Marek’s disease vaccinations

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CrazyChickenLady15, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. CrazyChickenLady15

    CrazyChickenLady15 In the Brooder

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    Hello everyone,

    I want to raise chicks this spring to add to my flock. However I’m concerned because I lost a hen to marek’s disease this past summer. I currently have a small flock, three hens and a rooster. I rushed into them a little and got them from an unknown source (lesson learned). So my whole flock was exposed to the marek’s. Is it safe for me to add new birds to my flock? If the chicks are vaccinated will they be protected?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    I believe if they are vaccinated, raised indoors, and fed medicated feed for the first three weeks they should be fine.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Please note that Marek's vaccination prevents tumor formation, it does not prevent infection by the virus. That said, since you have Marek's (was this confirmed?) it would probably be best to have the chicks vaccinated.

    Vaccinated chicks need to be brooded separately (away/quarantined) from your flock for the first 3wks so they can build up some "immunity". https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/neoplasms/marek’s-disease-in-poultry

    Medicated feed has nothing to do with prevention of Marek's. Medicated feed in the US most commonly contains a very small amount of Amprol/Amprolium which is a Coccidiostat - this may help prevent an overload of Coccidiosis.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

    Sorry you had a loss. :( Did you have it verified with necropsy?

    Just wanna say that sooner or later your birds would have been exposed to Marek's anyways, IF it wasn't already at your place and just chose then to take advantage of some other weakness your gal had going on. But it can be brought in by any wild bird that visits your yard. According to my state poultry vet at UC Davis, Marek's is considered to be in EVERY poultry environment. AND isn't even part of the testing required for NPIP certification. So you could get it even from NPIP sources. :barnie

    NPIP is partly to protect our food supply chain. Those chicken factory type places surely have all their birds vaccinated.

    If you do get your new chicks vaccinated... and they are exposed, then they will be carries as well... but probably won't succumb to the symptoms or display them. SO if that's your version of protected then yes it will protect them. Seem like the efficacy rate I read on the vaccine was pretty high. In the 90%'s.

    I personally choose not to vaccinate because I breed my birds and want to develop natural resistance. If I see Marek's symptoms pop up I cull to limit the spread of the dander and such. But everybody has different goals.

    Yes, it is safe to add new birds to your flock. They either will or won't be brought down by the disease. Out of 82 birds I lost only 2 at 3 weeks apart a long time ago. Have gotten and hatched plenty of birds since then without issue.

    If you haven't already seen this article, it's quite a fantastic resource with very accurate information...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/

    Why medicated feed? It just blocks thiamine to starve out cocci that are in EVERY single chicken poo. And it ONLY slows their growth it doesn't kill them. The medicated part can be completely avoided simply by not over crowding your brooder, keeping your shavings dry, and not letting any stray poos sit in the water dish. Believe it not they do have their own resistance. Cocci is ONLY an issue when allowed to bloom out of control... which IS more likely to happen in warm/humid conditions like that of a brooder. Doesn't mean it will. I have raised chicks for years without the need for medicated feed. Of course some people contend with their weather or other factors contributing.

    My chicks are usually making short trip to pasture by 3 weeks. And by a few days old I bring in some dirt from the yard to help build their immunity before full time exposure. But I don't know if there is guideline that has the need for the vaccination to develop before exposure since I haven't yet vaccinated for Marek's.

    I know they offer a cocci vaccine that is voided if you feed medicated. My choice in neither. Because even though your feed medicated or get the vaccine for cocci doesn't it won't happen and you might still have to treat. So it's a false sense of security and a $ making option for places that do offer it.

    The MDV vaccine is affordable enough. Sounds like it could be a good choice for this situation. :pop
     
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  5. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    I knew I read somewhere that medicated feed helps with something. Must’ve gotten Marek’s and cocci mixed up.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    No worries:) There are so many things to keep up with.
     
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  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    It's so easy to get things mixed up. :he

    Marek's can ONLY be vaccinated for soon after hatch. After that there is NO help for Marek's other than natural resistance. (one gene was identified) :hmm

    Of course not doing things to attract more wild birds can HELP diminish your probability, in theory. Well, even if it doesn't reduce Marek's (since it is said to be EVERYWHERE).. it does reduce other things like parasites (worms, lice, mites) which can take a toll on the system and weaken a bird just enough to become real ugly.
     
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  8. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    I don’t have the space to breed my chickens so my only option for the time being is to get vaccinated chicks.
     
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  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    That's OK! Even people who do have the space may prefer vaccinated chicks. We all have different goals and understandings. ;)

    Vaccinations aren't necessarily a bad thing! They have proven very effective in many cases and even more useful than that in general. If I had a limit to what I could afford to face or lose then I might change my mind. And still might. There are pro's and con's to both. Hard decisions some times! :hmm

    In the case of the OP I probably WOULD vaccinate the new chicks. :)
     
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  10. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    When I have my own property and start to breed sebrights, I won’t vaccinate them because I’ll be breeding for resistance.
     

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