Pennsylvania!! Unite!!

OneMountainAcres

Smothered in Feathers
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
May 14, 2013
12,498
22,136
896
Central, PA
So cute! Do you know who the unauthorized daddy is? :gig
Glad she wasn't gone for good though!
There were obviously a few different dads.... looks like my english orp was dead for a couple and a blue egg silkie cross project roo was dad for a few others. None look like pure ams though.
 

Lelanae

Songster
Nov 3, 2015
593
350
186
South Eastern Pennsylvania
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Candy. I lost one of my first hen's (Daffodil) to Marek's. I had brought her inside and tube feed her for a long time so she was a real pet. U of Pa advised ONLY getting inoculated chicks in the future--advice which I have disregarded. My current hens from Dennis are doing great--I haven't lost a bird to Marek's for a couple years now. The last fatality to Marek's was a young male lavender Amerucana.
I did get chicks from My Pet Chicken which were inoculated, but I am not willing to forgo buying rare breeds from wonderful breeders.
 

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
929
384
160
Central PA
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Candy. I lost one of my first hen's (Daffodil) to Marek's. I had brought her inside and tube feed her for a long time so she was a real pet. U of Pa advised ONLY getting inoculated chicks in the future--advice which I have disregarded. My current hens from Dennis are doing great--I haven't lost a bird to Marek's for a couple years now. The last fatality to Marek's was a young male lavender Amerucana.
I did get chicks from My Pet Chicken which were inoculated, but I am not willing to forgo buying rare breeds from wonderful breeders.
I love Dennis chickens' personality and being autosex. It seems he can do the shots, then I can order the vaccination being shipped to him. Or if he is not comfortable to do it, I will ask my MIL to help since she was a nurse. I'm afraid to receive dead chicks in mail and don't want any mean bird either.
 

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
929
384
160
Central PA
I am looking into vaccinating next year. I HATE needles, but a friend has a "gun" to vaccinate chicks, similar to what hatcheries use. Looks like a good project for next year.
For a rather scary analysis if the vaccines, read this: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/tthis-chicken-vaccine-makes-virus-dangerous
I only have a small flock and not plan to give my chickens to anybody else, so I don't worry about the Marek becoming a hot strain. It's quite expensive for you to vaccinate all your chicks though. I wonder if there is a way you can seperate the powder, so you can use just a small amount each time. I may not want new chicks next year, since my chickens are still young.
 

dheltzel

Crowing
Nov 30, 2013
4,648
1,568
321
Pottstown, PA
I only have a small flock and not plan to give my chickens to anybody else, so I don't worry about the Marek becoming a hot strain. It's quite expensive for you to vaccinate all your chicks though. I wonder if there is a way you can seperate the powder, so you can use just a small amount each time. I may not want new chicks next year, since my chickens are still young.
There are lots of instructions for cutting the 1000 dose vaccine into pieces, but no studies to show if that actually works, or if the process kills the remaining vaccine pieces, rendering them useless, but I wouldn't know if they were usable or not. I can get an "injection gun" like the hatcheries use to speed up the process and avoid needles in their necks. Definitely adds a significant cost to the process, but once you mix the vaccine, you can vaccinate as many chicks as you can in an hour, so the first chick costs $50 to vaccinate, but the rest are basically free.

I'm not excited about doing this. I have even considered not selling chicks, just doing ducks, turkeys and guineas (all much more disease resistant than chicks). I am willing to raise 3 or 4 times the number of birds I need to allow for high losses and heavy culling, but no "keepers" want to do that, it only works for breeders. Heavy culling (either via disease attrition or selection by the breeder) is the best way to get rapid improvements in a flock. My breeder flock of Rees Legbars was 50+ pullets 4 years ago. I had replaced the roos, but still have 12 of those gals and they are still healthy and laying better now than the pullets I hatched last year! I was going to replace them this year, but decided they can stay - I want to see how old they can be and still be good layers. That heavy culling initially (probably started with 100 pullets that year and only 50 made it into the breeding pen) and years of attrition of the weaker birds and early quitters reduced me down to a fraction of the original chicks from my Rees starter flock, but these are really the "keepers" that I want to sell chicks from. I raised a bunch of late summer chicks from this group and plan to select the best looking to go back with their mothers next year and be their eventual replacements, if they are survivors.
 

TillyPeeps

Songster
Oct 13, 2015
929
384
160
Central PA
There are lots of instructions for cutting the 1000 dose vaccine into pieces, but no studies to show if that actually works, or if the process kills the remaining vaccine pieces, rendering them useless, but I wouldn't know if they were usable or not. I can get an "injection gun" like the hatcheries use to speed up the process and avoid needles in their necks. Definitely adds a significant cost to the process, but once you mix the vaccine, you can vaccinate as many chicks as you can in an hour, so the first chick costs $50 to vaccinate, but the rest are basically free.

I'm not excited about doing this. I have even considered not selling chicks, just doing ducks, turkeys and guineas (all much more disease resistant than chicks). I am willing to raise 3 or 4 times the number of birds I need to allow for high losses and heavy culling, but no "keepers" want to do that, it only works for breeders. Heavy culling (either via disease attrition or selection by the breeder) is the best way to get rapid improvements in a flock. My breeder flock of Rees Legbars was 50+ pullets 4 years ago. I had replaced the roos, but still have 12 of those gals and they are still healthy and laying better now than the pullets I hatched last year! I was going to replace them this year, but decided they can stay - I want to see how old they can be and still be good layers. That heavy culling initially (probably started with 100 pullets that year and only 50 made it into the breeding pen) and years of attrition of the weaker birds and early quitters reduced me down to a fraction of the original chicks from my Rees starter flock, but these are really the "keepers" that I want to sell chicks from. I raised a bunch of late summer chicks from this group and plan to select the best looking to go back with their mothers next year and be their eventual replacements, if they are survivors.
I have been considering to get ducks instead of chickens. But my current setup is not easy for me to change their water daily. DH will need to run a water line to the coop first. I don't think he can do it this year.
 

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