Question about Marek's vaccination . . . . .

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by scrapper, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. scrapper

    scrapper New Egg

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    I ordered 10 chicks from "Healthy Chicks and more" back in June . . . . I have no idea if they were vaccinated. I am placing another order, but this time through "My Pet Chicken" and they offer the vaccine. Is it a good idea to get that? I plan to put the chickens all together in a couple months, will that be okay if the first flock wasn't vaccinated and the second was?
     
  2. jaybme

    jaybme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Another chicken and button quail owner and I both thought about that, and called the company that makes the vaccine. Here is what he said:

    The Marek's vaccine is not the same one they get in yard, but a weaker one. It is not a serous disease causing vaccine, but like some human vaccines it has live cells in it, which the chicken's body attacks and makes it's own fighter cells against all Marek's.

    The vaccine is only live for about an hour after administering, so the chicken will not shed it in that sense, but even if it did, it would be like a vaccine for other birds, and will not make them sick with Marek's.

    I also asked if it would be bad to use it, since I am not sure we have Marek's in our area, and I do not want to introduce it to the area, and he said it is here, it's everywhere, and if everyone vaccinated it would help so much.

    I asked if you can put vaccinated and unvaccinated together, and he said he thought it might help the unvaccinated to get the virus shed from them through their dander etc, as it is an easily killed virus, and will prevent them from getting the bad Marek's.
    But he suggested vaccinating even if your chicks are a few weeks old, up to three weeks old, as it will help.

    If you vaccinate once, do you have to vaccinate forever, having introduced it to the flock? was my last question, and he said, no, but why wouldn't you? It SAVES your chickens, it is cheap, and easily gotten.

    I also called the UCDAVIS ( a CA University) vet in charge of poultry for the state, and her recommendations were the same.

    Hope this helps :)

    Jaybme:D
     
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I'd get the vaccination. I've lost birds to Marek's (now I can't get new birds or sell any of my birds) and it's just awful watching them suffer like they do.
    Marek's is everywhere. You can't avoid it especially since wild birds are carriers and you can't keep wild birds from your chickens. Of course, that doesn't mean you slack on your biosecurity.
    You can vaccinate adult birds but getting them vaccinated as chicks is the best way to go.
     
  4. jaybme

    jaybme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Carri, Do you know if those who vaccinate chicks are considered good sources for chicks or as a potential problem? Meaning the uninitiated might consider Marek's vaccinated chicks to be carriers and should not be bought?

    So sorry your flock got Marek's- and so sad for you too.
     
  5. Jarhead

    Jarhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a follow up question. On MPC and other hatcheries sites they will only vaccinate standard chicks and will not vaccinate bantam chicks. Why is that? Are they too small? I guess my point is if you have a mixed flock would you not want all the birds vaccinated? Do you vaccinate bantams at a later date while still in the brooder? Just curious.
     
  6. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:One breeder told me that she does not vaccinate her birds for anything because then only the strong will live long enough to breed. I'm not sure that's the route I would want to go because my birds are pets and not breeders.

    I have no idea why they wouldn't vaccinate bantams. Seems kind of odd. You could always just vaccinate them yourself.
     
  7. Jarhead

    Jarhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess they could be vaccinated at home. Don't they "shoot" the marek's vac into the back of the chicks head? I cringe at the thought of doing that myself. Just gives me the willys. [​IMG]
     
  8. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    It's not bad. Have one person hold the chick while you pull up it's neck skin and give it the shot. It's over before they know it.
     
  9. jaybme

    jaybme Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do not know why they would not give it to bantams, as when I called the vets they had no problem with it.

    My daughter and I did it without a problem- the skin is fairly thin and the chicks did not even react.

    This vaccine will not make the rest of the flock sick. If anything it will help them fight of the bad Marek's.
     
  10. Jarhead

    Jarhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it is odd that they won't give it to bantams. Kind of strange. I agree it should be done on all chicks. Here is a quote from the site:

    "Marek's disease is a deadly, highly contagious "lymphoproliferative" disease affecting chickens. It is the #1 disease-related killer of chickens. It can cause paralysis, blindness and death in up to 80% of an infected flock. There is no cure for a flock once it has been infected; the only way to prevent the disease is to vaccinate. In our experience, small, isolated backyard flocks are less prone to infection than larger flocks (though to our knowledge there's no evidence to back this up!).

    Since vaccination costs only $0.25 per chick, we recommend it, however the choice is up to you. Note that vaccination is NOT available on any of our Bantam breeds. "
     

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