vaccinating chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mommy3, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    When you order baby chicks online, you can choose to vaccinate them. Since we are doing this ourselves for a small backyard flock, do I need to vaccinate them? if so - do I just call my vet? How old do they need to be to have this done? Would love to hear peoples thoughts on vaccinating. We have the medicated chick food. thanks! I am soooo nervous about the chicks hatching after reading so many warnings online! We made our own incubator, in candling them we had 8 of 12 that looked good. For a couple days it seemed we could not get the temp about 97/98. Now they are in the 3 day phase aproaching hatch and I can not get the humidity past 68%. If my thermometer is correct. anybody else have this and have things go ok? I find myself checking on them in the middle of the night as well! This is worse than being pregnant! I feel so responsible!
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've hatched several groups of chicks here. None of mine have been vaccinated, even the ones that came from a hatchery. It should not be necessary in most backyard flocks, hopefully.
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    REspectfully, I think vaccination protects all our flocks from disease. Merecks is available thru Jeffers. Most vets don't know chickens. Several good threads here on BYC on vaccinating for Mereks. I always spell it wrong -so here are the 2 spellings One is correct: merecks, mereks. SPelling not my thing any more--sorry.

    THere is a thread talking about natural immunity via genetics, among different breeds; most breeds do not have immunity against mereks; and other diseases cause large number of losses with only a few that might survive. Our populations have been protected for a long time--there are strains with exceptions. I'm not willing to loose any at this point to Merecks.
  4. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    I chose to vaccinate the chicks I have hatched. I ordered from Jeffers, and yes, the smallest quantity for Mareks is 1,000 doses (so a lot gets thrown away). I figured it was worth the investment. Giving the vaccines is interesting - I think I was more traumatized than the chicks.
  5. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    Thanks everyone! Did not know it was an option to do it ourselves! had not read that anywhere online. we'll have to think about it if the local vet does not do it. [​IMG]
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I've been keeping and hatching chickens for a good few years now, and I've never vaccinated any of the ones I've hatched myself. The ones I've bought in form local hatcheries have all been vaccinated and I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever in health, vigour or longevity. I've never fed medicated starter either. I think diseases and disease prevention is as much a matter of scrupulous hygiene and good animal husbandry as it is of vaccinating. Big hatcheries have to vaccinate as they are hatching thousands of chicks at a time and keeping them all in close proximity. If you just have a few and you look after them well and follow careful hygiene procedures, most likely they won't need to be vaccinated.

    I say all that as someone who lives in an area with relatively few chickens and no recent outbreaks of any diseases. If I lived somewhere that chicken diseases were prevalent, I'd most likely want to vaccinate.

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