Vaccinating Poultry - procedures and tips.
From the day your baby chicks are born until the day they are sold, whether they are layers or broilers - they will need vaccinations and vitamins. Without vaccinations you will face many poultry disease issues with your flock. If you are free range poultry farming you will still need to medicate - if you are farming organic chickens you will have restrictions about what poultry vaccines you use. In layers you will have restrictions on how soon after you can sell the eggs to the public, and with broilers - how soon you can sell the birds for consumption. This is because the medication used will take some time to work it's way out of the chicken. These chemicals are not good for humans. How many poultry farmers actually allow a period after the have vaccinated before they sell their poultry products is debatable - how does one check, as a member of the buying public, if the eggs or chicken have traces of medication?
BROILER FARM - MANAGEMENT
15. VACCINATION PROCEDURE
15.6 Fowl Pox : wing web at 10 weeks : -
15.6.1 Using a sterile syringe and needle transfer 5-ml of the diligent into the vaccine bottle containing the freeze-dried pellet. Once the pellet has completely dissolved, transfer the contents back into the diligent bottle. Withdraw another 5 ml from the dilutents bottle and use this to flush the vaccine bottle to recover any remaining vaccine. Gently shake the bottle to thoroughly mix the vaccine.
15.6.2 The wing web applicator is designed to pick up the correct amount of vaccine.
- Dip the applicator only deep enough to cover the grooves in the applicator needles.
- DO NOT dip the plastic applicator handle into the vaccine.
- Re - dip the applicator needles into the vaccine before each application.
- Remove any excess vaccine adhering to the applicator by touching the applicator on the inside of the vial.
- A new applicator should be used with each bottle of vaccine used.
- Always vaccinate the same wing i.e. the LEFT WING.
- Pluck the feathers from the underside of the wing web of the left wing.
- Pierce the plucked area of the wing web with the applicator needle immediately after correctly dipping into the vaccine.
- Avoid vaccination into the muscle or bone, as this may cause a severe reaction.
- Agitate the vaccine frequently to keep the virus particles evenly dispersed.
- Ensure that the hands do not become contaminated with the vaccine.
15.6.3 Procedure assessment
- In order to ensure that the vaccination has been done correctly it is essential to check a random sample of 50 birds per pen for "takes" 7 days after vaccination. At least 95% of the birds examined should have a small scabby lesion at the site of injection.
15.7 ILT and 11 : eye drop at 10 weeks : -
15.7.1 The ILT and TS 11 vaccines are to be mixed together and given as a single eye drop to each bird at 10 weeks of age. The TS 11 is a liquid vaccine packed in a 50 ml bottle which is stored at - 70 degree Celsius at the laboratory. This vaccine must be transported to the farm in a cool box with DRY ICE.
If the vaccine is to be stored over night, the cool box containing the vaccine must be stored in the deep freezer. Vaccine that has been thawed may not be refrozen, stored and reused, it must be discarded. The ILT vaccine is a freeze-dried pellet, which must be reconstituted with the TS 11 (instead of the usual diluents).
- Transport the day's requirement of TS 11 vaccine to the farm in a cool box with DRY ICE. (Remember once the vaccine has thawed it can not be re-frozen.
- Thaw only one 50-ml bottle of TS 11 at a time by removing from the dry ice cool box and allowing it to thaw at room temperature.
- Using a sterile 5ml syringe and 18 gauge needle, drawn up 5ml of the TS 11 vaccine and gently squirt this into the 1000 dose ILT vaccine bottle to dissolve the ILT vaccine pellet, shake gently. Draw the reconstituted vaccine up into the syringe and return the mixture into the TS 11 bottle, gently shake the bottle. Repeat the process to ensure that all the vaccine is retrieved from the ILT bottle.
- Remove the top from the TS 11 bottle and transfer enough of the mixture to three - quarters fills the plastic dropper bottle supplied with the vaccine. Place the dropper nozzle firmly onto the dropper bottle.
- Gently place one drop of the vaccine into the open eye of each bird.
- Allow the drop to disperse before releasing the bird.
