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Avian TB Vaccine?

DaisyDaisy Senior Member
edited April 2013 in Producers and Vets
Hi All

I'm hoping someone can tell me if it is possible to vaccinate chickens against avian TB?
We have just one Welsummer at the moment having lost all our other chickens to TB over the past couple of years. We'd like to get some more chickens to keep her company (she is in excellent health) but don't want to risk them getting infected. It was suggested that ex batts would have been vaccinated for TB but the BHWT say otherwise :(
So, if I could buy some chickens and get them vaccinated by my vet that would be a solution.




  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    Hi Daisy, I spent some time yesterday looking up Avian TB. I couldn't find any vaccination for it, certainly nothing that is routinely sold by poultry suppliers.

    Are you definite your other hens had it? Also, what about testing your last hen for the infection? Did your vet advise about disinfecting everything to try and minimise the spread?
  • DaisyDaisy Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    Hi Little Chick

    Weird, I only just found your reply - many thanks for getting back to me.

    I've not been able to find a vaccine online too. I think I will have to give my vet a call.

    We're pretty sure it was TB that killed the other chickens. We lost 9 with varying symptoms. We tested for lymphoid leukosis and that came back negative. The symptoms didn't quite match marreks so that led to the TB diagnosis. We haven't had Bramble, our remaining girl, tested. We could I think, I'm not sure if it would show up if she is just a carrier? I don't know how it works. We had a post mortem on one of the last girls we lost but it didn't show anything conclusive.

    We disinfected everything after we lost the 9th chicken and I resurfaced the run but they were very free range so I couldn't disinfect all the land they had been on.

    After we lost the first 4 girls (we didn't know what the problem was then) we still had 2 who seemed in great health. After about 5 months on their own we got another 4 thinking it would be ok by then. Needless to say it wasn't :(

    I was planning to just keep Bramble on her own for as long as she lived but I feel sorry for her being on her own and she's only about 2 years old.

  • MEGANMEGAN Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    Daisy thats awful. You tried to hard to ensure you were clear and still lost more girls. Did you get vaccinated girls at all the second time.
    It must be so heartbreaking seeing them all go down hill and die like that. I find it so frustrating that vets know so little about hens and often when they die they dont know the cause.How can you protect against it if you do not have a definite diagnosis.
    There is the Retford Poultry Practice that do tests at a very reasonable cost it may be worth ringing them and see if there is any way they can test Bramble. One of the members used them lately and they had only good to say about them. You dont have to live near them you can send samples and they can do the tests. I was originally put on to them by Little Hen Rescue they said to ring and ask there advise about one of my ex bats. Good Luck to you and Bramble
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    So from what you are saying it is not definite that the hens you lost had TB? There is a chance it was something else. Good idea from Megan. Retfords are probably the best place to get in touch with to ask for advice on this one. I think there is a test that can be done to check for TB (along the lines of the human test) but I'm not sure about the effects on the bird if it is a positive result, perhaps swelling or something.

    I would have thought that the PM would have shown up TB?

    This link to pages on this site show very clearly TB in an infected bird

  • DaisyDaisy Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    Thanks both for your replies. It was a really horrid time, some girls went quickly and others were ill for months. They took lots of caring for and trips back and forth to the vet and trying different medications. The symptoms varied lots from respiritory problems, lameness, peritonitis, crop problems to general weight loss etc. Apparantly TB can cause tumours anywhere in the body which is why their were so many different syptoms and it was so hard to diagnose. So my vet told me anyway after two years of visits! He said the post mortem wasn't conclusive, he did say something else but I can't really remember. It was really upsetting letting them have Buttercup to cut open and then they didn't want to give her back to us to bury - said she was a public health risk. We did get her back of course - don't think anyone can argue with a hysterical girl!

    I will call Retford - thanks for the tip. I'll have to try and find a local vet here too who is better for the future. They were supposed to be the poultry friendly vet in the area and I was impressed that at least they knew the anatomy of a chicken unlike some other vets I've been to!

    We'd love some ex batts so fingers crossed! :D

  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    Good luck Daisy, let us know how things turn out for you. x
  • AllanoAllano Junior Member
    edited July 2012
    I think you should discuss it further with your veterinarian for they greatly see if which one would make it for your chicken and they also consider seeing your merchant account poultry first.
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