Feeding organic, and not getting my chicks vaccinated.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by book313, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. A. Yes

    11 vote(s)
    52.4%
  2. A. No

    9 vote(s)
    42.9%
  3. B. Yes

    9 vote(s)
    42.9%
  4. B. No

    12 vote(s)
    57.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. book313

    book313 Just Hatched

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    I will be getting at least 6 chicks later this week, and am trying to find people who sell organic chicks. So far I have at least one option. Being that I would be getting organic chicks, that mean the chicks will NOT be vaccinated. I am interested to see who else is getting organic chicks, is raising them organic, and did not get there chicks vaccinated.
    There are lots of discussions about humans getting there vaccinations. But there does not seem to be many arguments about vaccinating your chicks. Have most of you vaccinated your chicks?

    I don't think vaccinating them will do any good. I am a christian and live in the country. If the chicks and chickens get sick, they were meant to get sick. Or, we did not care for them correctly (hopefully not!)

    Please comment and express your opinion on the discussion about feeding chicks/chickens organic feed. And whether or not we should really vaccinate our chicks...

    Have you ever thought that maybe you were harming yourself and the chicks if you vaccinated the chicks?
     
  2. zephyricle

    zephyricle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With vaccinations, it can be iffy. You can vaccinate, or buy vaccinated or try to breed for resistance. Some people just don't wet to spend the time going through the long process of breeding. With organic chicks (how you say) there is possibility of disease and deficiencies like Merrick's disease. Some don't want to deal with sick and dieing chicks
    It's really what the owner has to lose no what they are up for.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Usually, if you want vaccinated chicks, you have to ask for it to be done and there is added charges to the cost of the chicks. For that reason, the vast majority of chicks are unvaccinated. And vaccines work very differently in poultry than they do for mammals. Most vaccines for chickens do not prevent the bird from contracting the virus, it just prevents the bird from exhibiting symptoms. That means a flock that is vaccinated as chicks can contract and become carriers of an illness without the owner ever knowing, and can pass that illness to any unvaccinated birds.
    Some people already have things like Mareks in their flocks and have no choice but order only vaccinated chicks if they need to add to their flock.
     
  4. book313

    book313 Just Hatched

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    Thank you for your opinions. zephyricle and junebuggena, you both own some chicks or chickens correct? Do you feed them organic feed? And did you vaccinate them?

    (You can vote at the poll above my previous/first post!)
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I do not feed organic feed. It isn't available at local feed stores. No vaccinations here. If my flock contracts something serious, I want to know about.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Look up the standards for having organic poultry, if that's what you plan to do. It's fine to have chicks vaccinated against Marek's disease, and it can be a very good idea, depending on your flock environment. Organic feed needs to be available and fresh in your area, or it's not going to be practical for your birds. This includes having no herbicides and very limited types of pesticides available, and only feeding organic rated feed and kitchen scraps. I have both vaccinated and unvaccinated (for Marek's) birds in my flock, and that's fine too. Chicks ordered from hatcheries can be vaccinated there, and if fed organic feed only after they arrive at your farm, can be organic. You will spend more for feed, and have to follow the proticals. This does NOT mean letting birds suffer and die for lack of treatment if they become ill! Those birds then join your non-organic flock. Mary
     
  7. zephyricle

    zephyricle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't feed mine organic much because they don't like the organic feed avaliable. I have some picky hens.
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Organic chicks can be hard to find. The National Organic Program does not require organic hens to be raised from organic chicks. Chicks must be raised organically from the second day of life (it is assumed the chick is living on the yolk sac from the mother hen's egg for the first day). Thus hatcheries do not incur the expense of keeping organic breeder flocks. You might be able to find organic chicks from a small-scale breeder, but I'd think that very, very few of them would be certified organic. They may claim to be organic, but without third-party verification, you are going to have to figure out what "organic" means to them.

    Organic production does not preclude vaccination. Most hens in commercial organic egg production are vaccinated against a dozen different diseases. Vaccines are considered natural biologicals unless they are genetically modified via gene splicing or deletion. GMO vaccines aren't allowed in organic production, but as far as I know, there are no GMO poultry vaccines in widespread use.

    I don't understand your thoughts that "If the chicks and chickens get sick, they were meant to get sick". Marek's is ubiquitous in the environment, you can take the chance that your birds will develop a natural immunity to it, or that the little darlings that you cared for and fawned over for months on end will all of the sudden flounder and die. Vaccinating them doesn't leave that immunity to chance. Other diseases aren't as common, but your flock can be completely decimated (and your property left unsuitable for poultry for years) by tracking something from the feed store, farm auction, or county fair back to your farm on your boots.
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    As far as the organic feed thing goes, that is up to you. Why are you considering it? Do you think it may be healthier for you (no GMOS, no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers on the grains that your hens are eating), or that it is better for the grain farmers and the environment? Or a little of both? (I do feed organic feed, but then again I make a living selling USDA Certified Organic eggs).

    There is one other thing I would like to throw out there... In my opinion, if you choose to feed organic feed (which will be more expensive), stick with the entire organic program and avoid any antibiotics, chemical dewormers, etc. I see a lot of folks on these forums that say they want to raise chickens for eggs or meat so they know where their food comes from, and that it's all natural and "organic" (whether they know what organic means or not), but as soon as Miss Fluffy Butt shows any kind of problem they are off to the feed store for antibiotics and chemical medications. So, don't negate whatever value that organic feed holds for you by not following the rest of the program...
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Check out this PBS news segment: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/tthis-chicken-vaccine-makes-virus-dangerous/

    I ferment my feed. No organic feed here. IMO, it's all hype. I simply buy the most economical feed I can get (the nutrient % and the ingredients are essentially identical to those in the more expensive brands). However, When I purchase a bag of feed, I expect it to be less than 3 weeks old. (check the mill date on the end of the bag). I have walked out of the feed store on multiple occasions, refusing to buy feed b/c it is as much as 3 months old.

    No vaccination here. Simply good animal husbandry, deep litter management, feed practices and chick management that get those guts loaded with beneficial bacteria and fungi so the birds have a healthy immune system.
    Closed flock. I am blessed to have a large population of wild turkeys. As many as 20 turkeys will come calling at once. Turkeys carry a less virulent strain of marek's disease which = natural environmental immunization.

    No medicated feed here. Never had issues with cocci. Chicks get FF as well as getting early exposure to yard soil while they have the strongest antibodies from their mothers. (within the first 2 weeks)

    If I ever have a sick bird, it gets culled. Have never had a bird that was actually ill.
     
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