to vaccinate chicks or not

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Twiggers96, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Twiggers96

    Twiggers96 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    Arcadia, FL
    Hope this is in the right board & hope I can explain my situation clearly enough.

    Had a good old fashioned brooding. The hen hatched the eggs that she laid.
    The chicks are now 5 weeks old

    Should I vaccinate for Mareks?
    I feed them medicated feed for the C.

    The mother hen was a hatchery chick & I imagine she was vaccinated. I will have to check on that from the feed store.
    Don't know if the mother's vaccinations make a difference or not.

    Thank you!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is pretty likely the hen was not vaccinated. Vaccinating costs money and that cuts into the profits. But that really doesn't matter anyway. When a chick is vaccinated for Marek's they use turkey Marek's virus. That is a different strain than chicken Marek's. The vaccination does not prevent them from getting Marek's. It prevents them from developing the lesions that cause the damage. It is quite possible for a chicken that has been vaccinated to catch Marek's and infect other chickens. The vaccinated chicken just won't show any symptoms. And they will not pass the turkey Marek's to any other chicken. Whether she was vaccinated or not does not matter to the chicks.

    Sometimes a chicken will get Marek's and never show any symptoms. Sometimes Marek's can wipe out over half your flock. It is not an all or nothing disease.

    To really be protected against Marek's a chick should be vaccinated as soon as it is hatched and needs to be kept isolated from other chickens that might have Marek's for a few days. If it is exposed to Marek's before the turkey Marek's virus has time to do its work, it can come down with the symptoms. It won't do any harm to vaccinate 5 week old chicks, but it is also unlikely to do any good. If you have Marek's in your flock, they have already been exposed.

    I do not vaccinate mine, whether broody hatched or from an incubator. If I had evidence of Marek's in my flock, I'd probably do differently.
  3. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Hrm, I think we'd need a bit more information to advise you. Are these your only birds? If not, are the other birds on the property vaccinated? Has your property ever seen poultry before you started raising chickens? (Marek's can survive in soil for a while).

    If you don't know for a fact that you have a clean flock and property, go ahead and vaccinate. It's better than losing all that hard work.

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