Do you vaccinate your chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by igorsMistress, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
  1. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Little doggy in tow Premium Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    I've been reading about vaccinating chick for Mareks, but was curious how many people do so.
  2. JohnCoturnix

    JohnCoturnix Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2017
    I've never vaccinated any of my chicks and I've never had chicks dying of Mareks disease.
    wyldflwr likes this.
  3. I bought my Chickens as Mereks vaccinated but do not vaccinate my Broody Hatched Chicks...I know a Lady who lost all her 30 Birds to Mereks last summer...She now raises goats.....
    wyldflwr likes this.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't and it's never been a problem. When I first ordered chicks after moving here I chatted with a chicken medicine expert I was put in touch with through the county extension office. He is on the team that investigates chicken disease outbreaks in this area. He said there had been one case or Marek's reported in my county in the previous two years and that wasn't very close to me. Not all cases are reported but that did not seem like an epidemic to me. Some people live where it is much more of a problem.

    For the Marek's vaccine to be effective, the chicks need to be isolated from possible carriers for two to three weeks after vaccination. My brooder is in the coop and I often have broody hens raising chicks, mine are not going to get that separation so vaccinating them would be a waste. Marek's can spread through the air.

    The Marek's vaccination does not prevent them from getting Marek's and being a carrier. They can still become infected. The vaccine is a strain of Turkey Marek's that prevents the tumors that cause the problems from developing.

    Not all chickens that get Marek's show symptoms. Many seem to have an immunity to it. Marek's seldom wipes out your entire flock, but it can be pretty devastating. 30% to 60% casualties are more normal but even those rates can be really hard to live with. And sometimes the rate is 100%.

    Different hatcheries have different costs to vaccinate your chicks, but usually it's not prohibitively expensive. Getting them vaccinated does not make them a carrier, they will not give it to other chickens because they were vaccinated. it also will not prevent them from being a carrier if they happen to get it, they just won't have the symptoms.

    It's your personal choice. I don't see anything that will hurt them by getting them vaccinated.
    Wickedchicken6 and wyldflwr like this.

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