Vaccination Debate At Birth

kjorgey

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2020
16
29
31
Pennsylvania/North of Philadelphia
I just called the local feed store where my Silver Wyandotte's will be delivered on April 24th. They told me the hatchery, Privett does NOT vaccinate the chicks for Marek's disease and coccidiosis. I can purchase the medicated feed for the latter, but what about the risks of Marek's disease. They will be in a brand new coop and run. The closest chickens to my flock will be a small confined flock of my neighbor's across the woods. Thoughts from you experienced chicken moms and dads on this? I am a typical nervous expecting mother hen as you might tell. I do want to manage my chickens organically after the first 8 weeks.
 

MountainWoman73

Songster
Apr 18, 2018
176
317
101
Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado
It will probably be okay for a while, but I would be careful about where any new birds come from. I had chickens for years and never saw mareks. However, 3 years ago I got three chicks from a breeder on craigslist. Two died young and the third developed suspicious neurological symptoms (flopping, trouble walking). Another hen showed the same symptoms the following year. I acquired her as an older bird and don't know if she was vaccinated. Now I make sure all my chicks are vaccinated for mareks and don't give away or sell any birds that have lived here, just in case. (Vaccinated birds can still be carriers of mareks).
 

kjorgey

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2020
16
29
31
Pennsylvania/North of Philadelphia
Thank you Mountain Woman. The Feed Store where I am purchasing the chicks has a long standing reputation in our farm community and they stand by their breeder (Privett Hatchery). They told me many people today want unvaccinated chicks for organic reasons. Anyhow, I will give them the best care I can and pray for the best, but am researching to see if there is a local breeder here who does vaccinate.
 

Lmatt

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2020
21
103
48
I’m up in the air about this as well. I wasn’t going to get my chicks vaccinated, but then my mom recommended that I do. She said her sister ordered from the same online hatchery as she did. Only she didn’t vaccinate and all of her chicks died. I didn’t ask for all the details. So it could have nothing to do with the vaccine. But it got me researching and thinking I should get them vaccinated for Marek’s. Since they will be on a farm with other livestock.
 

AppleMomma65

In the Brooder
Mar 16, 2020
26
42
33
Prior Lake, MN / Spooner, WI
I was worried about this as well but asked for a general consensus on this forum and lots of people responded yes, vaccinate for Mareks. I ordered my chicks from Meyer Hatchery and they will vaccinate chicks for something like .50 a piece so a small investment to keep all healthy. While I'm not too concerned about being all organic and such, I was curious if the vaccine would then negate them being raised as "organic" for those that wanted to do so. Here's a link from their website - depends on your states definition of organic: https://meyerhatchery.zendesk.com/h...312-Do-you-recommend-the-Marek-s-Vaccination-
 

kjorgey

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2020
16
29
31
Pennsylvania/North of Philadelphia
Here is my update. After learning my Silver Wyondotte chicks were coming to my local feed store via a hatchery in New Mexico, I cancelled my order. I found a local NPIP certified hatchery, family owned business 45 minutes from my home in Pennsylvania. They don't have Wyondottes, but they do have Easter Eggers. They will be vaccinated for Mareks disease and they will guarantee me female sex. So, I put in an order in for 6 and will pick them up next Wednesday. Also, this breed will fit better in the coop I am building. Pays to do your homework and research.
 

kjorgey

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2020
16
29
31
Pennsylvania/North of Philadelphia
I was worried about this as well but asked for a general consensus on this forum and lots of people responded yes, vaccinate for Mareks. I ordered my chicks from Meyer Hatchery and they will vaccinate chicks for something like .50 a piece so a small investment to keep all healthy. While I'm not too concerned about being all organic and such, I was curious if the vaccine would then negate them being raised as "organic" for those that wanted to do so. Here's a link from their website - depends on your states definition of organic: https://meyerhatchery.zendesk.com/h...312-Do-you-recommend-the-Marek-s-Vaccination-
Meyer's is near me in Quakertown. I ended up going to a family owned hatchery past Reading. Thanks!
 

CT Coop

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2011
79
90
126
I just wanted to share that I had a very similar experience as MountainWoman….raised chickens for 10 years with no Mareks and then agreed to take 5 birds from a colleague who was moving. 3 of them were Silky pullets and the other 2 were adults hens. Within a few days I knew a Silky was blind and lost her within a few months. The other 2 within 6 months. At the time, I didn't know it was Mareks, but when these birds arrived, I also had 80 new chicks, which I lost all of within 6 months and it was clearly Marek's....so sad. I have vaccinated ever since even if I have to do it myself. This was 5 years ago and we moved to a new house new land. Last year I had 2 broody hens who only had 3-5 chicks each, so decided not to spend $50 on vaccine. I will never do that again. Only 2 survived and those 2 are almost a year old and now sick. So, I have 71 eggs in my incubator and vaccine in my frig. I won't let my hens brood eggs, if I don't have vaccine. So my flock are clearly carriers. AND it can come from wild birds, not just from birds you purchase. So really your flock is never entirely safe. Please vaccinate....it is a truly devastating disease:(
 

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