Marek Disease vaccination - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 01/03/11, 12:04 PM
 
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Marek Disease vaccination

As I mentioned before I lost almost my whole flock to Mareks disease and wanted to start a new one in the spring and was wondering if it's possible to vaccinate ya own chicks instead of buying them already vaccinated? If so where can I buy the vaccination and what is the best way to clean the pens to help kill the disease. Thanks.

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Old 01/03/11, 12:55 PM
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It really isn't cost effective to buy a vial rather than pay the hatchery to do it. It also needs to be done right after hatch. If you wait till they are shipped and then do it, it is a bit late already.

It is a herpes virus and survives months in shed dander and feces. I'd spread lime in the pens after raking out everything I could if I were trying to clean them to prevent the spread. Put on a mask and spray bleach in the coop, saturating everything with a bleach solution. Don't breath it and cover your hair and wear goggles.

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  #3  
Old 01/03/11, 04:08 PM
 
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I was wondering if we can catch Marek disease from the chickens or can this be passed on to our other animals like rabbits ?

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Old 01/03/11, 04:51 PM
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So how does one protect chicks hatched from their own, a friend's or purchased eggs? Or is that impossible?

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Old 01/03/11, 05:06 PM
 
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Please do alot of research on this vaccine. It is a live vaccine, and as mentioned it can live for a very long time. Once you vacinate...all MUST be vaccinated thereafter.

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Old 01/03/11, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazlin View Post
Please do alot of research on this vaccine. It is a live vaccine, and as mentioned it can live for a very long time. Once you vacinate...all MUST be vaccinated thereafter.
Why is this? I know some are carriers, some are resistant.

We had a marek's case a few months ago. Of 4 chicks, all hatched and raised by the same mum, one caught it, and the other 3 were perfectly fine. Not sure how we ended up with it...wild birds?

So far, we have had no other cases. I bleach down our coop every other month, but they free-range so I imagine if they're going to get it, they're going to get it! Hoping to perpetuate a tolerant flock. Would be easier than vaccinating all 20 odd chickens.
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Old 01/03/11, 05:19 PM
 
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I'm not sure why some get it, and some don't. I would think the healthier one's can be somewhat resistant. This topic can cause alot debate, and I really feel each should do their own research, and decide what's best in their situation. One thing I know is most hatchery's will tell you this is NOT for a small flock. I looked into it for my chickens awhile back, and decided against it. Mainly for the simple reason, it being a live vaccine which stays present in their feathers, dander, poop, and can live in soil for up to 2 yrs.

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Old 01/03/11, 07:07 PM
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If the disease is already present in your coop, then the vaccine is not going to introduce something new. From everything that I read, once you have Marek's the disease is present for 3 years after removing all infected chickens. I lost a bunch of chickens this year from Marek's and had my new chickens vaccinated against it. However, I still lost at least 2 out of 30 from the same disease. It prevents some cases but not all. Unless you can start over in a new spot with all new equipment, sterilize your boots and clothes, I don't think that you will get rid of it.

I paid 17 cents extra for my chicks with the vaccine. I'm sure that I would have lost more if I hadn't had it done.

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Old 01/03/11, 07:22 PM
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I don't vaccinate. I cull any bird that has symptoms. I have a few losses but over all they are resistant. I try to only breed birds that are very healthy and are at least 2 yrs old. This gives the weaker birds a chance to die off if they are going to. However, since I free range, sometimes the birds take it into their own hands to procreate. LOL Those are pretty healthy though.

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  #10  
Old 01/03/11, 10:33 PM
 
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Is this passed through the egg? Some hatcheries vacinate all their hens. What I am wondering is would hatchery chicks have the virus in this case?

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  #11  
Old 01/03/11, 11:42 PM
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No, it is not passed thru the egg.
Hatchery birds may not be bred for resistance.

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  #12  
Old 01/05/11, 11:10 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wisconsin
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Below is quote off another poultry forum from Dr. Fulton at MSU. He specializes in poultry.

"I understand your and your poultry pal's concerns but you are right in your thinking about Marek's disease. Marek's disease virus is everywhere. In fact, the vaccination of poultry for Marek's disease is a race to see which virus is going to win in the bird.....the vaccine virus or the disease causing virus. While it is true that Marek's disease vaccinated birds are infected with the vaccine virus for life,
I am not aware of them shedding the vaccine virus. The good news is that the vaccine viruses do not cause disease so your chickens are safe and not "Typhoid Marys." The other vaccines used in poultry do not cause
"Typhoid Marys" except for almost all vaccines used to protect against Infectious Laryngotracheitis. Chickens vaccinated with those vaccines can shed the vaccine virus and the vaccine virus will make non-vaccinated chickens sick.

As for vaccinating your chickens for other diseases, I only recommend vaccinating chickens against diseases you have had or that are in your area. In most cases, that only includes fowl pox."

As far as my own experience, all my chicks I've ordered are Mareks vacc'd. They like to be mommies and I've had them hatch out at least 30 babies, none were vacc'd. All babies are VERY healthy. I've kept most of the babies until 12-16 weeks of age. I haven't had a single chicken death or sickness in 2 years.

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