When you’re buying poultry, it’s worth checking out what the breeder means by “vaccinated”, as it can be one of those terms that varies greatly in meaning from one breeder to another. Some of the less scrupulous poultry suppliers will only have chicks that have been vaccinated at one day old and leave it at that, and sell poultry with the impression that their stock is fully Vaccinated.
so it’s always best to ask for details of the vaccine or to ask to see their Vaccination program.
The basic rules are:
This will be poultry (chickens only) vaccinated for Marek’s Disease, that will have been vaccinated within the first few days of hatch.
Fully Vaccinated Stock
This will be poultry (chickens only) vaccinated for Marek’s Disease plus other common vaccinations like (most importantly) Infectious Bronchitis “various strains” (IB), and Avian RhinoTracheitis (ART), and some others such as Newcastle Disease (ND), EDS, Egg Drop Syndrome, Infectious LaryngoTracheitis (ILT), Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG), Salmonella Enteriditis, Infectious Bursal Disease and Avain Encephalomyelitis.
Waterfowl may be vaccinated for some of these especially MG, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, but waterfowl will not be vaccinated for Marek’s Disease, Others vaccines available such as for Coccidiosis may be used by some suppliers, but if only vaccinated for Coccidiosis these Chickens at POL should not be sold as Vaccinated Stock as Coccidiosis is only a problem in Growers at 3-14 weeks, so this vaccine is no advantage to people buying POL/fully grown Chickens.
Most Vaccinations are sold in doses of 1000 - 5000 doses with a shelf life of approx one year, but also with the live vaccines once opened and mixed it must be used within approx 2 hours, so when vaccinating 100 birds you are throwing 900 doses away, as the vaccine dies after this time and cannot be stored, so this does make vaccinating very expensive.
You will find that about 95% to 100% of all commercially hatched poultry will be vaccinated for Marek’s Disease at a day old, and also most commercially reared POL chickens/hybrids will be vaccinated up to POL, but as vaccinated hybrids chicks are sold off to smaller suppliers it will differ from supplier to supplier depending if it is affordable for them to fully vaccinate their poultry while they are rearing them for re-sale. “Most” smaller suppliers Do Not fully Vaccinate!
Here at Orchard Poultry, we think it’s vitally important to make sure all our poultry are looked after to the very highest standards, so we vaccinate for:
- Marek’s Disease
- Infectious Bronchitis
- Newcastle Disease
- Avian RhrinoTracheitis
- Egg Drop Syndrome
- Mycoplasma gallisepticum
We’re also DEFRA registered.