Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#89124 - 04/28/10 04:28 AM Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
I used to lose a bird to Marek's from time to time. I started vaccinating my chicks--whether hatched in my incubator or purchased from a hatchery--last year. I have continued the practice this year. I haven't lost any birds to Marek's in over a year. Not all of my birds have been vaccinated, since I still have many of my older hens.

I would like to let a broody hen hatch and raise some chicks. I'm wondering if I can do this. Presumably I could vaccinate the chicks. However, since not all the birds in my flock were vaccinated, I imagine there is virus "around."

If I isolated the potential mama hen in a coop away from the rest of the flock, would that be enough?

Kathy

Top
#89125 - 04/28/10 05:46 AM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Kathy W.]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Denmark
I'm not really sure what would be the point of your action. Do you want to protect the chicks from their mother or the other way around? If you do vaccinations of the chicks, you must do it immediately before they are exposed to the virus, so it would be better to hatch them in an incubator and give them for adoption after the vaccination. According to the most sources on the Internet, by vaccinating the chicks, you transform them into "walking bombs" for the rest of their life. It may be beneficial for you to read this thread:

http://www.the-coop.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=11664&page=2

Top
#89126 - 04/28/10 06:20 AM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Kathy W.]
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Kathy W
I used to lose a bird to Marek's from time to time. I started vaccinating my chicks--whether hatched in my incubator or purchased from a hatchery--last year. I have continued the practice this year. I haven't lost any birds to Marek's in over a year. Not all of my birds have been vaccinated, since I still have many of my older hens.
Kathy


Your experience matches my own. Unvaccinated birds, if they are genetically resistant, are not apt to develop Marek's just from being with vaccinated birds. The organism is in the environment, and there are only two solutions: vaccination, which is about 95 to 98 percent effective, and keeping/raising genetically resistant strains of poultry.

I hatch most of my chicks in an incubator and vaccinate them as day-olds. I also hatch chicks under bantam hens later in the season, and those chicks are not vaccinated. The chicks hatched under hens generally thrive, although occasionally a few will be lost during the grow-out stage. The survivors are intermingled with the vaccinated birds and do just fine. It is said that pretty much all chickens will eventually succomb to Marek's in one form or another if they live long enough.
_________________________
Pilgrim in a foreign land and true believer.
1st John 5:11-12

Top
#89129 - 04/28/10 02:57 PM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Bushman]
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
Wieslaw, I read through the thread you suggested. Lots of opinions and practices in that thread in the many other discussions of Marek's. One person in the thread wondered about whether genetically resistance birds that were said to have the virus in a "latent" form could spread the virus to other birds. I didn't see an answer/comment on that one.

I agree generally that it would be best to breed for resistance, but then it's very disheartening to lose a bunch of birds--or potentially many. I've kept chickens for almost 20 years, and it's only in the past year that I finally decided to vaccinate. I've also decided that if I see Marek's symptoms again, the bird gets culled immediately to minimize spreading of the virus. I'm also fogging the coops with Oxine when I clean them now.

I really wasn't worried about the vaccinated birds spreading the virus to the unvaccinated birds. I was concerned about protecting the new chicks from their "mother" and just the birdy environment in general. I've read that after vaccination chicks should be kept isolated for a week to develop their resistance. Will a broody hen accept week-old chicks?

Bushman, your last statement is pretty scary. What a thought. Are the unvaccinated chicks you lose generally lost to Marek's?

I would really like to have at least some hen raised chicks. I keep thinking that I'm probably raising neurotic birds because they have no real mothering. I would like to compare the behavior of my brooder peer raised chicks and hen raised chicks.

Kathy

Top
#89130 - 04/28/10 03:46 PM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Kathy W.]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Denmark
Originally Posted By: Kathy W
Will a broody hen accept week-old chicks?

I've only tried this once with two chicks after an accidental death of one of the broodies (but I think they were older than one week). The pullet was accepted but the cockerel was not.

