To vaccinate or not???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RM44, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the Georgia department of agriculture came out 2 days ago and collected my remaining 5 hens, after performing a necropsy on the first to die. They had MG and MS, surely from the fellow that I recently aquired the 2 new hens. I'm quite sad, but I wouldn't want to spread MG so off they went to meet a peaceful end.

    I'll be cleaning and sterilizing the areas for the next few weeks, and then will order new day old baby chicks as soon as I can get them (which is looking like end of Jan/early Feb at this point).

    Anyway, I'm curious to know what you folks think about having them vaccinated for merek's disease? It's cheap, and they do it before they mail the chicks out. Is it worth it? (I don't mean $$, but the ordeal itself.) Is the disease that common in backyard flocks? Is it stressful to the day old chicks?

    My plan is to order a number of chicks greater than I want, raise them, choose the ones that we bond with and sell off the remaining ones. (I think I have to order either 15 or 25, and I want to keep about 8 maybe.) If all goes as planned, I will have these and only these, and won't add any more to my flock for several years.

    What are your thoughts? Should I vaccinate? Is it worth it? Are there other vaccines I should consider as well? Or should I just get the chicks with no vaccines since they won't be exposed to any other birds? (There are no others with chickens for miles around me.)
     
  2. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think if your not going to add any to your flock then I wouldn't. But this is really up to you.
     
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    You could go in on the order with someone instead of hoping to sell the chickens, are there hatcheries that inoculate?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd suggest you talk to your county extension agent about it. They will know how prevalent Marek's is in your area. I discussed a vaccination program with my extension agent before I ordered the chicks and wound up not vaccinating for anything based on our discussion. However, your area might be different.

    The vaccination does not prevent Marek's. It prevents the lesions that cause the damage from Marek's. Almost all hatcheries offer Marek's vaccination. They actually use Turkey Marek's, which does not harm the chickens and does not make them carriers of Marek's. They can still catch and transmit Marek's to other chickens. They just will not be harmed by it if they catch it.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  6. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is a "county extention agent"? Is that the same as my department of agriculture folks I've been talking to?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It should be the same people. Most places they are listed in the phone book under county government.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    (edited to say -- I believe I misinterpreted things, as per Ridgerunner's post below. So, I'm not going to delete this post, but just ignore it, k? [​IMG])

    If your hens' Mareks was bad enough to be seriously affecting their health, it is possible that it was of a more-serious strain (although it is also possible it was just your average Joe Mareks and they were more susceptible because of other factors such as MG etc). Given that possibility, I think it would be more worthwhile vaccinating your next birds than it would be for the average backyard flock. I am not saying TO vaccinate, necessarily - that's a personal decision - but having hens symptomatic or dying of Mareks is probably an entry into the "yes" side of the equation.

    Best of luck, sorry about your hens,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I was under the impression the OP's chickens had Mycoplasma Gallisepticum and Mycoplasma Synoviae, not Marek's. If Mareks is also present on the site, I certainly agree it is worth getting them vaccinated.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ooops, sorry, I misinterpreted the abbreviation and feel stupid now. The o.p. should ignore my previous post [​IMG]

    Pat
     

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