Mareks vaccine?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
Hi All,
I posted this somewhere else but I didn't get any reply. I have 6 healthy hens that I got last July,which were vaccinated for Mareks. I had 4 chicks arrive today that I forgot to have vaccinated. Can the older girls pose a threat to the new girls? Does the vaccine continue to shed? Does anyone have a flock with both vaccinated and unvaccinated chickens? I was thinking of picking up a few at TSC but I know that those are unvaccinated as well.
Please Help!

Thanks so much!
Shelley in PA
I had some four year old chickens that had been vaccinated, and I added some chicks from a farm store that I am sure were not. I did not know at the time that vaccinated chickens shed the virus or I would not have taken the chance, but I did not have any problems.
Don't worry too much about some being vaccinated with the Marek's vaccine. The vaccine itself is not contagious. The Marek's vaccine is actually turkey Marek's, not chicken Marek's. It does not prevent Marek's. It prevents the symptoms of Marek's.

Marek's does its damage by causing lesions to grow on organs or in joints. The turkey Marek's prevents those lesions from growing. This does not mean it prevents the chicken from catching chicken Marek's. It does not. It is possible your older chickens have Marek's. You would never know because you would not see the symptoms.

I wish the vaccine continues to shed, but it does not. Turkey Marek's does not live in chickens. Chicken Marek's does continue to shed. If a chicken ever gets chicken Marek's, it is a carrier for life.
WOW! I love reading BYC I just learned something new!I had no clue that mercks sheds I just got 4 new chicks to add to my 6mths old .
and i didn't know that they could live with mercks.I always thought the would die if they got it.
There are different types of Marek's that affects them differently. I'm going by memory which is dangerous, but I'm pretty sure some types affect the organs, some types affect the joints (which can cripple them), and another type blinds them. I was told that the type of crippling Marek's normally around these parts affects the wings and legs while other types in other parts of the country mostly affects the neck.

Sometimes Marek's can wipe out a whole flock. Sometimes less than half a flock shows any signs of Marek's effecting them. Once it is in your flock, every bird has it and can give it to other chickens, but not every chicken always shows signs. Marek's in never a good thing but it can be managed if you know you have it in your flock.

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