Vacinations- BioSecurity (long rant with opinions wanted!)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by spook, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here is a long rant, please will someone correct me!!!

    This is the article I read, also the link here : (where I received my information from for this article, yet read many others including talking to my Veterinarian)
    Vaccination is an effective means to prevent and/or reduce the adverse effects of specific diseases in poultry. Poultry refers to birds that people keep for their use, and generally includes chicken, turkey, duck, goose, quail, pheasant, pigeon, guinea fowl, pea fowl, ostrich, emu and rhea.
    Disease-causing organisms can be classified, smallest to largest, as viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and parasites. All these organisms are susceptible to chemotherapy, except viruses. Control of viral diseases is dependent upon prevention through sanitation and bio security, and by vaccination.
    Strict sanitation and bio security are essential for successful poultry production. Vaccination is no substitute for effective management. It must be understood that vaccines may be effective in reducing clinical disease, but exposed birds, in most cases, still become infected and shed disease organisms. "

    After reading the above article, bio-security is great, but when we purchase a “battery hen” or a commercial bird from a reputable farm, bringing them into our flock, even though their quarantine of 30 days is up, they still will carry these organisms such “as virus’, mycoplasma, bacteria, fungal, protozoa and parasites “, then when we are placing them into our own bio-secure flock, that is not truly bio-secure. Now our home flock has become exposed to the preventative injection that the industry has given to prevent their “loss”!
    So as we speak of how some of these health issues are horrible, you must euthanize and test our small time stock or breeding birds, then tearfully go exterminate, burn and clean our buildings- in which any particle of dust, the ground that we had their pens on or water run off from is contaminated. Even at 50 feet away from said building and dressing piles/fields will be contaminated for no idea how long. If we place chicks back on the “old site”, they will more or less be infected and carry the same ailments that our once beautiful culled flock carried, spread or purchase a piece of property with a pre-existing contaminate, we will have our own loss over and over again.
    "Unfortunately, small poultry flocks do suffer from many diseases which could be controlled through appropriate vaccination. These diseases may result in loss of income from the sale of eggs, meat or stock. Other losses may include death of valuable breeding stock, or the inability to participate at poultry shows. This can be especially devastating for youth with 4-H or FFA projects.
    Deciding whether or not to vaccinate against a disease depends on the likelihood that the birds in a flock may be exposed to that specific disease. If a flock is closed, such that new birds are never introduced and the birds that leave the farm are not permitted to return, the likelihood of many diseases is greatly reduced. In these cases, since the risk is small, the owner may decide not to vaccinate.
    Vaccination should be considered if the flock owner has experienced one or more of the following:
    Takes birds to poultry shows
    Buys birds from hatcheries, bird auctions, or other sources and adds them to an existing flock
    Has had disease problems in the past "

    So here we are, inject and probably spread to a non-vaccinated bird next to us at the county fair/show, alternative of contracting these disease/virus’, feeling the shame and failure to many other poultry people that they have or you have visited unknowingly wearing your clothing/foot wear from having a now termed “contaminated” flock? Or volunteered to assist in a poultry barn, watering and feeding from one bird to the next until you have touched 400+ cages without stopping to wash your hands, the bars between shows, or realizing your “commercial” stock that came from the injected supplier, has now passed its immunity to the others and we now refer to it as a culling situation.


    Hatcheries and poultry suppliers are usually the best sources for vaccines. Be sure to carefully follow label directions when vaccinating. Many effective vaccines are available for the small flock owner. Diseases such as Marek's disease or fowl pox need not cause devastating losses in any flock, regardless of its size.
    Unfortunately, poultry vaccines are produced in large dose vials intended for commercial use. This is for the convenience of vaccine manufacturers and of commercial producers who often have several thousand birds to vaccinate at one time. This, however, should not prevent the small producer from immunizing his birds. Plan to vaccinate the entire flock at one time, and possibly coordinate vaccination with neighboring poultry flock owners so the vaccine and expense can be shared. "

    Should we be injecting our home flocks so when we bring in that Commercial bird AKA “Battery Hen”, saving it from the Campbell’s soup factory we are not doing damage. If we are eating eggs that have this immunity, hatch this immunity or meat birds of all types are inoculated with these immunities, then why are we allowed to feel shame from the many poultry boards for now having “immune” birds.

    Granted I’m new to learning about the poultry diseases, virus’ and such, but interesting how little we know and realize what is really going on without our knowledge.

    At one point a while back, I asked during a poultry show “why did it matter if a bird was a commercial” or not and being disqualified.

