How concerned should I be purchasing birds not vaccinated against Mareks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Wissa38, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Wissa38

    Wissa38 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2012
    Hi,

    I've been looking for pullets in my area and most of those I'm finding are from private breeders in the area, small farms or those belonging to bird fancier clubs. When I ask if the birds have been immunized against Mareks they all say no, and seem to think it's unusual to ask.

    I only have two grown birds right now, both of which came immunized. How concerned should I be about having a non immunized flock?

    Thanks
     
  2. snoopysflock

    snoopysflock Out Of The Brooder

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    that is fine the vaccine does not always work any way. i have been buying non vaccinated for years and no problems.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I buy vaccinated chicks if possible, but many small breeders just don't spend the money on the vaccine. It's essential if you get Marek's disease in your flock, otherwise it's fine without the vaccine. I have both vaccinated and unvaccinated birds, and don't have the disease in my flock. I am paranoid about biosecurity and very careful about buying chicks. Never do I get older birds or random source birds. Mary
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My understanding is that it's not that common of a disease. Wild turkeys in the area make it less likely for your flock to be infected with Marek's. And, the disease is not prevented by the vaccine, just symptoms lessened. Also, at least one major hatchery does not recommend the vaccine for the back yard flock. If chickens have a normal immunity, and are not kept in a commercial, overcrowded, high stress coop, they are not likely to get infected. But, once you have it in your flock, it would then be wise to vaccinate any new poultry coming in.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    The big problem with Marek's disease is that once your flock is infected, their entire area is contaminated for years; it won't go away. The vaccine prevents infected birds from getting the nasty tumors, but preventing the disease from arriving on your property is so much better. That's why biosecurity is your best defense. Mary
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Poultry experts I have talked to recommend vaccination of day- old chicks if possible; in case the disease arrives, those birds will do much better. Mary
     
  7. LovemyBabies

    LovemyBabies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We get ours vaccinated if we buy from a hatchery since they come from a place that has mass birds- non of our hatched get it currently, but we're looking into getting it done
     
  8. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Most people I know with small flocks don't have theirs vaccinated.
    Most of mine are not, but the ones I bought from the hatchery, I ordered vaccinated.
    So about half and half of my flock is vaccinated.
     
  9. LovemyBabies

    LovemyBabies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's about what ours is - we don't have a "small" flock - so we'd rather be safe than sorry with our lot - we figure since our hatchery birds are done, our hatched are less likely to have any issues - and few years later we have yet to have an outbreak of anything... except the outbreak of "chicken math" -- lol
     

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