Should Vaccinated Chicks be on Non-Medicated Feed? The Answer You Need to Know.

I know that ensuring the health and well-being of my flock is of utmost importance. One question that often arises is whether or not to feed chicks vaccinated for Marek’s disease with medicated feed.

After doing some research and consulting with other chicken experts, I can confidently say that there is no issue with feeding vaccinated chicks medicated feed.

Understanding Marek’s Disease and Vaccinations

Marek’s disease is a highly contagious viral infection that affects chickens. It is caused by the herpes virus and can cause tumors, paralysis, and even death. There are five strains of Marek’s disease, and chickens can be vaccinated against all of them. The vaccine is typically administered in the hatchery, so most chicks purchased from feed stores, pet stores, or online will already be vaccinated.

Coccidiosis and Medicated Feed

On the other hand, medicated feed is designed to prevent coccidiosis, a parasitic infection that affects the intestinal tract of chickens. Coccidiosis is a common issue for young chicks, and medicated feed is an effective way to prevent it. Medicated feed contains a coccidiostat, which inhibits the growth of the parasite that causes coccidiosis.

Should Vaccinated Chicks be on Non-Medicated Feed?

Now that we understand what Marek’s disease and medicated feed are, we can address the question of whether vaccinated chicks should be on the non-medicated feed. The short answer is that it doesn’t matter if vaccinated chicks are fed medicated feed or not. Marek’s vaccine has nothing to do with medicated feed, and feeding medicated feed will not affect the efficacy of the vaccine.

However, there is an important caveat to consider. If the chicks are also vaccinated for coccidiosis, then there is no need to feed them medicated feed. If they are not vaccinated for coccidiosis, then feeding them medicated feed is recommended to prevent the parasite from infecting them.

Knowing About Marek’s Disease

It is important to note that even if your chicks are vaccinated for Marek’s disease, it is still essential to be aware of the disease’s symptoms and effects. Marek’s disease can be difficult to diagnose, and symptoms can appear differently depending on the strain of the virus. Understanding the disease’s symptoms can help you recognize when there is an issue and take appropriate measures to address it.

In addition, as a chicken keeper, it is important to be mindful of biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of diseases. Even if your chickens are vaccinated, they can still be carriers of diseases that can infect other flocks. By practicing good biosecurity measures, such as cleaning and disinfecting equipment and limiting visitors to your flock, you can help prevent the spread of diseases.


In conclusion, feeding vaccinated chicks with medicated feed is perfectly fine and will not affect the efficacy of the Marek’s vaccine.

However, if the chicks are also vaccinated for coccidiosis, then there is no need to feed them medicated feed. As a chicken keeper, it is crucial to understand the diseases that can affect your flock, such as Marek’s disease, and to practice good biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of diseases.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure the health and wellbeing of your chickens and provide them with a safe and happy home.

You might also like

About James Polystead

I grew up on a small farm. My parents used to grow food and keep animals for our sustenance. They would sell the surplus to make an extra coin to supplement the income from their jobs. I am taking the same path. I have over 40 chickens for eggs and meat. I also grow vegetables in my backyard. follow me on Twitter

View all posts by James Polystead

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *