Marek's Disease is very prevalent everywhere there is poultry, and if your chickens catch it there is no cure.
    Vaccinating chicks for Marek's is not hard once you get the hang of it, and worth doing to prevent losses in
    your flocks.

    What you'll need:
  • Vaccine
  • Dilutant
  • One 3 ml syringe
  • A number of 1 ml syringes (I use one syringe for about every three chicks.)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towel
  • Two carboard boxes

    When you order the vaccine, it comes in two parts, the small vial with the wafer of vaccine itself, and the large
    vial of dilutant. You only need to refrigerate the vaccine itself, not the dilutant.
Vaccinating Chicks for Marek's Disease
    Step 1- Assemble your tools, and put a layer of paper towel down
    onto the table on which you will work. You want a surface that won't
    be slippery.
    Step 2 - Remove the metal top from the bottles of vaccine and
    dilutant. Clean both with the alcohol on a cotton ball.
    Step 3 - Using a sterile 3 ml syringe, withdraw 3 ml of dilutant from
    the bottle.
    Step 6 - Put the syringe needle tip back into the small vaccine vial (do
    not put it in too much.) Inject the air into the vial (this breaks the
    vacuum in the vial.) Leave the syringe needle in the vial, do not
    remove it.
    Step 4 - Insert the syringe into the small bottle of vaccine and insert
    the dilutant. Remove the syringe. Swish the small bottle around so that
    the vaccine wafer completely dissolves. Then, pull back on the plunger
    of the 3 ml syringe to fill it with about 2 to 3 ml of air. This is very
    Step 7 - Remove the syringe from the vaccine vial, and insert it into
    the dilutant bottle. Push the plunger down so that the contents of the
    syringe (with the now dissolved vaccine) are released into the dilutant
    bottle. Gently swirl the dilutant bottle so that the vaccine is evenly
    distributed. Now you're ready to go.
    Step 8 - Put a layer of paper towel into the bottom of both boxes. Put
    all the unvaccinated chicks into one box (the other box is to put them
    in once you vaccinate them, so you'll know which ones have been
    Step 9 - Take a small syringe (the 1 ml ones that diabetics use are
    perfect for this.) Fill it with 0.2 ml (two tenths) of the vaccine mixture
    (which is now in the dilutant bottle.).
    Step 10 - Pick up a chick and put it on the paper towel in front of
    you. Grasp it gently behind the neck, pulling up a small fold of skin.
    Step 11 - Gently inject the vaccine into the fold of skin. You will feel
    a small bump growing under the bird's skin as the vaccine goes in. If
    you insert the needle too far or not far enough, you will feel your
    fingers get too wet, and you will have to start over with that one..
    Step 12 - Take the vaccinated chick and put it into the second box,
    which is for the ones who have been done. When you're finished with
    them all, put them back into the brooder right away so they won't get
    chilled. Watch them over the next few days for pasted vent or other
    Nota Bene:

  • Vaccinate healthy one-day-old chicks only.

  • Store the vaccine bottle in fridge, not over 45 degrees.

  • Cup the chick in your hand while doing this, as they often push
    backwards with their feet. For the first several times it is helpful to
    have someone hold the chick while you do the actual injection.

  • The dilutant bottle may be stored at room temperature.

  • Do not save the vaccine, it is only good for two hours after mixing.

  • This vaccination is subcutaneous. That means under the skin. You do
    not want to put the vaccine into the muscles or veins of the chick.
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