My Chickens are Marek's Carriers...Can I Introduce Vaccinated Birds to My Flock?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Deeya8604, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Deeya8604

    Deeya8604 In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2014
    Loveland, Ohio
    I bought 6 vaccinated chicks from a hatchery in March. I bought an UNvaccinated chick to add to the frock a couple days later. A couple months later, I bought an UNvaccinated pullet. One of my vaccinated chicks started showing signs of Marek's in June. We didn't think it was Marek's bc she had been vaccinated. We actually took her to the avian vet a few times and since she wasn't getting better, we recently had her put down. The vet did a free necropsy and confirmed Marek's. Either the hatchery missed her when vaccinating, or she's one of the unlucky 5% that still get infected after being vaccinated. Or maybe the vaccine only covers certain strains of Marek's?? Anyway, now it's safe to say my other 7 birds are carriers, although they haven't shown any signs...yet.

    Now, my question is: If I add a vaccinated bird to my flock, will she be safe since she is vaccinated even though my other birds are carriers? That's what a vaccine is for, right?
  2. It could be that your flock is not 'carriers of Marek's' - some chickens are resistant to the disease. Especially if you have chickens with some Leghorn blood. Chickens with Rhode Island Red are more susceptible.

    Here is a fact site that gives you a LOT of information about Marek's

    We often think that the Marek's vaccine will 'cure' or 'prevent' Marek's -- what the vaccine does is prevent the chicken from developing the tumors of Marek's that eventually kill the chickens.

    I have had chickens die of Marek's (confirmed) - and a chicken on the roost next to that chicken not get the disease. Grant you I isolate instantly when I suspect Marek's -- but reducing chicken stress may be the MOST valuable protection for your chickens. That said, I have not hesitated to add birds to my flock in the intervening years -- and I have not had problems at all with the health of my flock.

    In some ways we would all be better off if we bred for resistance to Marek's -- but you can find a lot of those views in the research in the link listed above.

    sorry that you lost a chick - and good luck with the rest of your flock. It could be that the remaining birds have resistance...and you would be fine adding chicks to your flock in the future if you do it judiciously and if you follow the guidelines that are outlined by the universities, experts, researchers and chicken raisers represented in the link.

    Good Luck.

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