very small hatches - chicks - is there a marek's preventative option?


11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
Hi all,

I like to do most things as natural as possible, but Marek's is one disease that I don't think I'll take my chances on. I'm trying to buy all my stock pre-vaccinated. However, that said, that means any chicks I have born from that stock needs vaccinating too. (Parent's don't give immunity to their chicks) What are the options for those of us who might raise half a dozen chicks at a time? Is there a medication to create immunity that can be given orally - rather than a needle/vaccination? Can you take them to a vet and get them vaccinated (pricey I bet)? What are the options?

I use the quartering method with my LT vaccine. I did get a sterile scalpel from the vet though to cut the wafer in half.

I have not vaccinated for mareks yet, but I am sure I will start at some point. For some reason I haven't seen Mareks as much as a problem in the Northwest as in the South.

But, it is important that we know it is better to CYA before something happens.
What is LT ?

PS: PipsandPeeps - are you on eggbid? I just was looking at some gorgeous ameracauna's on there and the seller has your same screen name. If those are yours - they're stunners.
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Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) is an acute, highly contagious, herpesvirus infection of chickens and pheasants characterized by severe dyspnea, coughing, and rales. It can also be a subacute disease with lacrimation, tracheitis, conjunctivitis, and mild rales. It has been reported from most areas of the USA in which poultry are intensively reared, as well as from many other countries.
Clinical Findings:
In the acute form, gasping, coughing, rattling, and extension of the neck during inspiration are seen 5-12 days after natural exposure. Reduced productivity is a varying factor in laying flocks. Affected birds are anorectic and inactive. The mouth and beak may be bloodstained from the tracheal exudate. Mortality varies, but may reach 50% in adults, and is usually due to occlusion of the trachea by hemorrhage or exudate. Signs usually subside after ~2 wk, although birds may cough for 1 mo. Strains of low virulence produce little or no mortality with slight respiratory signs and lesions and a slight decrease in egg production.
After recovery, some birds remain carriers for extended periods and become a source of infection for susceptible birds. The latent virus can be reactivated under stressful conditions. Infection also may be spread mechanically. Several epidemics have been traced to the transport of birds in contaminated crates.

The above is from the Merck Veterinary Manual.

Thank you, yes, those are my birdies on eggbid.​

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