Mareks - can a chick be vaccinated twice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by k6mms, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. k6mms

    k6mms New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Hello all,

    I am new both to the forum and to raising chickens. I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before.

    I have four hens that I purchased from a reputable dealer. These hens have been vaccinated for Mareks. Additionally, I recently purchased three 5-day-old chicks from a different vendor. These chicks were NOT vaccinated.

    I took it upon myself to vaccinate the chicks, as they will be eventually introduced to the hens this spring. I purchased the vaccine and followed all the proper handling directions. I watched a few Youtube videos to see exactly how to handle the chicks during the procedure. Needless to say, it was a nightmare. All the chicks survived, but I cannot say for sure that all of them were successfully vaccinated.

    My question is this: since I am not sure if the chicks were correctly vaccinated at 4 days old, can I re-vaccinate them again when they are a month old? I imagine that the vaccinated process would be considerable easier, especially since their little bodies are much more substantial and it should be easier to get a proper subcutaneous injection at that time.

    To be clear, I am NOT asking whether of not the chicks should be vaccinated at all, since all you need to do is a quick Google search to realize that there are as many opinions on this topic as there are users on the internet. I also am not looking to get into a discussion as to what the appropriate age is to vaccinate chicks, as again, there are 1.1 million different opinions on this subject as well.

    Thanks,
    Lenny B.
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    No, the Mareks vaccine needs to be given when they are a few days old.
     
  3. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't believe that re-vaccinating will hurt them. Like you said, you'll find many opinions on the web with regard to vaccinating for Marek's. From what I've gathered, you can vaccinate at any age, however, there may be some argument on the efficacy of the vaccine once given at a later age and, it is my understanding that the vaccine will only prevent the tumors from forming. There are some members of this forum who, because of Marek's in their flock, they vaccinate their birds yearly. One school of thinking is to keep any new vaccinated chicks completely quarantined from any existing birds (meaning keep them off any ground existing chickens may have travelled upon as well) for a period of 5-6 mos, giving them time to build up an immunity to the disease, however, this isn't a sure fire way of preventing Marek's from rearing it's ugly head as this disease can strike at any age.
     
  4. k6mms

    k6mms New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Yes, I guess the question could be posed this way: what if I received chicks and had no idea if they were vaccinated or not? I might then want to vaccinate them myself and if so, what harm would that cause?

    The topic of Mareks itself is quite frustrating as it appears as if no one really understands why they do what they do. I can point to several opinions from veternarians on the web: some state they must be vaccinated upon hatching, some say the next day, some say at three weeks, and some say anytime. The logical conclusion is that no one truly understands the whys and wherefors of vaccination practices. It sort of: "we've always done it that way"

    Of course a chick must be vaccinated before they come into contact with the virus, otherwise there vaccination will be of no good. It's because of this basic fact that most tend to panic and want to vaccinate as soon as possible. However, what happens if a chick recieves an additional dose after the initial dose has been applied?
     
  5. IckyMcChicky

    IckyMcChicky New Egg

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    I was looking for an answer to the same thing, as I just obtained 25 baby chicks.
    It's too bad that no one answered it better.
    Come on guys... :{
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    In Europe, Great Britain, I believe perform two Mareks vaccines, but I don't know details. I know in this country there are as many as 3 different Mareks vaccines. This is a topic I know very little about.
     

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