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Do you vaccinate chicks?Yes! All chicks (unless requested otherwise) are vaccinated for Marek's serotype 3. The vaccine is administered subcutaneously (under the skin) on the back of the neck. There is no cure or treatment for Marek’s disease. Vaccination is the only method to control the disease. To ensure the vaccine is most effective your chicks should be confined to a brooder for 2 weeks where they can come into contact with their feces. They will shed the vaccine and reingest it during this time which improves immunity. Chicks should be kept away from adult birds and handwashing/clothes changing should be practiced before handling chicks after coming into contact with adult birds. These are called biosecurity practices and helps prevent the spread of disease to the most vulnerable (chicks).
Can my chicks live with my adult chickens?No, shipped chicks should not be housed with adult chickens. Chicks need an added heat source until at least 5 weeks of age. Purina has a a comprehensive article outlining chick heat requirements and chick behavior: Chick Care and Heat Requirements Chickens have a heiarchy within their flock. Introducing chicks or young chickens to your adult flock shouldn't be done until your new additions are close to the same size as your adult chickens. If a rooster is present it's best to wait even longer as early mating can injure a young pullet or cause loss of life. No matter what age you can expect new additions to be picked on until they find their place within the flock. Always monitor your flock when new additions are added, intervention to calm nerves or to remove heavily picked on birds may be necessary.
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