New Chick Vaccinations

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tamraclovw, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi All - this is my second year starting baby chicks (coming in next week). I HAD a broody hen and I had hoped she would help, but we had an upset which broke her brood - she was a first timer. Now I'm back to raising them myself!

    My question is about vaccines. Last year I bought my chicks from Meyer's, and I'm pretty sure they came pre-vaccinated for Marek's disease (spelling?). I'm also pretty sure I gave them medicated feed to start out. This year, I'm buying my chicks from a local feed store which gets them from Mexico, and they aren't vaccinated at all.

    I need to know which vaccinations they absolutely need. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to medications - I really just want to vaccinate them from something that is likely to cause death. Is Marek's the only big one? How/where do I get it? What about cocci? Is that where the medicated feed comes in? I've already bought regular feed (unknowingly), but I can save it for when they are older.

    Thanks in advance for your help!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They don't absolutely need any vaccines. People who have had Marek's in their flock recommend that vaccine.It's not expensive but every day after day old the effectiveness diminishes because the virus in the vaccine is in a race with that in the environment.

    Yes, the med feed is for cocci. That also isn't necessary. Best practice is to keep the bedding dry (cocci needs moisture to complete life cycle) and keep the feeders at least half full so they won't pick at their feces so much.

    I've raised over a thousand chicks and have never vaccinated nor used medicated feed.
    Good management practices and starting with healthy stock precludes most issues.
     
  3. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmm... I'm not sure how old my chicks will be, since they are being trucked in from Mexico. Which also calls into question the quality of the stock. Ideally, after this year I will be raising my own hatched chicks. Also, I currently have a Roo who I think is battling cocci. He is one of 2 roos I bought in the fall (not with my spring chicks) and he was raised by a local breeder - I have no idea whether he vaccinated or used medicated feed. My coop is quite dry with 6-8" of sawdust & hay bedding and weather stripped windows, but he managed to contract it anyway. Maybe I should play it on the safe side, especially since I may already have cocci in my pen? My sick roo is isolated, and I'm currently treating the whole flock with corid, just to be on the safe side - and to treat my other roo who is not showing symptoms, and still in the coop with the girls.

    How is Marek's contracted? Is it just a disease that come chicks have, or is it spread by contaminated birds?

    Thank you so much for your info. It is quite helpful!!

    Carrie
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You have cocci in your soil. Mareks can be in the soil too if an infected bird has lived there in the last 7 years. The birds you are now getting will probably be fine, unless they have been exposed to mareks on the way to you, and then it is too late to vaccinate. Just keep things dry for them, and you can actually place a chunk of sod from your yard into their brooder to gently expose them to cocci to gradually build up immunity. Some even use medicated feed for chicks although it is not necessary.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Coccidia is everywhere, you can't get away from it. Birds get a small dose and become immune.
    Don't give corid and medicated feed at the same time, that's a double dose.

    What are his symptoms? It is rare in adult birds. In growing birds it causes watery, mucousy, pasty, tan or bloody diarrhea.

    As an extreme minimalist, my policy is to never medicate unless I know exactly what they have. Come to think of it, I've never wormed or medicated chickens. I've lost very few and a quick posting showed me what was wrong - it has never been a disease.

    Marek's like coccidia is everywhere. It comes on peoples shoes, clothes, hair and with the wind.
    Chicks will develop resistance with age, however if they are exposed to adult carriers they could be in trouble. It is usually spread in dander.
     
  6. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

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    We have neighbors with chickens, but neither ours nor theirs are free range - although mine will be as soon as I get my garden fenced. My sick Roo is 7 months old - lethargic, green/white runny poo, purple comb, no appetite, cold. I have a thread here - https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750923/rooster-with-green-poo-purple-comb-waddle

    There have never been chickens on this property before us - and we didn't have any serious illnesses last year.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Sounds serious.

    Where are you located? Spirochetosis, that exhibits those symptoms, is rare in the US but the tick that carries it is in the Southwestern US.
    No effective treatment but oxytetracycline is recommended.

    More common and the only other thing I'm aware of in an adult bird that causes a purple comb is paratyphoid, one kind of salmonellosis. Are the wattles purple too? There's no effective treatment. Research to see if it also causes the other symptoms.

    I believe both are reportable diseases.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  8. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, waddles are purplish also. I'll go out and try to get a photo. By "reportable" do you mean I should report it to the extension service for disease tracking?
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's what it means but without a real diagnosis there's no way to know for sure what you're dealing with but those people should put you on the right track. They're much more knowledgeable than I, most of the other people here or even most vets.
    Good avian vets with knowledge of chickens are as rare as hens teeth.
     
  10. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

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    Here are photos - I thought the waddles were purple, but actually they are still red.


    Today's Poo - Quite solid, but still green and a bit grainy, like it's not quite digested.
    [​IMG]

    Photos are a tad blurry, but the coloring is right - purple/black on the tips of the comb. Not so much on the waddle.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Hopefully this can give you an idea?
     

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