Mareks!!

backyardinosaur

Songster
5 Years
May 9, 2016
30
50
114
Hi everyone,

I’m raising chickens (silkies) for the first time. Recently, I bought two 4 day old chicks from a great place that raises chickens for backyard flocks and the like. I also had four mail-ordered eggs hatch in my incubator about a week after that. I put them all in a big plastic container with a divider in the middle to separate the older two from the younger ones.

I wasn’t aware of the dangers of Marek’s or even that vaccinating chicks is recommended, and I’m only just learning how hugely contagious and deadly it is. The farm I bought the chicks from vaccinates their chicks, but obviously I didn’t vaccinate my hatched ones. I know all of the chicks came in contact with each other in some form or another. Is it highly likely my hatched chicks will get Marek’s? Should I expect the worst, and is it too late to vaccinate them? If not, can I vaccinate them myself since I live an hour and a half from a vet who vaccinated chickens? Is it fairly easy and would it be worth it at this point?

Thanks so much for any advice. I’m pretty stressed about the situation.

Thank you,
Lauren
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
204
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111
Douglasville, GA
Is there any reason you believe they have mareks? Or are you stressed because it’s possible? Also if there is mareks exposure, they’ve already been exposed and there’s no point in vaccinating them. I’d follow quarantine protocol if you have an existing flock, usually not an issue because brooders are typically separate from coops (articles on quarantine on BYC). But other than that just watch them and try to enjoy them.
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
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A little more info - the woman I bought the chicks from kept them all in a brooder. They weren’t hatched by a mother hen.
If your hatched chicks have not been outdoors yet and they are under two weeks old then you can still vaccinate them. May or may not help but at least there is a chance. I vaccinate all my birds against Marek’s disease. Silkies are highly susceptible to this disease. You can buy the vaccine, if not at your local feed store, than either Valley Vet or Jeffers Pet online. Cost about 30 bucks for a bottle and you have to use it all at once unfortunately. It’s a bit pricey but can give you peace of mind.😊
 

backyardinosaur

Songster
5 Years
May 9, 2016
30
50
114
Is there any reason you believe they have mareks? Or are you stressed because it’s possible? Also if there is mareks exposure, they’ve already been exposed and there’s no point in vaccinating them. I’d follow quarantine protocol if you have an existing flock, usually not an issue because brooders are typically separate from coops (articles on quarantine on BYC). But other than that just watch them and try to enjoy them.

I don’t see any signs of Marek’s. However, I’ve read it can take 6 weeks for symptoms to manifest, so I’m really anxious. Thank you for the information and advice.
 

Artichoke Lover

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2020
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If both the chicks and the hatching eggs came from reputable places you are probably fine. Personally I choose not to vaccinate my flock for mareks since vaccinated birds can still be carriers and I would rather know if it’s present in my flock. That said if it’s prevalent in your area or even if it will simply set your mind at ease you may want to go ahead and get the others vaccinated against future exposure.
 

backyardinosaur

Songster
5 Years
May 9, 2016
30
50
114
If your hatched chicks have not been outdoors yet and they are under two weeks old then you can still vaccinate them. May or may not help but at least there is a chance. I vaccinate all my birds against Marek’s disease. Silkies are highly susceptible to this disease. You can buy the vaccine, if not at your local feed store, than either Valley Vet or Jeffers Pet online. Cost about 30 bucks for a bottle and you have to use it all at once unfortunately. It’s a bit pricey but can give you peace of mind.😊
Thank you for the info! Is it hard to administer?
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 16, 2014
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Hawaii
Thank you for the info! Is it hard to administer?
Well you have to give it subcutaneously in the back of their neck. There are several good how to videos on YouTube that can explain it in detail. You can buy the syringes and needles from the online stores as well.
I do not find it difficult but I do have a medical background so that maybe helps a bit!😊
 

backyardinosaur

Songster
5 Years
May 9, 2016
30
50
114
If both the chicks and the hatching eggs came from reputable places you are probably fine. Personally I choose not to vaccinate my flock for mareks since vaccinated birds can still be carriers and I would rather know if it’s present in my flock. That said if it’s prevalent in your area or even if it will simply set your mind at ease you may want to go ahead and get the others vaccinated against future exposure.
They both came from very nice places as far as I can tell. The hatching eggs came from a show quality line (Hughes Wildlife Farm), so hopefully they’re strong little birds. 🤞🏼
 

backyardinosaur

Songster
5 Years
May 9, 2016
30
50
114
Well you have to give it subcutaneously in the back of their neck. There are several good how to videos on YouTube that can explain it in detail. You can buy the syringes and needles from the online stores as well.
I do not find it difficult but I do have a medical background so that maybe helps a bit!😊
Good to know! I wouldn’t mind giving the vaccines as long as I knew what I was doing. I’ll definitely consult YouTube if I go that route!
 

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