View Full Version : Do you immunize your hatched chicks?
04-08-2010, 07:51 AM
Do you give your newly hatched chicks any immunizations?
04-08-2010, 07:58 AM
I do not feed medicated chick starter or immunize. Just a presonal preferance. If you chose to immunize, do not feed medicated chick starter. They "cancle" each other out.
04-08-2010, 08:01 AM
OK so if I get medicated chick starter that is the same as immunizing them? And is it just immunizing them against coccidiosis or other things as well?
04-08-2010, 08:39 AM
Chicks can be vaccinated or "immunized" as soon as they come out of the hatcher for Mareks and Coccidiosis. They are two vaccines that you'll have to purchase separately and administer separately. Mareks is a very serious disease and breeders will be more likely to go to the expense with valuable birds. Most backyarders don't vaccinate but there is a risk if you don't.
You can go online to www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/ (http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/) to get pricing on both.
No, medicated feed is not the same thing as vaccinating. The medication is only to protect against Coccidiosis and nothing else. You could vaccinate you birds for Mareks and feed Medicated Starter for 8 weeks to protect your chicks against both. If you vaccinate for Coccidiosis you must not use Medicated feed.
04-08-2010, 09:09 AM
Thanks for clearing that up, James! I always get confused on which one cannot be used with the medicated feed. :)
04-08-2010, 09:15 AM
We just hatched a group and did not vaccinate. We also do not feed medicated feed. All of our other chickens have been bought from a place that vaccinates at birth but anything we hatch here now will not receive them.
04-08-2010, 12:05 PM
OK so for just your backyard run of the mill not so super special breeds don't really need to vaccinate then OR give them medicated feed.
04-08-2010, 04:11 PM
In my opinion you should provide medicated starter for 8 weeks. Not everyone does and that's their personal decision.
04-08-2010, 04:30 PM
I don't vaccinate my home raised birds, yet. if I get to hatching tons of them I will. I feed the medicated starter, It's not a antibiotic just a thiamine blocker if I am correct. They're about the same price so why take the risk?
04-08-2010, 07:17 PM
First let me say I hate to lose any bird but since statistics show most birds die in the first 6 weeks I feed medicated feed. I do not vaccinate for Mareks' or anything else because if you get Mareks' you pretty much will lose all your birds and have to wait to get more as Mareks' is not steralized by the vaccine and is spread through dander. In my opinion disease plays a role in culling to some degree and I don't relish the thought of eating a vaccinated bird but that is just me.
04-08-2010, 11:19 PM
I do not vaccinate for Mareks' or anything else because if you get Mareks' you pretty much will lose all your birds and have to wait to get more as Mareks' is not steralized by the vaccine and is spread through dander.
You lost me on this one. Surely you understand that if you vaccinate for Mareks, the birds, except for an occasional slip, will not get the disease. Maybe I'm reading this wrong.
04-10-2010, 07:22 AM
I suppose if you vaccinate all your birds you might not get Mareks' but if you do get it then you would have to vaccinate forever, like with canines, including meat birds, alot of folks won't eat vaccinated birds. The Mareks' is spread horizontally and the infected bird is a carrier for life as the vaccine only prevents the development of the tumors so unless you want to vaccinate every bird you bring to your farm you are better off to start over imho. Another thing to consider is that Mareks' has evolved increased virulence and resistence to the vaccine and now need a cocktail of vaccines. I am not sure about Mareks' but some diseases live in the ground and if so you would have to vaccinate. I always inspect the birds I get for the symptoms of Mareks' and other ailments, I'm sorry but I 'm just not a big fan of vaccinating the food supply (not to offend not all are for eating). Another option that is becoming more popular is a well planned biosecurity.
04-10-2010, 08:00 AM
Whether or not you want to eat a chicken that's been vaccinated is, I think, a philosophical position. There is certainly no scientific evidence to support that it might be harmful. Also, vaccinated birds don't become carriers of Mareks. Mareks vaccine is produced using Turkey Herpes virus which has the effect of generating antibodies to Mareks, in chickens. Since chickens don't get Turkey Herpes, there's no risk. If you have Mareks on your farm and since Mareks is endemic, I guarantee we all do, the only way to protect against it is to vaccinate each chick as it comes out of the hatcher. Some breeders routinely breed for resistance which simply means that any bird that shows signs of any disease is killed and burned, survivors are used to produce the next generations.
I don't know how you would inspect a bird for Mareks. There is an optical form of the disease, also called "grey eye", but that's the only form that would be visible. All the others form lesions that are internal, the worst forming lesions on the spinal column. I suppose if someone was trying to sell you a chicken and it was spread-eagled on the floor, that would be a sure sign, but if a bird is in the early stages of the disease you wouldn't see anything.
