vaccinate for marek's?


10 Years
Jul 22, 2009
Mountain View, CA
do you vaccinate for mareks's? if so, does it HAVE to be in the first 24 hours? i just adopted 3 6 day old chicks to keep my newborn serama company. the 6 day old chicks have not been vaccinated. Should I do them along with the baby?
if you don't vaccinate for marek's could you share your reasoning?
You do not know a thing about Marek's or medicated feed. Marek's is a herpes virus transmitted by bird dander. Hatch day immunization is best. Medicated feed is to *inhibit* the transmission of cocci. Two unrelated things...
I don't vaccinate any and most who hatch their own don't. Generally only those purchasing from a hatchery get vaccinated chicks and then many hatcheries even advise against vaccinating bantams. I don't see it as a big enough threat for my location and setup. It's far more likely I will lose my entire flock to plenty of other things especially since they free range. Tomorrow a stray dog could wipe them all out. It almost happened once. Kind of impossible to raise chickens risk free and still have happy chickens but that means things like vaccinations don't rank very high. If I had really expensive or rare breeds I would but then I'd also have them in secure runs.
Hi Muddipuppy, I've never vaccinated against Mareks or had a problem with Mareks. I hatch hundreds (I'm in denial) of chicks here yearly. I thought I had Mareks in a group of youngsters here, but it (per our state vet) turned out to be a botulism-ish situation (it was never persued further than that it wasn't Mareks).
Now that you mentioned it, I'm seriously considering vaccinating all my day-olds for Cocci. I'm tired of watching and treating every group every week.

So thanks for mentioning it!

I understood Merek's vaccination was best when they were a day old.

I had the hatchery vaccinate my chicks that I purchased. UC Davis recommends Mereks vaccination for all flocks, large and small. I have heard of small backyard flocks around SoCal that have had it.

However, we did an experiment with hatching eggs from the grocery store 10 months ago, and our chick from it did not get vaccinated since she hatched at home. So far she has no health problems. The rest of the flock and neighborhood chickens were vaccinated. If I could of, I would have vaccinated the one chicken that wasn't vaccinated after listening to how devastating Mereks can be on a flock.

*Medicated Feed only prevents coccidiosis. If you don't have chicks vaccinated against cocci, folks give their chicks medicated feed instead. It isn't intended to be used to treat anything else. It isn't an antibiotic or antiviral; it inhibits the growth of the parasitic protozoa that causes coccidiosis.
If you're buying chicks from a Hatchery it is wish to have them vaccinated. When you raise your own its most likely not necessary.
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