    The reason was not obvious to me then, yet at this point in my learning, it honestly had nothing to do with spreading “immunities” and it really should have.

    I do not intend on sounding like I know anything, but this is what I assume I know at this point. Like I said, feel free to educate me with your opinion.

    Thank you.

  2. country

    country Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
    Hi Kel,

    Hoo boy, can I relate to your feelings. In fact, I posted something very similar on this forum a couple of days ago. I think this is the link - If not, try searching partway down on page 2 for title: Trying again...vaccine to PREVENT Coryza....

    I started out researching the Coryza vaccine but I've done a lot of research on other vaccines also, & it seems that the more I read, the less I know. In fact, your post made some great points & after reading it, I'm now sure that I know even less than before!!! *grin*

    Please join us in checking into info on various vaccines for efficacy, side effects, etc, & posting any of your findings. Perhaps the moderator could even help in creating a special site under this topic so we can get more people coming together & voicing their opinions & findings about poultry vaccines. This would be especially helpful with the Coryza vaccine since it is only available in large quantities & doesn't keep well once it's reconstituted. Some of us may be close enough to meet somewhere & share the vaccine to cut down on costs. But for right now, I'm just seeking enough info so I can make an informed decision on what is best for my birds.

  3. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bless you for stopping by! I would love to look into vaccines etc. This really brought me to the stage of panic, meeting with the Vet, reading (before and after the vet) and still unsure of the truth about the vaccines, biosecurity and honesty of the people that you pick up birds from, sell to, etc. Not that anyone has lied to me, but wow, what a can of worms this has opened up!
    Again, I'm so glad that you left a comment, I was thinking it was a wasted rant- lol.
  4. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    This is a wonderful topic. I recently had the experience of haveing to vaccinate my flock for Fowl Pox. It started out with the Dry but ended up turning in to the wet. It hit my flock in September and was moveing thru my flock slowly it was impossible to contain. After seeing the pain of the ones that came down with it i looked at the other 50 and decided to vaccinate.

    I went to my local feed store and had them see if they could get it for me. They called me the next day and said it only came in 10,000 dose packs. There was 10 vials of the vaccine with 1,000 doses per vial i said i only have 50 birds. I was told it was packaged for vets and could not be sold seperately and the cost was $68.75.
    I haveing very valubale breeding stock said go ahead and order it call me when it comes in. I recieved it and vaccinated the 50 but still had about 5 i had with the wet pox. I dealt with this for over 2 months and my last wet pox bird was well at the first of this month. This vaccine saved my flock and i recommend it to anyone who has the misfortune of getting this in your flock.
    I went through this and lost 6 chickens most were put down due to suffering but one inpaticular still sticks out. He was a young fawn duckwing who in 24 hours came down with it and the wet pox growths grew so fast. I found him lying on his cage bottom barely breathing and the growths in his throat had went up his sinus's and came out his nostrils he is at peace now.
    All my chickens are well now and i have vaccinated 10 chicks and have 9 more to vaccinate next week. I still have 7,000 doses of the vaccine in my frig.
  5. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wonder if we could make a co-op for vaccinations. These drugs are sold in poultry farm doses, yes, saving them money! And us if we think that we can use X amount in the time line before its expiration.
    A lot of this health issues that we find on BYC we have never heard about, yet with all the travel that we do, bringing strains of disease home on our grain bags that you would only find in east overshoe, yet part of their feed is shipped in, exposed to rat droppings and....well you understand what I mean.

    I wish one of the moderators would check in on this forum as I do not intend of selling medications, nor anyone else, but I wonder if its "illegal" to share vials of inoculations? Also, perhaps if you knew area poultry farmers, perhaps you, we, could purchase vials of these serums from them.

    You know, never thought I'd see the day that we would need to give our home hatched, back yard chickens protection from the big bad world (smile).
  6. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm surprised that no one else has made any comments on this.
    Apparently Country and I are the only ones that have noticed these things? hmmm, so much for awareness!
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    No idea if it's legal to share vaccines and such, but since it's not a perscription drug, probably doesn't matter. But can't say for sure and I bet each county/state has their own rules.