I'm not aware of the "cocktail" of vaccines that you speak about to vaccinate against Mareks, but I will do some research. As with all viruses there's a chance that it can mutate over time but it's not like the influenza virus that is constantly mutating. I think the media has thown a lot of fear into people over the influenza virus and that is mistakenly transposed to all viruses.
logger, I respect your decision not to vaccinate your chicks and not to each vaccinated birds. However, vaccinating chicks against Mareks is still a good idea. Some breeds/strains are not suseptible to the disease and others, for example, Polish and Silkies, show a severe suseptibility. Whether or not anyone's birds come down with the disease depends on many factors, like over all health, so there's no clear answer that will help everyone.
04-10-2010, 09:13 AM
I agree, here is one source of info. I would vaccinate if I had to though and as I mentioned biosecurity is often overlooked because in part vaccines are represented as instant cure.
The vaccine originally contained the antigenically similar turkey herpesvirus, which is serotype 3 of MDV. However, because vaccination does not prevent infection with the virus, the Marek's Disease virus has evolved increased virulence and resistance to this vaccine. As a result, current vaccines use a combination of vaccines consisting of HVT and gallid herpesvirus type 3 or an attenuated MDV strain, CVI988-Rispens (ATCvet code: QI01AD03).
04-10-2010, 09:25 AM
Do you give your newly hatched chicks any immunizations?
I have 2 incubator's full and I plan on vaccinating for Mareks. I've already got the vaccine and needles, etc. I was thinking about not vaccinating but then I would be kicking myself if anything happened. I'm just a little nervous because I have never vaccinated anything before. My previous chicks were ordered from McMurray's and I had them vaccinated before they left the hatchery.
04-10-2010, 09:46 AM
A wise choice, as I stated above I would vaccinate but one of my reason to not is based on the fact that I have raised chickens for over 35 years and have never had any serious losses or disease partly to my biosecurity plan. If I had a favorite bird or one where the loss would be detrimenal I might consider it. Just a thought here but does anyone vaccinate for polio any more? Also if I were selling vaccines for profit(some charge up to 25 cents a bird) I would reccomend in my catalog. It would be interesting to see if anyone who vaccinated or didn't had an outbreak of Mareks', I have not heard of one, could be in part to vaccinating hard to say unless you did it yourself or the disease is so rare possibly from past vaccination regimines? Gold'nchocolate, research the vaccine process as there are time sensitive issues if not followed that make the vaccine worthless.
04-10-2010, 06:10 PM
Umm I thought everyone still got vaccinated for polio?... maybe small pox would have been a better example :)
04-10-2010, 08:13 PM
Your probably right, I just meant the odds of your flock getting Mareks' is probably so rare and most people recycle their birds on average less than 2 year rotations and meat types even less that most people in my circle do not vaccinate and maybe it is the cost I really don't know. If my memory serves me correct the Mareks' epidemic was mostly confined to large commercial egg operations and to some degree meat farms which, one of the problems they have and most private farms don't is the large # of birds in a confined area. Thinking out loud here I wonder what the numbers are in backyard farms for mortality? just a guess but I would say shipping and then predators vaccinated or not, what do you think?
04-10-2010, 08:19 PM
I didn't lose nearly as many as I was counting on. Other than the ones that died within the first few days I maybe have lost 6 out of 60. 2 to a dog, 1 to the snow, 2 unexplained, 1 gone w/o a trace while I was on vacation. I have at least 10 that never go in the coop, the rest are usually allowed to range whenever I am home. Several should have been hit on the road! All but my own hatched birds are vaccinated.
04-10-2010, 09:35 PM
Sounds pretty normal to me. Since the first of the year up to today out of about 150 chicks I have lost 4 or 5 all but 1 at less than 3 weeks. I have one tonite not doing well, my daschund grabbed one earlier today I was shocked she wont kill a mouse, lucky for the chicken she doesn't have many teeth. I read some posts on some other sites and boy is there alot of opinions on this subject. One thing I did find consistent in the professional opinions was the vaccines only prevent the bird from getting the tumors. Now that my feelings on the subject are exposed my luck is my birds will get it!! hope not.
04-10-2010, 09:46 PM
I think personally I would rather eat a vaccinated birds than one riddled with tumors. Of course I heard at one time (propaganda or not) that over 50% of commercial chicken has some sort of cancer/tumors.
04-11-2010, 04:47 PM
another reason to raise your own and prepare it, was shown what a tumor looks like once by a vet. They probably dont taste very well either, I heard they taste well... like chicken!! lol
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.2 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.