Health, Vaccination & Disease

Vaccination FAQ

We maintain an extensive vaccination program for our breeding birds and any birds offered for sale. All vaccinations are administered on-site by us, adhering to strict biosecurity protocols. We do not share vaccines or participate in group vaccinations, as this could compromise the effectiveness of the vaccine and expose our birds to additional diseases.

Marek’s disease vaccine administration video
Mycoplasma MS and MG double strain vaccine administration video

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding vaccinated birds:

Q. Chickens have strong immune systems. Is it necessary?

A. While chickens do have immune systems, vaccines help bolster their immunity and protect against specific diseases that can be devastating to flocks.

Q. I have heard vaccines can cause more harm than good, is it true?

A. Vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and efficacy before approval for use in poultry. They help prevent disease outbreaks and reduce the need for antibiotics, ultimately improving flock health and welfare.

Q. Can vaccines spread diseases to healthy birds?

A. Vaccines are made from weakened or killed pathogens that cannot cause disease. They stimulate the chicken’s immune system to recognize and fight off the actual pathogen, preventing them getting ill from the diseases.

One straightforward piece of evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of poultry vaccines is the widespread practice among backyard chicken keepers worldwide. Many of these keepers raise a mix of commercial breeds, which are typically fully vaccinated for various diseases at the hatchery or growing farms, alongside heritage breeds that aren’t vaccinated, without encountering problems. This practical experience directly contradicts the myths perpetuated by misleading information.

The evolution of poultry vaccines since their introduction in the 1950s and 1960s has played a crucial role in dispelling these myths. Today’s vaccines are much more stable and safer compared to the vaccines used in the past. This evolution has contributed to dispelling various myths surrounding poultry vaccines.

Q. Do vaccines provide 100% protection against diseases?

A. While vaccines significantly reduce the risk of disease, they may not provide complete immunity in all cases. Proper vaccination protocols, including timing and storage and quarantine after vaccination are essential for maximizing effectiveness.

Q. Is it worth paying more for vaccinated birds?

A. The cost difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated birds is typically minimal compared to the potential losses and emotional distress that can result from disease outbreaks. While there may be some upfront costs associated with purchasing , the investment is well worth it in terms of protecting the health and welfare of the flock.

Q. I have chicks hatched under a broody hen (or bought unvaccinated chicks). Can I get my chicks vaccinated ?

A. It’s important to understand that most vaccines are most effective before they come into contact with any viruses or diseases. It’s important to keep them protected from exposure for about 2-3 weeks after vaccination until their immune systems are fully developed. This allows the vaccine to take effect and provide the best possible protection for your chicks.

Even if a broody hen is vaccinated and appears healthy, she could still be a silent carrier of disease, having been exposed without showing symptoms. Chicks hatched under her may have been in contact with the virus from the moment they hatched. Similarly, unvaccinated chicks may have been exposed to diseases during or after hatching. While it’s possible to vaccinate chicks hatched under a broody hen or purchased unvaccinated chicks, no one can guarantee the effectiveness of the vaccination.

Q. Can vaccines be administered anytime?

A. Vaccines must be administered according to specific protocols, including proper timing and dosage, to ensure effectiveness. Deviating from recommended guidelines may compromise vaccine efficacy.

Q. Can we get our bird vaccinated from the vet?

A. In Australia, many poultry vaccines are sold in large quantities, often in units of 1000 doses, and are temperature-sensitive. Once the seal is opened, most vaccines have a limited window of only a few hours for use, and any remaining vaccine cannot be reused. Average vaccine costs range from $250 to $500, including temperature-sensitive overnight shipping. The high cost of vaccines makes it challenging for veterinarians to offer vaccination services for small flocks of chickens.

Q. Do you offer vaccination services?

A. We are a unique small-scale poultry farm committed to ensuring the utmost protection for our breeding birds and chicks through an extensive vaccination program. We dedicate significant resources, both financially and in terms of time, to provide maximum protection for our birds. As a breeder, we administer vaccinations on-site, taking personal responsibility for the health of our flock.

However, it’s important to note that we do not offer poultry vaccination services to others. This decision is based on legal considerations, as we are not qualified veterinarians and providing vaccination services may be regulated by law. We prioritize compliance with legal requirements and focus on providing the best care for our own birds.