Vaccinations for 4 Chicks in the City

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mosier, May 7, 2007.

  1. mosier

    mosier Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I am planning on getting (all females) two Wyandottes, one Light Brahma and one Rhode Island Red on May 29th. I've never had chickens before, I live in the city, and will only have four. My neighbors are not keeping any poultry and I have no other pets. My question is: should I get my chicks vaccinated? I know that idealpoultry suggests not to vaccinate for small flocks. I've read posts from pro-vaccinaters and anti-vaccinaters on this forum, but I'm still unsure as to the exact reasons for or against.

    Please, could people list the pros and cons on vaccination? Thanks so much for your help!
  2. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    MAreks disease is what they vaccinate against. It is carried by all types of birds. Haveing said that , my research says, unless you know that the area has had birds that have had Mareks then dont.
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We're in an agricultural region. We only vaccinated our flock for Mareks because other poultry raisers that live in our area (including our vet) do. We fed medicated feed for coccidiosis.
  4. mosier

    mosier Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks for your replies. I decided to go with both the Marek's and Coccidiosis vaccinations, because if I end up with a roo I'll need to swap and I'm assuming most other owners would like their chickens vaccinated. I am still curious to hear from anti-vaccination folk as to what their reasons are. Please still comment if you have something to share. [​IMG]
  5. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Songster

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    Well, I have had chickens this time for about 2 years, and had them for about 5 years back about 1995, when family illness caused me to not have time for them. I have never had a chicken vaccinated, and never had a problem. If there aren't chickens in your area that have Mareks, I wouldn't fool with it. And as far as someone caring or asking if your rooster is vaccinated (if you get one, and have to get rid of him) I have sold quite a few chicks that I have hatched, and quite a few roosters, and never have had anyone ask if they were vaccinated. I wouldn't fool with it, but that is just me.
  6. bmarshall61

    bmarshall61 In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    I am with Judy, no shot and no medicated food unless I have a problem. Feed store guy says if you give them medicated feed all the time, it looses it's effectiveiness. I don't know, just have not had a problem.
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:From what I've read here on BYC and other non-poultry boards, most backyard flock keepers DO NOT vaccinate their birds. I have been told by my county agent and two avian vets (one of them mine) that once you vaccinate your birds, you must vaccinate all new birds. Vaccinations are not inexpensive and are made to handle large flocks. Once you mix the vaccine, it must be used up or thrown away.

    Like I said, I vaccinated for Marek's because farms around me have done the same. My vet lives about 2 miles away from me, and she vaccinates her laying flock. Since she feels it is important to vaccinate for Marek's, I did the same.

    I recently was going to take a bird from someone who breeds chickens and ducks, but declined, as her bird hadn't been vaccinated.

    Read everything you can about both Marek's and Coccidiosis. Talk to an avian vet if possible. Find out from your county agent if Marek's is in your area. Then decide.

    Good luck!

    if edited, probably for typos...
  8. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    I talked to my avian vet about vaccinating. We have a lot of wild birds in our barn--a LOT, there's no front door on the barn (there is a door on the section that holds the chickens) and the vents haven't been repaired in, uh, ever. So the barn is really chock-full of sparrows, mourning doves, everything. And my chickens are undoubtedly going to contact these wild birds. Also, the previous owners for the past couple hundred years have all had chickens in this barn, and heaven knows what those chickens had for diseases. So we went over the available vaccines for diseases in the area, how long those diseases last in an unheated barn without chickens in, and what I was willing to do--vaccines in the water with an eyedropper, no problem, but vaccines that have to be stabbed into wing-pits with a large-bore needle, forget it.

    Because of the history of the barn and the number of wild birds in my yard, we decided to give as many vaccines as possible, almost as many as a commercial flock would receive. They will also continue to receive medicated feed for the next few weeks until they are acclimated to their new home. Yep, that means I buy expensive vaccines, mix them up, use about 1/4 teaspoon of the vial and throw the rest away. But I would rather do that than lose my flock due to a recurring disease hanging out in the barn or in a wild bird. There's no way to adequately disinfect wood, so it's not like I can keep them safe with good hygiene alone.

    Just my opinion. You are in the city, your birdies probably will not meet many wild birds, and it depends on how you are housing them--in an eglu type of hutch, or a brand-new pen made of easily cleaned materials (concrete floor or some such), I would not worry about it.
  9. aliena614

    aliena614 Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    yup no shots or medicated feed here all natural is the way to go (for me at least) keep everything clean, tidy and secure from wild birds & other city crittersother and u should be fine! I live in the middle of a busy city and gave my girls a huge coop and completly fenced run (25' by 45') and have had no problems, Other than my grumpy neighbor! [​IMG]
  10. Betsy

    Betsy Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northeast Indiana
    I don't have my chicks vaccinated anymore since I did extensive research on vaccination and was diagnosed with a condition linked to vaccination although I don't think vaccination caused my particular case. I don't EVER want my birds to suffer like I have suffered-and I have a mild case of the condition!
    That said, I think each poultry owner should decide whether to vaccinate or not. If you keep your poultry happy and healthy, why bother with a vaccine that can do more harm than good, is expensive, and may not be effective?

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