Vaccinate or Not

Do you vaccinate your chicks?

  • Yes

    Votes: 61 26.6%
  • No

    Votes: 141 61.6%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 27 11.8%

  • Total voters
    229

TheFarm41

In the Brooder
Nov 14, 2018
20
36
45
Who gets their chicks vaccinated...

Why or why not :idunno

Answer poll then comment you opinions below :caf


As a general rule we do not vaccinate any of our farm animals. We raise sheep, pigs and chickens and have not vaccinated, and have always had healthy animals.

However last year we lost about 10 young hens that were hatched on farm. None of my other hens were showing symptoms or dying, only the home hatched. After a lot of research we determined that it was Mareks. We also learned that most all chicks from the local farm store or hatchery are vaccinated for Mareks and Newcastle, some even treat chicks for coccidiosis before shipping. We had Mareks in our flock, but never knew it because 90% of our flock were hatchery chicks that had been vaccinated. There is an extremely high mortality rate with Mareks. Vaccinated chickens can still carry and spread Mareks, but do not develop symptoms or dye. We have about 100 chickens that free range 6 acres. I've been reading that once Mareks is in the soil it can sit there for many years and continue to infect chickens. So now we have a conundrum... to vaccinate or not to vaccinate ... hatch chicks at home, or only get them from hatcheries that vaccinate. Seems like vaccinating is our only option, but this feels like a treadmill that we will be stuck on forever.

In the meantime, we had a rouge hen that hatched 14 chicks in the bushes. They are now 7 months old and appear healthy and show no signs of Mareks. Maybe a few will survive and start to build an immunity to Mareks that they can pass on to future generations. Or maybe they just haven't gotten infected yet.

Anyone have any experience with Mareks?
 

NatJ

Songster
Mar 20, 2017
400
894
146
USA
For those that don’t vaccinate their chickens as a means to weed out the weak, have strong genetics etc. do you vaccinate your dogs? Your children?
I don't see those as particularly similar.

A vaccinated chicken (Mareks) may live if infected, but will SPREAD the disease to other chickens.

The vaccines commonly used for people and for dogs PREVENT spreading the disease. (So it makes everyone else safer too.)
 

KDOGG331

Release the Ferrets!!
Premium member
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
36,024
97,768
1,596
Massachusetts
I don't see those as particularly similar.

A vaccinated chicken (Mareks) may live if infected, but will SPREAD the disease to other chickens.

The vaccines commonly used for people and for dogs PREVENT spreading the disease. (So it makes everyone else safer too.)
Exactly! Plus most vaccines for pets and people are required anyway.

Also most people aren’t breeding their dogs like they are chickens or if they are, it’s a lot slower process. Chickens can be bred relatively quickly. The actual immunity probably takes longer to develop but still.
 

KDOGG331

Release the Ferrets!!
Premium member
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
36,024
97,768
1,596
Massachusetts
To keep in with the original purpose of the thread.. she's never had any vaccinations... and appears to be pretty bomb proof. I've had losses in the sebrights that I suspect were Mareks (but not the whole flock losses that others describe - only one or two) and the odd case of respiratory illness - all of which she's managed to avoid.

She would be a good poster chicken example of strong self immunity I'd say.
Oh wow she sure seems like it!!!
 

NatJ

Songster
Mar 20, 2017
400
894
146
USA
Plus most vaccines for pets and people are required anyway.

Also most people aren’t breeding their dogs like they are chickens or if they are, it’s a lot slower process. Chickens can be bred relatively quickly. The actual immunity probably takes longer to develop but still.
Yes, both of those points, too. Thank you for saying it succinctly--any way I tried to say it, I got a giant wall of text. :)
 

TheFarm41

In the Brooder
Nov 14, 2018
20
36
45
Unfortunately Mareks vaccine is what they call a leaky vaccine. Which is a huge risk to an non-vaccinated chicken and ultimately a disservice to the chicken industry. Vaccinated chickens don't get sick and die but they can spread the disease. Making Mareks a disease that will never go away.