    I don't vaccinate, but I also don't take my birds to shows or bring in anything other than chicks and feed. I find my risk low so haven't payed attention to vaccination of them and have no plans to so can't help with this topic.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If a flock is closed, such that new birds are never introduced and the birds that leave the farm are not permitted to return, the likelihood of many diseases is greatly reduced. In these cases, since the risk is small, the owner may decide not to vaccinate.
    Vaccination should be considered if the flock owner has experienced one or more of the following:
    Takes birds to poultry shows
    Buys birds from hatcheries, bird auctions, or other sources and adds them to an existing flock
    Has had disease problems in the past "

    This would describe my situation, a closed flock, unvaccinated. What is a bit odd is the "Buys birds from hatcheries" part. Those should be clean, but someone I know says that a couple of the big hatcheries are not clean for CRD. Scary thing, to think that a chick from a hatchery is a carrier. Buying battery hens who have been vaccinated could introduce a carrier into the flock, depending on what type of vaccination was used. But, if you do that, you do not have a closed flock anyway. Not sure what to say about that. Most things are geared toward big commercial producers, not backyard flock owners. It's why there are not many antibiotics or wormers for chickens-factory farms dont worm their birds, so it's does not benefit anyone financially to look do the testing to approve those medications.​
  9. country

    country Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
    I'm so sorry you went through such a horrible experience, but thank you so much for posting about it. It certainly points out what can happen to any of us if we don't vaccinate. I hope others read your post & take heed.

    Great suggestion about contacting area poultry farmers! I never even thought of that. We have one about a mile away so I may contact them & see if they vaccinate for anything.

    Silkie Chicken,
    I have a friend that thought she was safe also. No shows, no outside contact, didn't even bring in hatchery chicks. But her flock has come down with "something" & so far she has lost about a dozen of her best birds. It came on quickly & the losses occurred before she even know anything was going on or had a chance to try any treatment. She's now taking birds to a vet & having a necropsy done on the birds but has spent hundreds of dollars & still doesn't really have a diagnosis. Her vet doesn't know much about birds so she thinks he is just guessing. One thing I do know, the symptoms match about 90 percent of those being posted on this board, which is pretty scarey in my opinion.

    To everyone,
    I think the time is past when backyard flocks were fairly isolated & so diseases didn't get passed around. Once these things get started, they can progress rapidly & even go from east coast to west coast & back again in a very short time.

    Here's a little lesson I learned the hard way....Several years ago, heartworm was only seen in dogs in the eastern states. When Hartguard first came out, I asked our vet if I should start my dogs on it. He showed me a map with a bunch of red pins stuck in it. The southern states had the most pins but at that time, there was nothing west of Missouri. He told me that the pins represented active cases of heartworm but that it would be a long time before it ever reached CA & that he wasn't even going to give the pills to his own dogs until there were a lot of pins in our area. Well, he was a vet after all, & I believed him. The following year, both my dogs had heartworms & had to undergo the full treatment. One of them was older & almost died in the process. The bill was over $900, which is a lot today but was really a fortune at that time. Oh, & the vet's dogs got heartworm too. He apologized & said he didn't realize that the problem would reach us so quickly, but he sure didn't express his sorrow by knocking anything off my bill!

    Anyway, I don't intend to experience any more of "Life's Hard Lessons" if I can help it, so I fully intend to vaccinate my birds. All I need to do now is decide which vaccines & the best way to get them.

    To those of you with "closed flocks" that think your birds are safe, I wish you well & I hope your birds stay healthy, live to a ripe old age, & die peacefully in their sleep of natural causes. If any of the rest of you are having problems & are frequently visited by "Murphy's Law", please join us in finding as much info as possible. Please post & check back on this thread and also on another thread I don't know any way to combine the threads so I guess we'll have to go back & forth to read & post.


    Okay, I'm getting off of my soapbox now.
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I always read this type of thread, but don't have much to add. In the years I've had chickens, I've just never had problems with disease outbreaks. I've always figured it was a combination of having less disease in a colder climate, along with only raising hatchery chicks, not showing, living in a state with a lot of poultry regulations, better than average nutrition for the chickens and maybe just being lucky.

    I think if the backyard poultry hobby continues to gain popularity, there's a possibility that you could get vaccines packaged in smaller sizes. You'd have to really lobby for it, though. I'd contact the same companies that are already selling vaccines packaged for dog and cat owners.

    If someone wanted to pitch the idea, I'd mention the increasing number of articles in the news media, several new poultry magazines targeting backyard poultry, changing laws in urban areas, the Eglu craze and anything else you can think of, that shows an increase in the chicken hobby and a potential market for smaller packaging doses. The thing is, then you are looking at a price increase, per dose. Anything ag related is always cheaper. Anything pet or hobby related is inflated, even above the actual increased cost.

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