Ordering Marek's Vaccine ... help?


16 Years
May 17, 2007
Escondido, CA

I just shipped a really sweet buff Orphington to the CAHFS lab for testing, I'm very bummed that she didn't make it. She showed every sign of Marek's so I expect that's the lab result I will get back, but I want to be extra sure as she is the second bird that went down this way. The first was a rescue chicken that I had no background upon, but who was healthy for a month of being in quarantine and then healthy for a few more months before becoming unable to walk. A few days after she was too far gone to save, my buff got sick with the same symptoms.


I am trying to order the Marek's vaccine but am unable to find a source online at the moment. The two websites that normally sell it are 1. indefinitely out of stock, or 2. saying there is a shortage and more should have been available 2/28/2010

My local avian vet said that he only vaccinates day old chicks for Marek's, but if I were to aquire chicks that had been raised from eggs in an environment that did not have Marek's exposure then I think I should vaccinate them. (all assuming the lab confirms my suspicions of course!)

I have one lonely hen left and would like to bring in some friends for her but only if they are vaccinated, or I can vaccinate them myself.

Any advice?

Jeffers Livestock usually has it. You have to vaccinate them at a day old. I would wait a bit before I brought anymore in and see if your last hen starts showing any symptoms.

You could get some Oxine and spray your property real good. I am not sure how long Mareks can stay in the ground

Maybe, someone else can help out.

This is a quote from First State Veterinary Supply.

"Can older birds be vaccinated for Mareks Disease ? The answer to this question is ,yes. The age of the bird really does not matter as long as the bird has not been exposed to the Mareks Virus prior to vaccination. If a bird that has not been vaccinated for Mareks Disease comes down with the obvious symptoms of Mareks it may be of value to vaccinate anyway. There is some research to show that some birds may recover after vaccination. This would possibly work on birds whether or not they were vaccinated before. Some research has suggested that re-vaccination 4 to 6 weeks after the initial vaccination was of value in preventing new cases of Mareks disease in high risk areas. It is important to keep in mind that birds that have been infected are shedding this virus at a very heavy rate from their follicles and it would be of value to keep feathers about your coop cleaned up. Regular spraying with oxine will go a long way in keeping this disease as well as other diseases under control."

Here is the link to the full article.


So according to them you can vaccinate older birds. I don't know where you tried to buy the vaccine, but they are one to check as well.

Also VSI in CA http://www.vsi.cc/

need to look for some as well. I am sorry about your hen. I just went through the exact same thing. It is not easy. So far the rest of my birds look ok. I hope your hen stays healthy.
First, I am very sorry for your loss.
The buffs are such sweet animals.

If I'm understanding what I've read correctly, according to experts, if your flock is exposed to Marek's, there is no point in vaccinating your remaining birds. If they do not get the disease, they won't. I would, however, make sure everything else you bring into contact with your current hen has been vaccinated, as I believe she is a carrier now. Here's a great post on that by Horsejody.


I've been studying up on this, too, as I'm introducing new chicks soon and wanted to do the vaccine thing "right".

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