If you buy your chickens from a reputable source then they will usually be fully vaccinated. When buying birds you should always ask if they are vaccinated, and should avoid buying hens that aren’t. If you do buy hens that aren’t vaccinated, consider getting them vaccinated to save yourself some heartache later on. A number of preventative treatments are available from vets, including the following;
- Mareks disease
- Salmonella Enteriditis
- Infectious Bursal disease
- Infectious Bronchitis (various strains)
- Newcastle disease
- Infectious Laryngotracheitis
- Turkey/Avian Rhinotracheitis
- Avian Encephalomyelitis
- Egg drop syndrome
A Welsummer hen free roaming in search of bugs
Most chicken sellers will vaccinate their hens against all of these diseases. No top ups or boosters are required, so you can be safe in the knowledge that all your hens are fully protected against nasty diseases.
If you are keeping a few chickens in your garden then it is more likely that you will be buying started pullets that are fully vaccinated, so you won’t have to think about protecting your mini flock. However if you have decided to hatch your own chicks then you will need to decide whether you want to vaccinate them.
There are plenty of chicken keepers out there who don’t bother vaccinating their chickens. They believe that if you keep your coop very clean and always ensure a fresh supply of food and water there should be no problems. However, other poultry keepers believe that protecting your flock via preventative vaccinations is the sensible method.
For further advice on how to get your hens vaccinated, contact your vet for more information.