Marek's Vaccine

taribor2

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2016
10
0
25
We are hatching our own eggs in the incubator for the first time. The question is do our chicks need the marek's vaccine if both their parents were vaccinated against Marek's??
 

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ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,987
707
Cleveland OH
They would not carry any immunity from their parents. If you want them vaccinated against Mareks you will have to vaccinate each chick.
However, most chicken vaccines are not like most dog or human vaccines. Mareks in particular is a vaccine that has a strange result. The vaccinated chickens are not immune to Mareks, but instead carry and shed the disease without having symptoms, but are still Mareks positive. Also the vaccine is nowhere near 100% effective, so if your chickens come in contact with Mareks they will carry it and transmit it to other chickens and you will have some losses (and Mareks in your flock) regardless of the vaccinations. You can find out more about Mareks from this guide;
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
 

Joeschooks

Just clucking around
Feb 7, 2018
3,170
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752
Hampshire, UK
My Coop
My Coop
They would not carry any immunity from their parents. If you want them vaccinated against Mareks you will have to vaccinate each chick.
However, most chicken vaccines are not like most dog or human vaccines. Mareks in particular is a vaccine that has a strange result. The vaccinated chickens are not immune to Mareks, but instead carry and shed the disease without having symptoms, but are still Mareks positive. Also the vaccine is nowhere near 100% effective, so if your chickens come in contact with Mareks they will carry it and transmit it to other chickens and you will have some losses (and Mareks in your flock) regardless of the vaccinations. You can find out more about Mareks from this guide;
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
X2.

It is a myth that you cannot mix vaccinated and unvaccinated birds, but just beware that it’s possible that your vaccinated birds are carriers of Mareks and never showed any symptoms. Mareks is not passed vertically (ie from parent to chick) but if the parents were to be unknown carriers then the chicks would become infected. The vaccine is usually sold by the 1000 doses so it’s not usually economical or practical for the hobby hatcher to vaccinate.
 

keesmom

Free Ranging
12 Years
Jul 28, 2008
10,711
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MA
No, you do not have to vaccinate them because the parents were.

The Marek's vaccine that is given to chickens is a strain found in turkeys. It can't cause disease and/or make chickens carriers of the disease, or shed the virus. It doesn't even prevent chickens from contracting Marek's and becoming carriers, all it does is prevent the tumors from forming and killing the chicken.

You will have to decide whether or not you feel your breeders are carriers.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,744
44,233
1,156
southern Michigan
When I buy hatchery chicks, I have them vaccinated against Marek's disease. Chicks hatched here aren't vaccinated. So far my flock doesn't have Marek's disease, thanks to good luck and careful biosecurity on my part. I necropsy every bird, to keep track of issues.
Vaccinated chicks need to be isolated from possible exposure to the disease for two to three weeks, to develop immunity.
Many/ most of us don't vaccinate home bred chicks. BUT if you do have Marek's disease in your flock, by all means do it!
Mary
 

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