Why are chicken vaccinations so important? Most chicken raisers ask this question, and simply assume they are unimportant. Chicken vaccinations are actually very important! They insure your flock immunity or some immunity to disease, prevention from chicken disease outbreaks, and facilitate taking care of chickens.
(A picture of a Fowl Pox vaccine with the medicine to inject into them in the bottles and the wing web injector in front of them. Picture from: Stromberg’s Hatchery.)
Vaccinations enhance immunity to birds, or at least some. Most vaccinations provide full immunity to birds where if they are exposed to the disease, they will get no illness. Some vaccinations such as the one for Marek’s Disease, give birds some immunity to help the disease not be as extreme. With the Marek’s Disease vaccination, it prevents paralysis of the wings and legs (or it to say a bit more complicated, it should stop the growth of tumors at an earlier stage to where it won’t paralysis the places where the tumors grow like the legs or wings). Even though it won’t stop birds from getting Marek’s, it is still a very good idea to vaccinate your birds for Marek’s. Anyways, whether it enhances a little or full immunity, it is still worth doing it.
If you give your birds vaccinations, it can help prevent further outbreaks of chicken disease. Vaccinating your birds is especially important if you show your chickens, because the chickens will be with a myriad of other chickens that could be sick, or it could cause other people’s birds to get sick from your possibly ill bird. But, even if you don’t show chickens, it can still prevent outbreaks. I’m sure if you have a flock, you frequently or at least sometimes, have other people see them. If those people have chickens, they could expose those chickens to an infectious disease your chickens had, and then the disease spreads. Vaccinating your birds for New Castle Disease, Marek’s Disease, and Infectious Bronchitis are good disease to do because those are very common, wide-spreading diseases. Vaccinating birds for diseases to help prevent outbreaks which helps sustain chickens and your community.
When you vaccinate your birds for diseases, you make the job easier for yourself in the long run. It may seem like a hassle to pay for the vaccine, do it yourself or have a vet do it, and having to be careful not to stress out your chickens, but if prevents diseases it’s all worth your time. It’s frustrating walking into the coop with listless, dead, lame, paralyzed, or emaciated chickens. It stresses the owner out a lot, because they have to quarantine, find out what their bird(s) have, cure it, and keep them healthy in the future. All the frustration could be simply stopped by vaccinating your birds.
Vaccinating your birds gives your birds good immunity to disease, prevents outbreaks of diseases, and makes the job of raising chickens easier for you. So look into vaccinations, vaccinated chicks when you get them, and keep your birds healthy!