To Gamefowl Breeders: Vaccinations for Your Birds...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Gresh, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Since I am finally starting my Oriental gamefowl project in December, I wanted to go ahead and get as many ducks in a row as I can.

    One of these ducks is about vaccinations for Orientals. Do you recommend that I vaccinate them at all, or should I breed for unassisted resistance? How often should I vaccinate adults, and from what diseases should I vaccinate them? I know that Marek's is responsible for claiming a lot of backyard birds, but didn't know if it was as common among Oriental gamefowl.

    Lastly, is it safe to vaccinate an adult Oriental against Marek's? The cock I'm getting in December is fully grown and has been given deworming medication about twice, but has never been vaccinated against Marek's. Since he is as old as he is and has not contracted the disease yet, should I just assume he has good immunity and not vaccinate him?

    Please give me your experience about these things. I plan on free-ranging my Orientals (with some restraint due to gamey males), so they will be exposed to the germs that come with free ranging and won't spend a pampered life in a cage.

  2. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    They're chickens, so treat them as chickens [​IMG]. Certain birds may require certain things more than other birds like big birds needing larger roosts and so on. But they're chickens, and vaccinations generally have the same rule as any other bird. You will find varying opinions, I personally like the view of natural resistance. Some people vaccinate their birds for everything (and in those cases I have seen only the result of weaker, sickly birds).

    Many people on this forum will probably tell you it isn't right if you don't vaccinate routinely and so on. But if you go back and look at all of the old timers' books you will notice their general method for sick birds was a stump and a axe. I don't take it that far though unless it was something I saw worthy of that approach. All of the old timers' lines people stalk, and then follow their breeding practices generally; so I guess they must have been (or are) doing something right.

    Oriental games on the free range though, I wonder how well they would make it. I have some American X Oriental game crosses that do well but the American blood makes them a little more predator shy. Pure Oriental's appear too slow/calm generally to me to make it especially not having such a good flight capability.

    God bless,

    ETA: There also is the issue of even your hens killing each other on the free range, especially during hatching season. Gamecocks aren't the only ones to watch for in terms of needing separation. Not all lines are that aggressive, but my Oriental (as well as many others) are. I even had a Shamo hen determined to try and kill a cock the other day. Must have been the cool air, made her feel good [​IMG]. Even my American hens a lot of the times don't get along.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  3. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Quote:Thanks for your opinions, my friend [​IMG] I will go ahead and take the no-vaccination approach, and just cull out the weaklings. I agree, I have heard that birds vaccinated against everything wind up being weak and sickly and unable to survive without external medical intervention. I want birds that rough it out without medical help.

    A farmer I know does similar things with his chickens. The minute he notices a sickly bird, he culls it. I once thought that this was a mean thing to do, but overtime I've come to see it's for the best.

    As far as free-ranging, well, I can see what your saying. I'm a bit torn though, because Dr. Everett (Saladin) "free-ranges" his Oriental cockerels until they begin to seriously fight each other. Then he "harvests" the ones that have survived predators, disease, and fights, and keeps them for breeding. There may be another aspect of his system that I don't know about, but that is what I heard.

    I wasn't seriously considering free-ranging Oriental hens. I have heard about them behaving like cocks (especially Asils) and I didn't want to find a dead gamecock or gamehen in the yard with a very proud Asil hen clucking around it [​IMG]

    My current plan is to keep hens separate from other hens and keep them confined, and only let cocks out on gamecock-lines (whatever the official term is) so that they can be in the fresh air but still be unable to assault each other. However, I would be careful to keep them outside my window so I could make sure they weren't bombarded by predators. Does this sound like a reasonable system?

    Again, thanks for your thoughts. I'm very new to Orientals and need all the help I can get. [​IMG]

    BTW, please feel free to check out my "Oriental Gamefowl Thread," designed only for all breeds of Orientals. Some really good birds are on there. Would love to see yours there, too.

    God Bless,
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

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