Necessary to vaccinate chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MrsChickendad, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    Our first hatch in many years is coming up next week and I got to thinking about vaccinations. I know you can get hatchery chicks vaccinated, but what about your own hatchlings? Is it necessary/desirable?? I haven't seen any discussion about it, so am assuming hatchery chicks are exposed to lots more viruses, etc. though when our girls free range they run straight for the bird feeder, so are probably exposed to all sorts of wild bird diseases.

    What are your opinions about medicated feed? I'm doing a test hatch this time, but have some expensive eggs coming in a little bit from hither and yon and don't want to screw it up!

  2. Catalina

    Catalina Songster

    Jul 19, 2007
  3. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    I have raised chickens for 50 years and never vacanated. Sure i have lost a few birds over the years to mercks. I do feed medicated chick starter.
  4. poultrylady

    poultrylady Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Delano, Tn.
    This is my take on it and it is just my opinion. I hatch thousands of chicks and never vaccinate any of them. It is my understanding that the vaccine is a live virus, thus if you put your vaccinated chicks with other poultry you have that have not been vaccinated, you "could possibly" infect the others. I have had breeder friends of mine tell me never to vaccinate, even when ordering chicks from hatcheries. Most hatcheries even recommend not to have your chicks vaccinated for the small poultry flock owners.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I checked with my local county agricultural extension office and learned there hasn't been a reported case of Marek's around here in years; so I didn't get mine vaccinated.
    I chose to feed the medicated starter as a little insurance against coccidiosis. Coccidia can kill a young chick very quickly and I think it's easier to prevent than to try and cure. Just MHO.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have never vaccinated for anything and use medicated starter to help with coccidiosis. They get it anyway around here when they hit the ground, though.
  7. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    Thanks everyone for your input. Looks like the consensus is to feed medicated starter and not vaccinate. That seems to make the most sense. I guess I can stop acting like a worried Mom!

  8. NancyDz

    NancyDz Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    I know some that vaccinate for Marek's, the thing is the smallest amount you can buy is thousands of doses. I think it's about $10-12 for it and you have to vaccinate in the first 24 hours for it to be most effective. So the ones I know, try to plan their hatches together and
    then vaccinate together. But also then just toss what they don't use as it's only viable for a short time once you mix it. It's really a personal preference, I've seen threads on here where a small poultry flock owners have lost their whole flock to it and were devastated. If you buy chicks from the feed store, most likely they've been vaccinated. Ive not heard of any vaccinated chicks infecting other poultry though.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by