chicken vaccination

Vaccination Best practices: Importance of vaccinating your Chicks

Poultry farmers face many challenges when it comes to disease outbreaks. Vaccination is always the best disease preventive measure they can undertake to keep a minimum or no deaths in their farms.

It is always important to engage a vet when it comes to vaccination of your chicken.  However, since it is a learning process, most farmers are getting more informed and would prefer to do it themselves. Main reason for this is because it will bring down the cost of raring chicken. Every farmer who wants to have a profitable chicken project would prefer to cut down every cost possible. It is a wise thing for a farmer to learn how to manage their own farm issues instead of hiring all the time. If vaccination is not done according to prescription it can lead to big losses.

Following the recommended chicken vaccination schedule will save a farmer a lot of headache. This depends on the type of birds you have in your farm. Some may require to understand the Kienyeji chicken vaccination chart if you are keeping improved birds or the broiler chicken vaccination schedule if you are keeping broilers. The chick’s vaccination schedules are available from the suppliers. In Kenya, KARLO has a very effective improved kienyeji chart that can be followed successfully. The following tips come in handy for the farmer who is willing to learn and take precautions when vaccinating his/her chicken.

Best Vaccination Tips for Poultry Farmers

  • Avoid vaccinating sick birds. Always make sure your birds are in good health before you administer any vaccine. If they are sick just give them enough time to heal completely.
  • Buy your vaccines from a reputable Agrovets with refrigeration facilities and always transport the vaccines in a thermos with ice which will help maintain required temperatures. Avoid using polythene bags since they can’t keep check on the temperature.
  • Handle your chicks, chicken well, avoid stressing them during vaccination. Chicken tend to get disturbed and distressed easily and this can make the vaccine ineffective.  
  • Ensure you vaccinate your chicks/chicken when its cool and avoid high temperatures since this can interfere with vaccine potential. You can do this by switching off or removing heat sources from the chicken house. You don’t have to withdraw heat sources if it is too cold. Best timing should be when it is cool e.g. in the morning or late in the evening
  • Direct sunlight of the vaccine to the sun may reduce the vaccine strength; you should avoid exposing it to sunlight at all cost.
  • Ensure you are following the recommended vaccination chart and intervals that your supplier issues together with your chicks and never mix two different vaccines.
  • If you were medicating your chicks / chicken, stop one or two days before the vaccination.

Vaccination Administered through water

  • If you are vaccinating your chicks through water it is important to follow these tips.
  • Do not give your birds any water for like two to three hours. However, this depends on the age of the birds. Older chicken can be starved longer.
  • Ensure you have enough drinkers to ensure every bird can access water with ease.
  • For large farms ensure that you have enough workers to dispense the drinkers and bring back the exhausted ones quickly.
  • Avoid using chemicals or detergents to wash the drinkers that are to be used for vaccination because the residues may render the vaccine inactive.
  • Rain water is always best when vaccinating chicks / chicken. Avoid using treated water since this may make the vaccine inactive.
  • Ensure you have everything ready and set before removing the vaccine from the flask to reduce the exposure time.
  • Vaccines administered through drinking water should be opened under the mixing water. This is because vaccines are vacuum sealed and opening in open air may let in contaminated air.
  • Use the vaccine as fast as possible to ensure its effectiveness in your chicks / chicken.
  • Help the birds that seem uninterested in drinking the vaccine, assist them by holding their beaks in drinkers to encourage them take the vaccinated water.
  • Issue your chicks / chicken with plain water immediately after taking the vaccinated water before giving anything else including food or drugs.
  • Issuing of an anti stress and multivitamin like Sangrovit the following day will help boost your birds immunity and will ensure effective disease control.

Information sources from Vet Aloysius.