TECHNICAL ARTICLES Broilers/Layers/Breeders

Oral Application of Live Vaccine

The success of a vaccination programme depends on the correct application of the vaccine. Although oral application is not always the ideal method, success will be greater if basic rules are adhered to. The following basic guidelines may also be used as a checklist when applying vaccine.
Never expose vaccines to sunlight.

  1. Ensure they are stored in the fridge and not the freezer.
  2. Always transport vaccines in a cooler box with an ice pack.
  3. Never use metal containers to mix or apply the vaccine.
  4. Starve birds of water for half an hour to an hour prior to vaccinating to ensure they all drink. Wash drinkers.
  5. If automatic drinkers can be switched off, a plastic watering can should be used to pour vaccine into the ‘bell’, if not use chick fonts and raise automatic drinkers.
  6. Remember that the number of doses in the vial is important rather than the dilution. A basic guideline as to the amount of water to use is 1000 doses in as many litres as the age of the birds in days to a maximum of 40 litres per 1000 birds. E.g. to vaccinate 2000 birds at 10 days one would use 20 litres.
  7. For less than 1000 birds, mix as above and discard that which is not consumed within the times mentioned below.
  8. Mix 2 grams skim milk powder per litre of water half and hour before adding vaccine or use boiled water which has been left to cool to room temperature. Alternatively make use of purpose designed tablets which also contain a dye. This dye aids in assessing the effectiveness of the vaccine application.
  9. Open vaccine vial under the water and gently dissolve the tablet.
  10. Pour the vaccine into the drinkers and move through the house to encourage all the birds to drink.
  11. Reconstituted vaccine should be consumed within an hour in the case of Newcastle, or two hours in the case of Gumboro vaccine. The amount of water used must be adjusted accordingly.
  12. Do not use disinfectants to clean vaccinating equipment. Wash it with water and allow it to dry in the sun.
  13. Do not use this equipment for anything other than vaccinating.

I hope these tips will assist you in ensuring the vaccine you are applying provides the protection you require.

Date published: 2006-03-23

Tim Nixon