Should chickens be vaccinated?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NewHobbyForMe, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Monica4Chicks

    Monica4Chicks New Egg

    Nov 3, 2009
    I'm a new mom of 6 week old chicks. I don't know if my chicks were vaccinated or not. What should I do?[​IMG]
  2. NewHobbyForMe

    NewHobbyForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2009
    I guess I need to weigh the odds. First I will call the feed store I bought them from. Not very friendly people but I spend alot of money there. I appreciate the new information received.[​IMG]
  3. madmantrapper

    madmantrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    I don't know how many chicks you folks are talking about. But for $18 for 10 new chicks seems expensive to me. I'll sure you are talking a hundred or so birds.
  4. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2010
    Yesterday I went to the co-op, tractor supply, and the vet's office looking for the vaccine. They all looked at me like I'd sprouted a second head. None of them had even heard of Marek's. The lady at the vet's finally told my to go down to the ag ext office and talk to the "chicken man." Well, my husband called him and he told us we shouldn't get it (the vaccine) because we just have a few backyard chickens and we only have a few chicks. He said they vaccinate the 4h chicks, but since the vaccine is in 1000 dose vials and Marek's is a social disease that we didn't need to worry about it...
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
    Peri.S likes this.
  5. Hennypen

    Hennypen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    I'd worry about it if you ever plan on bringing other birds into your flock. At that point you'd worry if those birds had never been vaccinated. I have 7 chicks and bought the vaccine because I am looking for another line of Silver Pencil Plymouth Rocks. At least what I have is protected. The $18 is like insurance that I don't loose those 7 birds from something preventable.
  6. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I feel the need to clear up some incorrect information here, as some common misconceptions have popped up. First, vaccines are *not* responsible for the majority of chick deaths. Second, coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan, (a parasite), not a bacteria (cleanliness is still a really good idea though). And third, it is simply not true that once you vaccinate for Mareks you always have to vaccinate.

    The Mareks vaccine is a live culture of a related strain of virus which is harmless to chickens but does confer effective immunity to the virulent strains of Mareks. It won't stop them from getting infected but it will stop them from getting sick. Any chicken, whether vaccinated or not, can pick up, harbour and transmit the Mareks virus. The difference is that most unvaccinated chickens will develop debilitating and usually fatal symptoms (tumors, paralysis) and the vaccinated ones will most often be asymptomatic. In other words, if your birds have been vaccinated for Mareks you could have the disease-causing virus in your flock but not know it. Some people keep a few turkeys around because they can harbour a non-virulent strain of Mareks, and exposure to it effectively confers immunity on the youngsters the same way the vaccine does.

    I vaccinate for Mareks because after reading that there was no need to vaccinate a small backyard flock, I bought 30 day old chicks and a few months later lost all but 4 of them to the disease. I was told by a poultry veterinarian that Mareks is everywhere nowadays and it's no longer realistic to expect backyard flocks to be out of harm's way. By the way, you can in fact vaccinate older chicks and grown chickens for Mareks (the dosage is the same as for the babies). It won't reverse the course of the disease but will stop new symptoms from developing. The idea behind vaccinating them at one day of age is to allow them to mount an immune response to the vaccine strain before they're exposed to the real thing; otherwise it's a race between the two viruses.
    Al Capon, Peri.S, katieuppi and 6 others like this.
  7. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I pay $10 for a 1,000 dose vial containing a dry wafer of dormant virus that is mixed with a diluent (actually I just use normal saline, the kind used for IVs). It's pretty easy to cut the wafer into quarters so you're only mixing up 250 doses at a time. So for $2.50 it really doesn't matter that I'm only vaccinating 10 or 20 chicks and have to throw away the rest. You use a 1cc syringe. The dosage is 0.2 ml injected just under the skin at the back of the neck. It makes a bubble under the skin which soon dissipates and that's that. There's a bit of a technique to it but it's not difficult to master.
  8. schoenherr

    schoenherr Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2013
    Paynesville, Minnesota
    Thank you for your wise information on organic and not vaccinating. I would not have thought of that.
  9. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2013

    Excellent information, thank you!
    1 person likes this.
  10. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Hi there. I'm also vaccinating for mareks. In fact I have it ordered now and it should arrive in the next couple days. I order my vaccine from First State Vet Supply online. They take GREAT care when shipping the vacciine and it never gets arrives in a ice chest with lots of cold packs surrounding it. Its Cold when it comes and they take such great care with there shipping. They also send syringes and fool proof instructions that are easy to read and follow. Once mixed at home the vaccine is very fragile and should be given right away after mixing. I was so pleased last year at the way they shipped I'll never order from any one but them. Hope this helps. Best wishes

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