Mareks vaccine

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hatchboy1, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. hatchboy1

    hatchboy1 Chirping

    Sep 11, 2008
    can I vaccinate chicks that are a few days to a week old I have mareks and it is reeking havoc on my flock! I have two hens hatched out and 1 is two days old and one is a week old!
  2. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

    Mar 21, 2016
    Maine, USA
    My Coop
    As far as I know, MD vaccines are really only effective in about the first 48 hours of life, preferably given in the first 24. If I'm wrong on that, I'm sure others will point it out.

    How long has MD been active in your flock? If it has been longer than a week is there a chance the chicks may already have been exposed to it? If one is about two days old I don't THINK there's any harm in trying - BUT I have no direct experience as our girls were vaccinated at their hatchery the day they were born.

    I know some keepers that have flocks that have been hit hard by MD pull through. The keepers have to resign themselves to knowing as long as they keep chickens they will perpetually have MD and have to adapt that. I do not know what's involved in that, but it is possible. "Life after Marek's" if you will.

    The only other option is to lose the entire flock and sanitize the entire environment. I have NO idea what measures are required for that to actually be effective.

    Apologies, I can't offer any real help. We've been lucky enough to not have to battle it. Sorry for the troubles with your flock - wishing you all the best!
  3. cityfeet

    cityfeet In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2015
    West Tennessee
    I am no expert by any means and am researching this myself. There seems to be more opinions than definitive answers (which never sets my mind at ease lol)

    The common ground is that 24 hours is the standard. I am personally leaning towards believing that this timeframe exists not because the vaccine is less effective, but because that is the timeframe the chick leaves the incubator or begins drying off and taking steps away from mama hen. The vaccine is teaching the baby chick's body to defend itself, and I feel it could learn that on day 7 or 10 just as easily as on day 1.

    So if the key is exposure, I suppose the answer depends on how old your chicks are and what their exposure level has been. Keep in mind I've read several things pointing to the fact that you can introduce your flock to MD simply by returning home from visiting a friend with chickens that are carriers. This is important because even if your brooder is inside, you could have exposed them to MD before they see sunlight.

    That said, I have not read anything where the vaccine can be harmful to chicks older than 24 hours. So, for me, I've decided to spend the $30 and hope for the best on mine that hatched on Easter Sunday. They may be 2 weeks old when I give it, but worst case scenario is that it doesn't do any good.

    If someone with more knowledge and experience disagrees, stop me now! LOL

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