Vaccinating for Marek's after day-old chicks


In the Brooder
Dec 6, 2020
So we have a suspected outbreak of Marek's disease [super super depressing] that has taken the lives of some of our beloved Serama chickens. If you're not familiar, these are the world's smallest chickens.

Anyway, we had a closed flock but did introduce some seemingly healthy chickens to our population from a reputable breeder. We quarantined and after a couple of weeks all appeared well and some were integrated and others placed into breeder pens with their mates.

Long story short, we're going to begin vaccinating our flock for Marek's. As you're probably aware, you are supposed to do this with day-old chicks. The only recent hatch we have is about 2.5 weeks old. Would it be harmful or risky in any way to vaccinate that chick for Marek's?

We have vaccine en route and will be vaccinating all future hatches but we want to know if it is safe to vaccinate the little one as we don't want to lose her as she is a one-of-a-kind chick.

I have read that at most, she might not receive the same protection that a chick vaccinated as a day-old chick would but would it give her some immunity or would it be dangerous or wasteful? We have 1000 doses arriving so we're not too concerned with waste as we have a very small flock and breed only minimally as we try to keep our flock extremely healthy, clean, and well-cared for.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to give.

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