chicikens and vaccinations

Naomi MillerJanuary 14, 2010

Hello everyone, I have a question about chickens and vaccinations. I hear so many opinions and read so many contradictory information that I would just like to hear some of the real life folks here and their practices and experiences.

I will admit my flock is a mixed lot; about half are hatchery born and therefore, mareks vaccinated... some others were hatched here or bought from fairs or shows etc; giving me no idea about their vaccination history.

I suppose my biggest question is if I suppose none of them have ever had any vaccine with the exception of mareks, then is it too late to introduce a vaccination plan? If , on the other hand, they did receive vaccines (at least those that were raised elsewhere), will it hurt to revaccinate?

Does anyone have a good schedule that works when hatching ? And also, a 'booster' program for adult birds? But most of all, would it be helpful or harmful to just vaccinate them all this Spring with all the things that they should have been as chicks? Is there withdrawal time for eggs after vaccinating?

I know this is a lot of questions and perhaps does not make much sense to some of you but we have lost 3 chickens this winter......otherwise healthy birds, just dead in the morning.... no respiratory condition noticed.... now please do not turn this message into all kinds of advice about how to treat disease or the need for necropsy ..... that is not my question.... I simply want to know about vaccinations.... thank you for your reply.......

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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Very interesting. I'll watch closely. I have never vaccinated my chickens in 15+ years.

Luke

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 4:24PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

I'm with Luke,

I raise my ducks and rabbits organiclly, almost ten years. I'd also like to hear what others say.

Eric
Do not meddle with the forces of nature, for you are small, insignificant,and boidegradable.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 5:10PM
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Naomi Miller

I am with you both....... I have never vaccinated chickens, ducks, turkeys, pheasant..and I have them all......and they all free range in the same acreage.... I do however, vaccinate my goats, sheep , cow and horse selectively based on the fact that they never leave the farm so can only be exposed to things brought in by other animals or insects....but it seems that last year, at first sign of below freezing temps, I lost a chicken every two weeks or so from some respiratory looking thing..... I studied up on what I could do for treatment and this year, I have had good luck knocking it out of the two that appeared to have it so far....but I have still lost three with no appearance of illness, just found dead in the morning in the coop.......no sign of predator or injury.....just dead..... I try with all my might to keep all my pets as natural as possible...... everyone gets to free range... every one has somewhere to be closed up at night away from predators.... everyone gets natural probiotics and wormers, except once a year and I do my own fecal floats and only treat if there is an infestation...... so I understand not having any input and I understand wanting to keep it all natural, but with 80+ chickens that I love like kids, I want them to have whatever will keep them healthy and happy.... so anyone else have any real input? Please

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 5:47PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

How are your chickens doing?

Luke

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 10:37AM
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sundae(NW Iowa)

I too do not vaccinate, but I do put ivomac on them every few months. Just a drop on the neck and then a drop at the beggining of the tail feathers.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 8:43AM
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farmgirl01

Never heard of it before.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Naomi Miller

Well, I have not lost any more to date.... I lost two early in this season , who appeared perfectly healthy at night and were dead by morning.... no sigh of attack or predator, just lying the the corner of the coop dead..... in these, I did not recognize any symptoms of respiratory stress. My turkeys had a bout with a sinus thing where their faces were swollen , I immediately thought, OMG Coryza !!.....but none of the other signs of that so I treated with Tylan as nasal wash and injection.....all is well now.... I have never used Ivomec for the chickens... I use DE for their lice and mite control.... I worm with natural wormers .... but I had to ask to see what others did since USDA and local Ag ext lists a few vaccinations for chickens..... thanks to all who responded. I guess I will just go on the way I am and pray my losses are minimal.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 12:54AM
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Naomi Miller

Well, I have not lost any more to date.... I lost two early in this season , who appeared perfectly healthy at night and were dead by morning.... no sigh of attack or predator, just lying the the corner of the coop dead..... in these, I did not recognize any symptoms of respiratory stress. My turkeys had a bout with a sinus thing where their faces were swollen , I immediately thought, OMG Coryza !!.....but none of the other signs of that so I treated with Tylan as nasal wash and injection.....all is well now.... I have never used Ivomec for the chickens... I use DE for their lice and mite control.... I worm with natural wormers .... but I had to ask to see what others did since USDA and local Ag ext lists a few vaccinations for chickens..... thanks to all who responded. I guess I will just go on the way I am and pray my losses are minimal.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 12:55AM
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emma_feld_btinternet_com

hi everyone
do you have to vaccinate chickens if your going to sell the eggs?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 6:22PM
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mersiepoo(6)

I never do vaccinations or even medicated feed. I had used medicated feed years ago, and the second time I used it I withdrew it too quickly and a lot of the young ones died. Now we don't do any of that. I hatch my own replacement flocks, and haven't (knock on wood) had any disease problems. I did run into problems early on as I had gotten adult chickens from neighbors I didn't know (and didn't inspect the birds beforehand- they were loaded with ALL sorts of disease, parasites, you name it- they also came from a filthy farm- they were delivered so I didn't get to check out their accomodations). After those died, I got new ones from a hatchery, didn't have them vaccinated either. We let our birds free range on grass, and that keeps them happy and healthy. I've only had problems with my animals when I don't let them out to range on grass, bugs, etc. That is when they'll get sick, even if you vaccinate, in my opinion. Also have to make sure their food is good too, vitamin deficiencies will contribute to disease quicker than anything. Same goes with plants and people too, lol!

From the little I know about Mareks disease, I do believe they have to be vaccinated as chicks, not sure about boosters and all that. But, healthy living conditions will keep them more free from disease than just vaccinations.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 3:45PM
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vaherbmom

Last year we lost a couple chickens suddenly and without symptoms. We also had two that went lame in one leg but otherwise seemed ok (one is still living and hobbling around)

Someone told me it was probably Marek's and the only way they could have caught it was from wild birds. Supposedly it is commonly spread through the wild population (?)

Anyway to be on the safe side I have not taken the chickens to fairs or other farms, etc. nor have I sold or given any away. When ordering replacement chicks this spring I had them all vaccinated for Marek's but my understanding is they could still be carriers. My girls were disappointed to not be able to take any to the fair next month. We are not sure we have Marek's but would not want to risk spreading it to the unsuspecting.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 6:28PM
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