For broilers, below is the broiler vaccination schedule. When you want to do vaccination on the broiler chickens, you administer it with 1/4 of the total volume of drinking water of the birds per day. For example, if the birds drink 40 liters per day, use 10 liters for vaccination.
Day 1- 5: Multivitamin + Antibiotics (20% Enrofloxacin e.g. Conflox)
Day 5: 1st Gumboro Vaccine
Day 7: 1st Lasota Vaccine
Day 9 – 13: Anticoccidiosis drug e.g. Dicoxin Plus
Day 15: 2nd Gumboro Vaccine
Day 17: 2nd Lasota Vaccine
Day 29: 3rd Gumboro Vaccine
Day 31: 3rd Lasota Vaccine
Poultry vaccination plays an important part in the health management of the poultry flock not only among your chicken broilers but also among other chickens like layers, cockerels and others. There are numerous diseases that are prevented by vaccinating the birds against them.
A vaccine helps to prevent a particular disease by triggering or boosting the bird’s immune system to produce antibodies that in turn fight the invading causal organisms.
A natural invasion that actually causes the disease will have the same result as the bird will produce antibodies that fights the current invasion as well as to prevent future invasions by the same causal organisms. Unfortunately birds that become diseased usually become unthrifty, non-productive or even die.
An infection caused by natural invasion will be uncontrolled and therefore has the possibility of causing severe damage, however vaccination provides a way of controlling the result with minimal harm to the birds.
Vaccines are generally fragile products, some of which are live but in a state of suspended animation. Others are dead. All have a finite life that is governed by the way they are handled and used.
Handling and administration procedures also influence the potency of many vaccines and consequently the level of immunity the bird develops.
There are two main types of vaccines available for the broilers breeders (BB) – live and killed.
Live vaccines contain live microorganisms, viruses (like Newcastle Disease virus), bacteria (like Salmonella typhimurium) or parasites (like coccidia – E maxima etc.). Fairly recently, new types of live vaccine were introduced – recombinant vaccines. Recombinant vaccines currently available on the market contain a live virus as a carrier.
In the genes of this virus a portion of the genes of another virus have been inserted (for example, Herpes Virus of Turkeys, a virus that is commonly used to protect chickens against Marek’s Disease carries a portion of the genes of Infectious Bursal Disease virus). Vaccination with this type of vaccine protects against both diseases.
The biggest advantage of live vaccines is that they can be applied by mass application techniques such as spray or in the drinking water. Unfortunately, live vaccines can be easily damaged in the process of transportation, storage or application (by high temperatures, sunlight or disinfectants).
Killed vaccines contain inactivated (dead) viruses or bacteria in (most often) an oil emulsion. Killed vaccines must be injected to each bird in the flock but provide long lasting immunity which is important for long living birds like broiler breeders. This is especially true after “priming” with live vaccines (if live vaccine of the same type is given before the killed).
Most of the killed vaccines are commercial products manufactured and licensed for a certain country or region. A unique type of killed vaccine is the “autogenous vaccine”. When a pathogen (virus or bacteria) is affecting one or a group of flocks and no commercial product is available, autogenous vaccine is made to prevent those diseases. They are made in smaller batches under supervision of a veterinarian.
Proper Storage and Application – Keys for Successful Vaccination
As mentioned earlier, damaging vaccines during transportation, storage and/or application will lead to vaccination failure. Both your broiler breeders and progeny will not be protected causing a loss in production or mortality.
Live and killed vaccines should be kept at 4-8°C and protected from heat and sunlight. Monitor your fridge temperature at all the times. Investing in a good fridge and having a simple Min-Max thermometer that will be checked daily is a minimum standard that every broiler breeder producer should do. Installation of an alarm that will notify you if temperature rises or drops (freezing is especially damaging for the killed vaccines) will prevent costly replacement of the vaccines.
Exposing vaccines to sunlight, heat or disinfectants before the application will severely damage the live organism. That being said, killed vaccines need to be warmed (left at room temperature 12 hours before vaccination or warmed to 37°C in a water bath for 5 hours).
Explaining all details of proper administration of the vaccines goes beyond the scope of this document; we will list only a few of the most common errors. During drinking water administration of the vaccines they are usually damaged by the residual chlorine in the water lines – stop chlorination 24 hours before vaccination, flush the lines and use skimmed milk or vaccination tablets. Using the same spray pump for applying disinfectants and vaccine is the “most efficient” way to kill your vaccine.
Ask your veterinarian and hatchery for assistance – regular vaccination audits and serology monitoring (blood tests to check for vaccine titers) need to be part of your routine.
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