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Vaccinations against Mareks or breeding for resistance?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Debbiedoobs, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Debbiedoobs

    Debbiedoobs In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2012
    Hi, I've recently lost one of my silkies to Mareks and I'm unsure whether I should vaccinate or not when I hatch my own in the spring.
    I let one of my broodies hatch last year and seen as the chick I got is still with us at 6 mths I'm wondering whether it was due to her bein around the virus/ disease from the start?
    I had bought an incubator prior to losing my silkie and her blood results. My vet has recommended that we vaccinate, but then we need to keep them away from the others for a few weeks? I don't know what to do for the best as what I've read so far gives a good fight for both sides.
    Advice or opinions are greatly appreciated,

  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I would vaccinate. Breeding for resistance can work, but it can also involve heartbreak and losses, as you develop a resistant flock. Vaccinating isn't that difficult, and is offers some protection from the disease, provided you do it right.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I would vaccinate, as breeding for resistance is not always effective, and it takes a while to do. True, the vaccines aren't 100% effective either, but Marek's disease is such a terrible disease that I would want to do everything I could to protect new chicks.
  4. Debbiedoobs

    Debbiedoobs In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2012
    That's what I've been thinking, but the more i read the more I'm unsure. I will get my vet to do it so I'm not bothered bout doin it right. It's just all so confusing with different opinions. But I think that it would be the right thing to do x
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Vaccinating is recommended when viruses have been seen in the flock. There are many diseases which can cause lameness, or neurological problems like Marek's. Marek's doesn't pass through the egg which is why vaccination of chicks is recommended at 1 day old. Marek's generally effects birds from 5 weeks to 6 months of age. Birds of a few years that show symptoms should be examined because Lymphoid Leukosis is similar to Marek's in that it produces internal tumors but no paralysis. It is never a good idea to mix or house young birds next to older birds since older birds may have resistance, but are still carriers. Young birds brought in could also be carriers.

    Vaccinating is the way to go unless you find a way to test your flock for B type blood. B factor birds are supposed to be resistant to Marek's, and that would assist age resistance type breeding. A local NPIP lab might be able to give you more direction for that type of test.
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I lost my "resistant" birds at 8 months old . One a few weeks before the other. I've heard that it takes several generations. I do have 2 roos Here that were my eggs, hatched in an incubator, spent 3 weeks inside and 6 weeks outside with my chickens, then moved to a non-chicken barn a few miles away, and are back now, and they are fine. 9 months old so far.

    But I won't do it anymore, I can't deal with the ones that die. [​IMG]
  7. Debbiedoobs

    Debbiedoobs In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2012
    I'm such a big softie when it comes to my girls and have found losing them so difficult. I do not have the right mind set to be able to build for resistance, it seems that vaccinating is the way to go. Does anybody have any thoughts on the girl hatched by a broody? Am I to expect something to happen soon with her?

  8. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I agree vaccination is important. What's not mentioned is that after vaccination the bird MUST be kept from exposure (outside and adult birdd) for at the very LEAST 14 days to give it's body time to build the antibodies and immunity against the virus. If this time is not given Before Exposure THE bird although Vaccinated Can Catch THE Virus Because Immunity Has Not Had A Chance To Build. It's a race which will come first immunity or virus. So it's of the utmost importance to give the time for immunity and antibodies to take place before exposure. Exposure would be the outside and adult birds. So remember this is very important when vaccinating. Hope this helps and best wishes.
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    This is a personal decision, and rests on your long-term plans for your flock, your ability to deal with losses and culling, and your ability to keep very good records on each bird. Resistance breeding is going to take years and several generations.

    I've written a bit about it here, and it also goes over proper vaccination if you decide to vaccinate: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

    In the end, I will always vaccinate because I have pet birds and want them all to have the best chance I can give them. What you do depends on your goals! The best thing you can do is to go into the decision as well armed with knowledge as you can get.
    2 people like this.
  10. Debbiedoobs

    Debbiedoobs In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2012
    Thanks nambroth that's great information. I'm definitely goin to get them vaccinated now! Just need to speak to my vet and see if they can get the vaccinations for me, then find someone who I can get some eggs from. Realsis love your pic, beautiful silkie x

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