What inoculations/vaccinations do baby chicks receive or need to receive...

Asked May 5, 2016, 10:13 AM EDT

What inoculations/vaccinations do baby chicks receive or need to receive prior to purchase from the hatchery? Are free range chickens healthier compared to confined high production/caged birds? What diseases have been found in the backyard chicken environment? And what was the issue - sanitation? fed/water????? poor care????

Greene County Ohio

1 Response

You have many questions that I will attempt to answer. Due to the size and scope of them it may be difficult and best served with a trip to the local library as they are not ones that can be answered in a short time.
For vaccines, you want chicks that comply with NPIP. That is the National Poultry Improvement Program. If the hatchery states that they follow those you should be in good shape vaccine wise.
For free range vs commercial I have heard both are healthier. It depends on the producer. Commercial farms have regulation while free range backyard owner do not. Commercial producers have Veterinarians on staff as well to ensure compliance. It is up to the backyard person to maintain a healthy flock. This is all true if they are free range or not. It depends on how well the standards of care are met.
Disease wise there are hundreds of different diseases that can be found in backyard flocks. They can be caused by all the conditions you mentioned or they can prevented by good sanitation and husbandry practices.
A good resource for information is the Poultry Team website by Ohio State Extension. Feel free to access the site at u.osu.edu/poultry/

Good Luck!