Marek's vs Non-Marek's in the same brooder???


8 Years
Feb 20, 2011
Rural Michigan
We are expecting a shipment of 30-odd chicks in about 2 weeks, all vaccinated for Marek's. This past week, however, we broke down and bought 7 chicks from TSC. The TSC manager confirmed that these chicks are NOT vaccinated for Marek's. We're concerned about putting the new arrivals in with these unvaccinated ones. There is no Marek's on our acreage, but will the vaccinated chicks shed the virus and infect the unvaccinated chicks? Our thoughts were to give the new arrivals a week to get over the shock of shipping and become acclimated to their new home before introducing the older chicks, since they're all going to share the same coop eventually. Should we wait a little longer to introduce them? Or not introduce them at all but keep them separate until adulthood (which would not be convenient at all)? Any advice would be appreciated.
Sorry to sound like a neophyte -- we've never bought non-vaccinated chicks before! -- but we just want to clarify. The vaccinated chicks that are arriving cannot infect our non-vaccinated chicks, because Marek's does not shed from bird to bird. Do we have that down right? My husband is very confused, and I suppose I am as well!

My husband also wants to know how our non-vaccinated chicks could contract Marek's. I believe that it's airborne and transmitted from infected birds, while he is afraid that our non-vaccinated chicks can get it by pecking at the vaccinated chicks' poop.

Ugh. We just want to protect these 7 little chicks. Thanks for replying!
The vaccine virus does not spread bird to bird. I specifically asked the Vet at Fort Dodge about this a couple years ago.

Yes, your unvaccinated birds could contract mareks if they are exposed to the virus. (not the vaccine)
OK! So once the new ones have acclimated, we can introduce them to their unvaccinated siblings and not worry about the older chicks getting wiped out. Phew! Thanks very much... now we just have to make sure that they aren't exposed to anyone from a local poultry farm that might have it. We appreciate you taking the time to set us straight on this!

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