Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jeaucamom, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    Okay, I didn't want to hijack the other threads that were dealing with this topic as an adjunct to their main question....SO....

    I bought day olds last year that I presume were vaccinated. If I find out for sure that they were, do I need to vaccinate my new hatchlings?

    I really need a definitive answer for this ASAP as I had 6 hatch yesterday and will be setting the next batch into the hatcher on Sunday. Most of these birds, except for my Salmon Favs and Jessica's blue orps, both of which we want to breed, will be coexisiting with my older birds from the feed store.

    Should I vaccinate my chicks?
  2. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    If the chickens you already have are vaccinated, yes, you need to vaccinate those hatchlings. Where did you buy your day-olds? Most feed stores don't have them vaccinated b/c it's an extra expense. Most hatcheries only vaccinate them if you ask for it.
  3. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    The feed store I got them from orders from Privett. So I will have to call and find out if they regularly vaccinate. I sure hope they don't... I really do not want to vaccinate all my chicks.... Geesh.. where would I even get the vaccinations????
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Oh, if you got them at the feed store, I doubt they are vaccinated. All hatcheries I am aware of only vaccinate upon customer request. I bet you'll be fine.
  5. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    THANK YOU JESUS!!! I just called Privett and they looked up my feed store and confirmed that they do not have their chicks vaccinated. YEAH!! But just for clarification for everyone else..... If they had been vaccinated, then I would have had to vaccinate???

    Hmmmm I wonder about Butterscotch, our rescue hen. I have no idea what her background is. She is in with all the other chickens and has been for months. So I am assuming that if she was a carrier of something, then they would have already been ill, right??
  6. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

    Sep 11, 2007
    I just got off the phone from McMurry's and they told me that if you buy chicks that have been vaccinated, the rest of your flock doesn't have to be vaccinated. They won't get anything from the already vaccinated chicks. I hope I made sense.
  7. claud

    claud Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    I have a mixed flock of vaccinated and non-vaccinated chickens(all adults now). I didn't have a problem.
  8. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    If you mix adults, you are generally ok. Birds develope a resistance to Merek's as they age.

    If you want to be safe, yes you need to vaccinate day-olds or else keep them seperated until about 6-9 months of age before putting them in with your flock.

    I can personally say that I had this happen with some juveniles that I hatched out several years ago. Better safe than sorry.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    From what I have read, it probably does not make a lot of sense to stress yourself out over whether to vaccinate chicks or not UNLESS you have had clinical Marek's in your flock already, or the chickens are quite likely to be exposed to virulent strains.

    Otherwise it sounds like it is sort of six of one half a dozen of the other -- if you vaccinate, you semi-protect the birds but with a small risk of provoking an outbreak where it didn't exist before; if you don't vaccinate, the birds don't get that extra protection but also don't get the extra risk.

    What pretty much all technical sources DO AGREE ON is that husbandry conditions have a lot to do with your likelihood of experiencing problems with Mareks -- be your birds vaccinated or not. If you look up manufacturers' vaccine instruction sheets they are pretty emphatic about the chicks have to be protected from environmental stressors around the time of vaccination; and stress seems to be considerably correlated with outbreaks of Mareks in both vaccinated and unvaccinated flocks. "Stress" meaning any kind of environmental hardship (too cold, too hot, thirsty, hungry, parasite load, chickens picking on each other, psychological stress from crowding, etc). Obviously even happy healthy stress-free chickens could luck into a particularly nasty strain of the virus -- but the more stressful their lives the less virulent the strain has to be to make them sick.

    Therefore, to me it seems unproductive to overstress YOURSELF [​IMG] over the whole 'should I vaccinate and what if' thing. Pick what seems most comfortable to you and do it. But then, to the extent you're worried about Mareks, put all the nervous energy that'd otherwise go into worrying about whether to vaccinate <g> into making real sure the chickens are as comfy healthy and stress free as you can possibly make them (note that this includes not overcrowding, ie limit your flock to the size you can GRACEFULLY house).

    Also what ksacres said about separating ages.


  10. justsidney

    justsidney In the Brooder

    Feb 4, 2008
    This is my first post, so I wonder if this will even work?
    So I too have a vaccination question:
    I am getting my first ever flock from my pet and they ONLY vaccinate for Maerks. Someone told me to tell the hatchery that I don't want to vaccinate them and instead give them medicine in their food . What should I do? Opt for no vaccines and give them a vaccine in their food? Or should I let the hatchery vaccinate for Maerks and do nothing else and hope for the best? I hate not knowing, they will be here in two weeks and I don't want to do the wrong thing!!![​IMG]

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