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Get Marek's Disease Vaccination

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SouthernBYChickens, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. SouthernBYChickens

    SouthernBYChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the past 3 weeks, I have learned a very valuable lesson. Back in November of last year, when I ordered 18 baby chicks from a hatchery, I should have paid the additional 20 cents to have them vaccinate the chicks against Marek's Disease. This was probably my third batch of chicks to raise, but my first to order from a hatchery. My first 2 batches came from an older man on the way home from work. I had never heard of Marek's Disease until about 3 weeks ago. Long story short - I had a hen (appr. 4.5 months), start showing strange symptoms out of the blue: wobbly legs, sitting down all the time, and then eventually the wobbly legs turned into "can't walk" legs, and then finally a weird movement of stretching her neck out while opening her mouth. All symptoms pointed to Marek's. I watched youtube videos of other hens with it and the symptoms were all identical to my hen. Long story short - I had to put her down. Well, I had to put another one down yesterday afternoon because she started showing the same symptoms. I had to get her out quickly in hopes of her not infecting the others. Although, I imagine they are all very susceptible to it now anyway. Maybe she will be the last one. NEW CHICK FANATICS - PAY THE EXTRA 20 CENTS FOR THE MAREK'S DISEASE VACCINATION if you are ordering from a hatchery. It may save you some heartache later. Just my amateur advice. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. So sorry for your painful lesson learned. We were just given 11 chicks (they were an Easter gift for two kids gone wrong) that we know little about. They came (we think) from Tractor Supply. Sounds like I need to find out if they were vaccinated, especially since we allready have 19 older chickens- including my daughter's pet, Vanilla. Sounds like something that could infect the older crew also (?). Thanks for sharing the info.
     
  3. b737drvr

    b737drvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicks from TSC usually are NOT vaccinated, buy you should call them to find out for sure.
     
  4. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many of us have had to learn the hard way :( So sorry you had to go through this painful lesson also :( However, if you haven't gotten a definitive diagnosis through necropsy, there are several diseases that mimics Marek's. The next loss, if there is one, you should have a necropsy done. Most states have labs that will do them for little to no cost...
     
  5. SouthernBYChickens

    SouthernBYChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2011
    Alabama
    You are correct. I can't absolutely say for certain it was/is Marek's because I have not had a necropsy done on one of the dead ones. I am just assuming it is the culprit. I guess I could call one of the local vet offices and ask them where the closest place is to get that done IF I have another one that draws the short straw. I'll check into it. Thanks for the advice!!
     
  6. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are welcome. You can also call a local college that has a vet school or your cooperative extension and they should be able to direct you where you can get a necropsy done for pretty cheap. Most vets want 10x as much as the state labs...so try to go that route if you can. Although, I really hope that you never have to :)
     
  7. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olin, North Carolina
    I am sorry you lost your chicks to Marek's. I started vaccinating all of my chicks here on the farm several years ago. I get my Vaccine from Twin City Poultry. I am always hatching new chicks and I have anywhere from 100 to 200 birds at a time. The vaccine dose if for 1000 doses, but I divide it up into 10 equal parts and vaccinate each new batch of chicks. I also talk to my customers about whether their chicks are vaccinated before they add new chicks to their existing flocks. I think this is the one vaccine I couldn't do without.
    Dividing the vaccine makes it very affordable, and I share the vaccine with folks that want to vaccinate their birds. You can vaccinate older birds for this, and I vaccinate any birds that I'm not certain that they've had the vaccine.
     
  8. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    We orderd from a hatchery for the main purpose of the chicks getting vaccinated though I paid $1 a chick:( but well worth the extra dollars to keep them healthy. I told a friend who raises chickens also about me vaccinating and she didnt know much about the disease either until i explained it. She said last spring she lost an entire batch of chicks to what sounds like the symptoms of Mareks.
     
  9. USfilly

    USfilly New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2013
    I was hoping that I could vaccinate grown birds. I was given a chick in August and around the first of October, she started having problems with her leg twisting. I had never heard of this disease, but from what I have read about it online, it is pretty scary. I have not had the chicken in with my flock, thank God, but she is in a confined area with two other birds that I got the same day so I would like to vaccinate them. The drug label says one day old chicks only, but don't know why it wouldn't work on older chickens also. I will be sure to vaccinate all the chicks I get from now on. I don't want this disease here. Seems it is here forever.
     
  10. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Michigan
    Is there anyone who knows if you can vaccinate older chicks or adult chickens? I'm interested in doing this if I buy birds from someone who didn't vaccinate.
     

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