Are Chicks That Have Been Vaccinated for Marek’s Disease Still Organic? - North 40 Life

Are Chicks That Have Been Vaccinated for Marek’s Disease Still Organic?

Chickens are one of the most enjoyable farm animals to raise and, fortunately, you don’t need much space to do just that. In fact, the popularity of urban/backyard chicken farming is now a movement, with owners of small flocks gaining the nutritional benefits of independently grown and farm-fresh eggs. In addition, raising backyard chickens teaches your family—especially kids—personal responsibility and the value of a job well done. Bonus: Your kids will love their backyard chickens. Whether you have 40 acres at your disposal, or just a small yard in the city, our How To Raise Chickens section explains how to build a successful flock. Feel free to “scratch around.”


Marek’s disease is a contagious disease found among chickens worldwide. That’s why vaccination is so important. But did you know, that even though our chicks are vaccinated for Marek’s disease they are still organic? That’s because the vaccination for Marek’s is not genetically modified. To learn more about what Marek’s disease is and how it can affect chickens, watch the video below.


Video Transcription

Are Chickens still organic if they have been vaccinated for Marek's Disease?

Hi, I'm Jennie from North 40 outfitters. I've been raising chickens since 1982. One of the biggest questions that we get is are chickens who are vaccinated for Marek's disease still considered organic?


The answer to that is yes. NPIP, the National Poultry Improvement Plan, is a plan set forth by the USDA that states that chicks who are vaccinated the first day, within 24 hours of hatch, are still considered organic. In fact, they actually recommend that these chicks are vaccinated to keep them healthy and compliant with their plan.


Why Aren't Meat Birds Vaccinated?

All of the hatcheries that North 40 Outfitters purchases chicks from are NPIP certified. If Marek's is in the ground, your chickens will get it if they have not been vaccinated. The symptoms usually start appearing when they're about five to six weeks old.


That's why meat birds are not vaccinated for it, because meat birds grow very quickly and are matured before they can ever exhibit any symptoms of this disease. So the meat birds are not vaccinated for it. Turkeys, geese, and ducks also are not affected by Marek's disease.


Thank you for listening, and if you have any more chicken questions please go to our website at, or stop in at any of our 10 locations.

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We’re people who work and live in the uppermost regions of the Northwestern United States. Beautiful country and wonderful people. This land and these animals are a big part of who we are, how we work and how we play. North 40 Outfitters works hard to offer products and services that fit your lifestyle.

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