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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by moose1, Feb 4, 2009.
should I have my chicks vacc. for Marek's and Coccidiosis and anything else
Personal I wouldn't.and I never have seen a need for it.
I don't think the Marek's is always necessary for a small backyard flock. You can call your local county extension office and ask if Marek's has been a problem in your area in recent years. They'll be able to give you the best advice about it based on your area.
If you are going to get the coccidiosis vaccine you need to be sure that non-medicated chick starter is readily available in your area, since you can't feed the medicated to chicks vaccinated against the coccidiosis - well you can, but it will nullify the vaccine which would be a waste of money. I've searched high and low and haven't found non-medicated chick starter anywhere within an hour's drive of where I live.
To me, feeding the medicated feed is the simplest way to deal with the coccidiosis threat.
BTW, Welcome to BYC!
A very nice lady at the hatchery told me they do not recommend vaccines for small home flocks.
She has a degree in poultry science and talked with me for some time explaining it. The mareks is a live vaccine and the birds will still get the disease and become carriers but most will not show symtoms. A few birds may actually get mareks from the vaccine. She said since the vaccinated birds will become carriers getting any unvaccinated chicks under 7 months or so is risky because they can become infected with mareks from the carrier vaccinated birds.
I decided against it after speaking with her.
I just feed the medicated starter food for coccidiosis. I haven't had any problems with it.
Definitely vaccinate every year for ILT and be sure to use the killed virus NOT the modified live virus--whatever you do. If one bird in your flock gets that virus it can take out your entire flock and every flock in your county before it's all said and done. Furthermore, that virus is everywhere and running rampant right now. Most people who face it don't know what they are up against until it's too late. Once a bird has it and survives, that bird is a carrier. You need to vaccinate every year for ILT.
Not all Mareks vaccines are live. They develope from a turkey form that is non lethal to chickens. Virtually every flock has some mareks in it. A lot of times the birds dont get it though. Mareks can live for years in dust. Sometimes coccidiosis and Mareks go hand in hand, especially in pullets. I would vaccinate.