Marek's Vaccine Serotype 3 for chickens: safe to use around turkeys?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by GardenerGal, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be vaccinating chickens for Marek's, and the most accessible vaccine is a live virus of the turkey strain. I currently do not have turkeys, but may want to keep some again in the future. My guess is that as long as turkeys are not exposed to the live virus directly, they will not contract Marek's. The chickens will develop antibodies but will not shed turkey herpes virus, is this correct?
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    That's the idea. However consider this: when I vaccinate my horses with live vaccines, the horse(s) should be kept away from other horses for 30 days. Then I can mix everyone again.

    Contact the manufactuer of the vaccine. THey should be able to answer your question. It's a good one for someone who has both turkeys and chickens being vaccinated at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  3. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Arielle! I'm contacting the manufacturer.
     
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Are these young chicks, teens or adults? I word of caution..... I have recently vaccinated young birds about 2-3 months old and had them come down with Mareks like symptoms, despite the company saying it should not hurt. This is the 3rd time. Just be aware it can happen.... especially in sensitive breeds like Silkies & Polish
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Gardeners Gal--I hope you will post your information from the manufactuer. I have turkeys now, too!

    Chickenzoo-- good to know. Have you confirmed the diagnosis?

    I have read here on BYC that Mereks vaccine needs to be given at 1 day old. If this is the manufacturers labled use, that should be followed. I was curious as to whether it could be given at an older age as so many birds are a bit of an unknown on their history. I ask every time at the feed store and get different answers. Most vaccines work at any age, like in humans, if you are traveling abroad you get special vaccinations for the diseases in that area. Sometimes, a specific vaccine is an exception; package labeling should be followed.
     
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    When i talked to the manufacture they explained it is recommended for day olds, as at any other age they could get exposed to the virus in their environment. They said however that vaccinating older birds should have no complications, since most are exposed already in the environment anyway. I have found however out of vaccinating 2-3 months old 1/2 mybantam Frizzled Polish chicks came down with Mareks like Symptoms and had to be put down. Some of my young Silke Chicks also. It happened on 3 different occasions 2 -3 years apart, birds were fine and healthy until vaccine, declined a week later, lost 2, few weeks others showed symptoms worsening and declined. I have vaccinated many older birds and most are fine, but the more delicate birds seem to have problems with older vaccination, in my experience........ [​IMG]
     
  7. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ChickenZoo,
    That is really helpful information. I also found that the vaccine should be used on 1-day-old chicks. My understanding is that with older birds, since the herpes viruses that cause Marek's is in the soil, wind, anywhere that gallinaceous bird species live (chickens, guineas, turkeys, pheasants), any bird older than 1-day will most probably have been exposed. Since I have had Marek's in my barn (chickens), it's a given.

    But, I would think that if older birds have been exposed this way, that if they haven't actually developed Marek's they must have some kind of resistance built up. So, the vaccine shouldn't be harmful, just useless since the birds already have antibodies built up in their systems. I have a line of bantams that appear to have a genetic resistance to Marek's, and in several generations of that line only a couple developed the disease, and at a very young age.

    What is most interesting is that the turkey-strain herpes virus caused Marek's symptoms in your birds. That would indicate that the turkey strain can in fact affect chickens. If that's really true, it would mean that they would shed the turkey-strain virus, and would then be carriers of the turkey strain Marek's. So, it would not be safe to keep turkeys. Arielle, I'm re-thinking getting more turkeys now unless they are vaccientated.

    Now I wonder if the Marek's vaccine used for turkeys is made from the chicken strain herpes virus?
    This is confusing. [​IMG]
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I've not had them tested, but it is very peculiar that it only happened to those 2-3 month olds that got vaccinated, on those separate occasions, with separate birds. [​IMG]
    I have had a lot of Turkeys and never had them show Mareks symptoms, and also never vaccinated them for it.
     
  9. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most likely chicken-strain Marek's is much more common. I've never heard of turkeys getting Marek's.
    So strange about your chickens getting Marek's from a vaccination though. It just makes it look like the strains are so similar there can be crossover with chickens getting sick from turkey-strain virus vaccine.

    I'll bet that not much research has been done because the big veterinary pharmaceutical industry doesn't see any profits in it. [​IMG]
     
  10. Seamus

    Seamus New Egg

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    So strange about your chickens getting Marek's from a vaccination though

    Just wondering, is there any way to know how long had the vaccine been open? When the bottle/vial has been hydrated/exposed to air for >1hr, it becomes ineffective, or likewise when the temperature >27degrees Celsius.

    We lost one copper black just over a week ago to suspected Mareks, although the supplier vaccinated her as a 1 day old, we're wondering how well the vaccine was stored/handled. Although we segregated at first symptoms, another hen is showing the early symptoms (limp).

    Seamus​
     

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