vaccinate your own chicks! Heres how!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenpiedpiper, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Vaccine is currently available at Jeffers Livestock supply. Online

    Hello All, I recently discovered this wonderful article about self vaccinating chicks for Mareks. Here is a link to the article, and below is the basic info, without the photos. I suggest you go and look at the article with all the photos if you are doing this for the first time.

    I found it really helpful!
    Good Luck

    How to Vaccinate Chicks for Marek's Disease
    By MizGreenJeans, eHow Member
    all rights reserved. User-Submitted Article

    Marek's Disease is very prevalent everywhere there is poultry, and if your chickens catch it there is no cure. Vaccinating chicks for Marek's is not hard once you get the hang of it, and worth doing to prevent losses in your flocks.

    .Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

    Instructions.Things You'll Need:
    One 3 ml syringe
    A number of 1 ml syringes (I use one syringe for about every three chicks.)
    Rubbing alcohol
    Cotton balls
    Paper towel
    Two carboard boxes
    When you order the vaccine, it comes in two parts, the small vial with the wafer of vaccine itself, and the large vial of dilutant. You only need to refrigerate the vaccine itself, not the dilutant.


    Vaccine, Dilutant, Syringes, Alcohol.Put a layer of paper towel down onto the table on which you will work. You want a surface that won't be slippery.


    Clean lidsRemove the metal top from the bottles of vaccine and dilutant. Clean both with the alcohol on a cotton ball.


    3 ml of dilutantUsing a sterile 3 ml syringe, withdraw 3 ml of dilutant from the bottle.


    Inject dilutant into vaccine vialInsert the syringe into the small bottle of vaccine and insert the dilutant. Remove the syringe.

    Swish the small bottle around so that the vaccine wafer completely dissolves.

    Pull back on the plunger of the 3 ml syringe to fill it with about 2 to 3 ml of air. This is very important.

    Put the syringe needle tip back into the small vaccine vial (do not put it in too much.) Inject the air into the vial (this breaks the vacuum in the vial.) Leave the syringe needle in the vial, do not remove it.


    Withdraw the mixed vaccine and dilutantWith the needle still in the vial, tilt the whole thing upside down and pull back the syringe plunger so as to draw back into the syringe the entire contents of the small vaccine vial.


    Put the mixture into the rest of the dilutantRemove the syringe from the vaccine vial, and insert it into the dilutant bottle. Push the plunger down so that the contents of the syringe (with the now dissolved vaccine) are released into the dilutant bottle. Gently swirl the dilutant bottle so that the vaccine is evenly distributed. Now you're ready to go.

    Put a layer of paper towel into the bottom of both boxes. Put all the unvaccinated chicks into one box (the other box is to put them in once you vaccinate them, so you'll know which ones have been done.)


    0.2 ml of vaccine per chickTake a small syringe (the 1 ml ones that diabetics use are perfect for this.) Fill it with 0.2 ml (two tenths) of the vaccine mixture (which is now in the dilutant bottle.)


    Grasp by the neckPick up a chick and put it on the paper towel in front of you. Grasp it gently behind the neck, pulling up a small fold of skin.


    Be careful not to go too deepGently inject the vaccine into the fold of skin. You will feel a small bump growing under the bird's skin as the vaccine goes in. If you insert the needle too far or not far enough, you will feel your fingers get too wet, and you will have to start over with that one.

    Take the vaccinated chick and put it into the second box, which is for the ones who have been done. When you're finished with them all, put them back into the brooder right away so they won't get chilled. Watch them over the next few days for pasted vent or other reactions.

    Read more: How to Vaccinate Chicks for Marek's Disease |

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