Here is some information from wikkipedia


The section on prevention is below:
Prevention
Vaccination is the only known method to prevent the development of tumors when chickens are infected with the virus. However, administration of vaccines does not prevent transmission of the virus, i.e., the vaccine is not sterilizing.[3] However, it does reduce the amount of virus shed in the dander, hence reduces horizontal spread of the disease. Marek's disease does not spread vertically. Before the development of the vaccine for Marek's disease, Marek's disease caused substantial revenue loss in the poultry industries of the United States and the United Kingdom. The vaccine can be administered to one-day-old chicks through subcutaneous inoculation or by in ovo vaccination when the eggs are transferred from the incubator to the hatcher. In ovo vaccination is the preferred method, as it does not require handling of the chicks and can be done rapidly by automated methods. Immunity develops within two weeks.[

However, because vaccination does not prevent infection with the virus, Mareks is still transmissible from vaccinated flocks to other birds, including the wild bird population. The first Marek's disease vaccine was introduced in 1970. The disease would cause mild paralysis, with the only identifiable lesions being in neural tissue. Mortality of chickens infected with Marek's disease was quite low. Decades after the first vaccine was introduced, current strains of Marek Virus cause lymphoma formation on throughout the chicken's body and mortality rates have reached 100% in unvaccinated chickens. The Marek's disease vaccine is a leaky vaccine, which means that only the symptoms of the disease are prevented.[11] Infection of the host and the transmission of the virus are not inhibited by the vaccine. This contrasts with most other vaccines, where infection of the host is prevented. Under normal conditions, highly virulent strains of the virus are not selected. A highly virulent strain would kill the host before the virus would have an opportunity to transmit to other potential hosts and replicate. Thus, less virulent strains are selected. These strains are virulent enough to induce symptoms but not enough to kill the host, allowing further transmission. However, the leaky vaccine changes this evolutionary pressure and permits the evolution of highly virulent strains.[12] The vaccine's inability to prevent infection and transmission allows the spread of highly virulent strains among vaccinated chickens. The fitness of the more virulent strains are increased by the vaccine.

The evolution of Marek's disease due to vaccination has had a profound effect on the poultry industry. All chickens across the globe are now vaccinated against Marek's disease (birds hatched in private flocks for laying or exhibition are rarely vaccinated). Highly virulent strains have been selected to the point that any chicken that is unvaccinated will die if infected. Other leaky vaccines are commonly used in agriculture. One vaccine in particular is the vaccine for avian influenza. Leaky vaccine use for avian influenza can select for virulent strains which could potentially be transmitted to humans.
 

ChocolateMouse

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 29, 2013
2,757
5,695
387
Cleveland OH
I lost a polish to Fowl Pox (the wet version). It was very sad to watch. My vet recommended I vaccinate the rest of the flock. I would use other vaccines as deemed appropriate.

For those that don’t vaccinate their chickens as a means to weed out the weak, have strong genetics etc. do you vaccinate your dogs? Your children?
Your vet may not know much about chicken vaccines but also the Fowl Pox vaccine is different than the Mareks vaccine. Many professionals suggest you do NOT vaccinate your flock for Mareks. Some suggest not vaccinating at all.

Additionally;
Good dog breeders regularly remove sick dogs from their breeding stock, especially if it is genetic. Some do get put down if they are too sick. Some humans chose not to have children to avoid passing certain conditions down as well. I'm one of them.
My chicks are not $500 dogs who I have put $2000 of vet care into who I expect to live long and fruitful lives as my companions or working animals.
My chickens are not human beings and share very little in common with humans.
Children and my dogs being genetically healthy or easy to detect specific diseases in is not intrinsically linked to this nations food security or my personal food security.
Human children and dogs have lived and evolved exclusively to work in tandem with other humans and form intelligent, emotional and social bonds. Chickens have not.
Some places do eat dogs. I would if I had to (though probably not MY dogs).
Children and my dogs are few individuals in my house, not potentially hundreds of birds I'm probably going to eat anyhow.
Dog and human vaccines do not leak like the Mareks vaccines do.

This is apples to oranges. You can keep your chicken as pets if you wish. You can love them as pets if you wish. Certainly nobody will stop you from that. But please don't bring the weird gaslight-y concept of "Oh you eat animals!? Well would you eat YOUR CHILDREN AND PETS!?!?" here. They're not the same, there are intrinsic differences between the two.
 
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