15.8 Injection of Oil Emulsion Vaccines : Se P - multocida Coryza, ND/IBD/REO OIL and Se P. multocida
15.8.1 Oil emulsion vaccines should be stored between 2 and 7 degree Celsius. Heating and freezing should be avoided. Incorrect storage can lead to broken emulsion. An oil vaccine can have four distinct appearances :
15.8.1 Normal - a homogeneous white to slight off white liquid.
15.8.2 Creaming - a light white or clear top layer floating on the oil emulsion. This temporary separation occasionally occurs dicing shipment and gentle shaking will reverse the process (creaming should not recur).
15.8.3 Setting - the vaccine is white from top to bottom with a gradual increase in darkness toward the bottom. This situation can be rectified by gentle shaking and should not recur.
15.8.4 Broken emulsion - two well-defined layers. A normal emulsion white color, with a tea or coffee color water layer at layer at the bottom. If the broken emulsion is shaken it will initially appear normal but within a few hours it will separate again. When an emulsion breaks the vaccine should NOT be used.
15.8.2 Before use, oil emulsion vaccines should be removed from the fridge and slowly warmed to room temperature (25 degree Celsius). Do not heat or place in direct sun light to warm. It is best to remove the vaccine from the fridge the night before use, to allow slows warming to room temperature. Always shake the bottle / sachet well before or after removing from the fridge and the re-evaluate the emulsion the next morning. Shake again before use.
15.8.3 Method of application ;
- Assemble the disposable sterile applicator (in sealed plastic) to the plunger and tighten the nut gently!
- Remove the metal covering the rubber port of the vaccine bottle and insert the sterile needle on the end of the connector tube through the rubber stopper.
- Prime the injector by squeezing the trigger apparatus a number of times until the oil is visible in the syringe casing.
- Attach a 20 - gauge 1/4-inch sterile needle to the tip of the injector (this should be replaced after every 50 birds).
- Test the injector calibration by delivering 10 doses into an empty syringe, measure the volume of oil dispensed and ensure this is correct.
- Vaccine is injected into the superficial pectoral muscle about 4 - 5-cm lateral to the point of the keel bone. Grasp the base of the neck with the left hand such that the thumb is in the indentation of the thoracic inlet. The injection site is at the point of an imaginary triangle connecting the point of the keel, the tip of the thumb and the injection site. The needle should be directed caudal and at a 45 degree angle. The muscle at this point is not very thick and care must be taken not to inject the vaccine too deep.
Test weights are taken so that we can gain an indication of how the bird's weights are. These weights are useful for feed control. It is also a useful indication as to the health of the birds.
NB. Farmer / Asst. farmer must be in attendance for the full duration of weighing.
16.1 Test weighing must be done for every flock / house / pen every week till 21 weeks of bird age (21 weeks of bird’s age inclusive).
16.2 Always weigh the birds in the morning before feeding or 6 hours after feeding.
16.3 Birds must be weighed on the same day each week to improve the accuracy of information.
16.4 Bird weighing must be done every week and if the birds are not on target, reweigh again.
16.5 Weighing should be done to allow for times feed adjustments.
16.6 All measurements equipment must be calibrated and checking for accuracy before using it.
16.7 Weighing Procedure
a) Enter house and pen birds. Do not chase bird s around the house.
b) A minimum of 550 birds per pen should be weighed to gain a reasonable sample. Pen the birds from weighing and this must be done at 5 different parts of the pen, each week in the same place.
c) 7 day and 14 day weights must be done on a bulk weigh with a basket containing equal batches of chick's e.g. 20 per basket. Place the chicks in the basket to weigh.
d) From 21 days and older individual weighing must be done.
e) Divide the total bird’s weight by the number of birds to obtain the average, the weight per bird. All weights to be in metric amounts.
f) Only average weight to be given to the Broiler Farm Manager on a weekly basis.
You can buy poultry vaccinations from a company like Immunovet. Care needs to be taken when you vaccinate a chicken, try not to upset the birds when you do it - it will affect your growth weights or lay rate. All poultry should have chicken vaccinations - but if you are organic farming you will need to see what poultry medication you may or may not use when inoculating poultry. It is a big job, think about farms that have 40 000 birds - if you only have a few 100 fowls it may seem daunting at first - but is very doable. And not to mention vital to the health of your flock, and the farms all over S.A. We all know what happens when bird flu etc. starts on one farm - it can spread like wild fire through the whole industry!