Sometimes there can be some problems even earlier if some chicks are of the colour, which the broodie's chicks don't have. Therefore, I always try to set more hens at the same time and mix different colours, so it is much easier to add the chicks that I hatch in the incubator.

I was not aware that you must wait so long after the vaccination, so I don't think that it can be an option. I don't vaccinate myself.

Top
#89132 - 04/28/10 05:40 PM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Wieslaw]
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
Thanks for your thoughts.

Kathy

Top
#89727 - 06/12/10 01:51 AM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Kathy W.]
Poultry Doc Offline
Feather

Registered: 06/11/10
Posts: 37
Loc: Idaho
Sorry for late response, but let me share my 2-cents of knowledge on Marek's. I have seen this disease evolve from the early 1990s up to now, and what I can share as of now is that if it is confirmed that your place has Marek's, this can easily spread through feather dusts and affect unprotected ones. Unprotected ones mean unvaccinated and those that do not have genetic resistance to the disease. Yes, there are birds that have inherent capability to withstand Marek's challenge, while there are others that cannot live without vaccine protection. Also, the disease has progressed into more virulent types in such a way that former vaccine types become "obsolete" in 5-7 years that manufacturers need to develop new types. This is quite a complex topic, but I just thought that I should share what I've learned.

Poultry Doc

Top
#89863 - 06/18/10 05:05 AM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Poultry Doc]
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
Poultry Doc, then what about birds that were vaccinated? Do the antibodies they have help against the new strains of Marek's, or are they just as susceptible to the new strains as unvaccinated birds? Kathy

Top
#89866 - 06/18/10 08:57 AM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Kathy W.]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Since the vaccine only comes in a tablet that would vaccinate 1500 chicks, some veterinarians recommend boosters every 2 or 3 years. After vaccinating chicks (I will vaccinate 8 chicks this weekend and will use 1/4 tablet) there is plenty of mixed vaccine (which must be used promptly) to give a booster--a slightly larger dose--to older birds. I seldom do this, as the logistics are not easy to arrange. Others do, and this would help cover the new strains that develop.

After losing some valuable birds to Marek's before I really knew what it was and after learning a bit more, I have vaccinated every chick since 1999. I have not had any breaks in my vaccinated birds and no longer have any that were not vaccinated. I have three 8-year-old hens at present. However, since I have sent birds all over the country, there have been several birds that developed symptoms of Marek's or died some time after shipping--perhaps a stress factor?

I never purchase or obtain ANY new birds not vaccinated or NPIP tested. Yet one such bird died 10 days after arrival, apparently in top condition for 7 days and then just faded with no typical symptoms. I sent him to a university lab for necropsy. It was Marek's, but the nerve tissue kind had small tumors, nothing one could see without the necropsy. (However, the cock did mate with a laying hen his last 4 days, and I hatched three chicks by him. The eggs were laid after he died!) I still have a super grandson and seven 2010 young birds--his legacy!

So Marek's will remain a dreadful scourge worldwide, and each of us must decide how we will face it. CJR

Top
#89869 - 06/18/10 11:05 AM Re: Marek's Vaccination--Hen Raising Chicks [Re: Kathy W.]
Poultry Doc Offline
Feather

Registered: 06/11/10
Posts: 37
Loc: Idaho
The vaccinated ones seemed to be fine. I presume their genetic make-up and the Marek's shot they got in the beginning are a real fit from the start.

There are two things we have to look out here: Marek's disease evolution and the genetic manipulation by breeders. Considering that vaccine manufacturers continued to produce newer and more potent types (from SB1 to HVT to combo SB1+HVT and so on), I believe that the disease in the field is evolving. Nonetheless, you have to consider your area endemicity before getting scared on this disease. On the other hand, breeders do a great deal of manipulations in their birds in pursuit of breed edge. Sometimes in this pursuit, one of the trade offs is resistance to diseases like Marek's.

Having said these, we farmers have to be vigilant.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2