Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaku, May 30, 2008.

  1. jaku

    jaku Songster

    I'm thinking of vaccinating my next batch of meat birds for cocci. I want to keep my birds "natural" without any chemicals, and my understanding is that a vaccination is nothing more than dead or dying cells of what you're vaccinating against- not any chemical or antibiotic. If that's the case, it seems as though vaccinating would be the more "natural" way to go as opposed to chemically medicated feed. "Organic" meat can be vaccinated, not medicated, correct?

    I guess what I'm asking is that is my line of thinking correct in that medicated feed introduces chemicals into my meat, whereas vaccination just helps them build up natural immunities to cocci?
  2. [​IMG]

    I would like to know the same thing...
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well... I personally think the whole medicated feed thing is kind of silly with regulations and such.

    If the feed contains amprolium for a cocciositant, all it is is a thamine blocker that inhibits the growth of cocci that is ingested. It does not stop cocci infections, the "medicated", read thamine blocker, feed only helps the bird build an immunity. Cocci is not a bacteria... it is a protozoa.

    Not all vaccines are dead or dying cells either, some are just engineered chemical compounds that stimulate the correct antibodies in the immune system so when the real threat comes along, it is attacked by the body before an active infection can occur. There is some question about the true effectiveness of the cocci vaccine too.

    Really the most "natural" way is to let birds who get sick die and only use ones that don't die so you don't confer weak genes to future generations. However, this is not possible in most meat bird stocks.

    Just get feed that only contain amprolium. The thiamine blocker just goes right though them and there is no withdrawl time.
  4. I agree, but there is some question as to if the development of the bird is hampered by the thiamine blocker. Not that we are growing these birds for long life anyway, nor are they on the medicated feed even for their their whole life. But still many feel since most antibiotics work by blocking the creation of new cell wall development that this should not be used. You can not here use it and be considered organic but check your local rules.

    The vaccine used by my hatchery is a weak strain of cocci and is suppied in a gel that is gelatin based to keep the cocci viable so if your going for 'grain fed' you can't do that either, but again check your local supply.

    All I do is mix in some powdered milk with the starter for about a week and if I see any signs of cocci later on I move right up to half and half for a few days. Really old cure for Cocci is to give them bowls of milk instead of water. I guess when everyone had a cow that was easy and affordable way to treat chicks, and I bet you got great meat birds from that!

    Milk or milk powder just tips the pH of the gut away from the optimal for cocci growth and they flush out. You will still loose some but I found that I did anyway with the drugs and as stated the best way to deal with this is to breed resistance. For most of us that is not our part since we buy hatchery chicks.
  5. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    A vaccine is more than just the dead or dying cell. There are chemicals in there, just look at all the issues surrounding vaccinations in people. Maybe find out what else is in it before you decide if you want it.
  6. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Vaccines for humans contain things such as mercury, formilahyde, MSG...yup, not a good alternative to an antibiotic.
    In my opinion medicated feed would be the better choice, but even at that...the old milk cure mentioned by adopted is probably your safest bet
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Under organic rules you can vaccinate, but not medicate. I feel the prejudice towards vaccines over treatment is just. The introduction of vaccines have saved countless millions of animals and humans from suffering from diseases which were preventable.

    I personally agree with the general trend there. I'm more worried about antibiotic residues in my food than I am a vaccine. The carrier agents listed above are in minute ammounts and are quickly excreted by the body.

    With all that said, the coccidiossis vacine is not a vacine in the sense it will prevent it. It only shows results slightly better than control groups and it was rushed to market so organic people could do something, rather than nothing, about their chickens who were dieing from cocci. I would not use it and don't think it's worth the cost, especially on meat chickens which have such short lives.

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