you vaccinate against that the body's response provides immunity), or uses what is referred to as an attenuated virus. The latter retains the characteristics of the virus itself, and prompts the body to develop immunities to that virus, but the vaccine virus has been rendered non-infective (or in some cases, it reproduces, but exremely slowly).

    Polio and measels vaccines are examples of live virus vaccines used for humans. Look up "attenuated virus" for more info on how these work. (There are issues with using some types of attenuated virus vacines, as remutations can occur ... but that's a whole 'nother story).

    I don't know anything about chicken vaccination ... but from what I've been able to find, the original vaccine used HVT from turkeys to provoke an immune response,. Marek's has become resistant to that approach, and the vaccine you are likely to get now is a combination of HVT and attenuated MDV. That sounds fairly consistant with how "live vaccines" might be applied to human conditions, so I expect it's an accurate indication of how Marek's vaccinations work in chickens. Assuming that's correct, you could not cause Markek's with such a vaccine because you're injecting an attenuated Marek's.

    It's an ongoing argument as to whether to vaccinate, or to try to breed for immunity, though.

    As for mixing vaccinated chicks into a non-vaccinated flock, I would guess that the existing flock could harbor carriers, and could harm un-vaccinated chicks, but I don't think introducing vaccinated chicks would risk the existing flock any more than bringing in un-vaccinated chicks would. (Mareks' vaccination causes resistance in the vaccinated chick, but it does not sterilize, so you could still bring in Marek's even on a vaccinated chick).

    If you chose to vaccinate, you could vaccinate your existing flock, and then either order vaccinated chicks, or vaccinate your chicks when they arrive.

    I've not found vaccinations for small quantities of birds, but it still costs only a few $$ for the vaccine.
     
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Adair Co., KY
    Taken from http://www.poultryhealthcentre.com/mainpages/birds/Poultry/Mareks%20Disease%20file%20for%20Backyard%20flocks.pdf

    "Are vaccinated birds risky to non vaccinated ones at poultry shows?
    As stated above chickens once infected with MD virus (irrespective of whether it is vaccine virus or field virus) remain infected for the rest of their life and shed the virus into the environment. Furthermore, if they are vaccinated, they can carry and shed both the vaccine virus and the field virus at the same time, Other birds in their environment can pick up these viruses. The vaccine virus will however, not make them sick. The field virus can do so, if all the necessary conditions are present at the same time."
     

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