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  1. #1
    MaureenHall's Avatar
    MaureenHall is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default Home hatched chicks and vaccination

    Lots of us on here have hatched and raised chicks either from eggs we've bought in or from our own fertilised eggs. I've always used medicated chick crumb and growers pellets for my chicks. Has or does anyone have their chicks vaccinated?

    I lost one of my 12 week old chicks, Pepper, during the night. (I'll call it a "he" cos I don't know what sex, but it makes things easier!) He wasn't showing any symptoms apart from yesterday looking a little bit hunched up as if he was cold. He was eating and drinking ok, not scratching around like the others though. His body feels a bit "light" and thin though. I've been reading up on Mareks Disease since other threads have mentioned it a lot lately and came across this Mareks Disease. I'm not sure at all about the cause of Pepper's death but it did get me thinking about whether or not others vaccinate. I'm hoping to hatch more chicks this year and obviously I want to do the best I can for them and give them the best start and hopefully a long and healthy life. What do you all think?
    My girls found their way into my heart and now they nest there

  2. #2
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    Suechooks is offline Early Fruiter
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    Good post Maureen! It's one of the reasons I've so far only bought in vaccinated stock but it does concern me if I hatch my own. I think a lot of the vaccines are only available in batches of 1000 so not practical for small hobby breeders. I did see some birds for sale recently which were vaccinated against Mareks though, so presumably thats available in smaller batches. Research I've done shows that some is given by injection and some in water and some by spraying in the air. I expect Bramble and Richmond will know about this so will wait to see what comes up!

  3. #3
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    Pepper's symptoms don't sound like Marek's Maureen. Sounds more like Random Chicken Death - which seem to happen out of the blue to any of them.
    Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

    www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    Sorry to hear about little Pepper Maureen. Can't possibly say what caused its death. Might have got cold, or not had enough to eat (kept away by bolshier chicks?).

    Re vaccinating, I have never vaccinated my chicks. My personal feeling is it is not really necessary for backyard keepers if you "run a tight ship" and the birds are kept clean, dry and on appropriate diets. I like to raise mine under broodies and get them out on grass straightaway. They do then acquire some natural immunity from their "environment". As I think I've mentioned on another thread, every time you buy in new birds there is a risk of introducing disease to your flocks. I home-hatch most of the time, ie use my own breeding stock, rather than buying in newbies, although last year added a few extra from elsewhere. Interestingly, it's the newbies that have caused me the most trouble this winter (respiratory problems, lameness) while my own stock seem to be perfectly healthy.

  5. #5
    MaureenHall's Avatar
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    Thanks Flummery and RichmondHens, actually that's what I thought too.

    It'd still be interesting (even though this has been discussed before, ages ago) what other people's thoughts are about vaccination. Also, how much would it cost for just a few chicks?
    Last edited by MaureenHall; 27-01-2010 at 01:02 PM.
    My girls found their way into my heart and now they nest there

  6. #6
    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    I have a feeling I have read somewhere that it's hardly any cheaper to vaccinate a small number of chicks than a large number, as the vaccine is generally sold in an amount that will cover a large amount of birds. This may of course depend on what type of vaccine it is. I do not know what vaccines cost but my guess would be not too much, given how many thousands of chicks are hatched and vaccinated each year ...................!

  7. #7
    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    I also believe the vaccination for Marek's does not automatically mean the bird is protected for life, it could still get it, but if it recovers, will not shed the virus, ie be a carrier and infect others.

  8. #8
    Flummery's Avatar
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    I know of a few people who breed on a small scale and don't vaccinate - but they are ultra-scrupulous about new stock (which you need so you aren't getting interbreeding) and also about culling if birds aren't thriving.
    Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

    www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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