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COCCI FAQs

Schering-Plough’s tech service team answers questions about managing coccidiosis in broilers.

Q. WHICH TECHNOLOGY DOES SCHERING-PLOUGH RECOMMEND TO HELP ENSURE EFFICIENT, UNIFORM APPLICATION AND SUCCESSFUL COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL?

A. The best method of applying Paracox has evolved as knowledge and technology have permitted. Initially, the water application method was used, then the spray-on-feed method and, now, hatchery spray when possible is recommended.

The Spraycox 2 machine with the dual nozzle system for application on chicks has improved vaccination coverage by utilizing a more efficient spray pattern, which increases the amount of vaccine applied directly to the chicks. Our new AirMix technology (see page 32) keeps the vaccine’s oocysts suspended to ensure optimum performance.

Q. WHY SHOULD I USE COCCIVAC-B FOR THREE GROW-OUT CYCLES INSTEAD OF TWO?

A. Actually, there is no maximum number of Coccivac-B grow-out cycles for any given operation.

Data collected from an industry reporting service in 2003 and 2004 show that Coccivac-B programs outperform standard anticoccidial programs in all major flock performance parameters, even during the hottest months of the year.

More companies are realizing this advantage and are considering extension of their Coccivac-B summer programs well into winter. A few complexes have used Coccivac-B yearround with great success.

Company nutritionists are beginning to realize that they have more opportunities to use creative diets once restrictive, in-feed anticoccidials are removed from the formulation equation. With the recent paradigm shift from in-feed anticoccidials to Coccivac-B, the possibilities for maximizing flock performance are endless, and many of them are already coming to fruition.

Q. WHAT IS THE MINIMUM TARGET WEIGHT OF BIRDS THAT CAN RECEIVE COCCIVAC-B AND STILL PRODUCE POSITIVE ECONOMIC RETURNS?

A. Currently, Coccivac-B is being successfully used in flocks grown to live weights greater than 4.5 lbs. Wellmanaged operations have had success with Coccivac-B in small bird weight complexes.

Vaccine application and flock management tend to be more critical in small bird weight (<4.5 lbs) operations because of tighter densities and higher levels of coccidial field challenges. Densities are higher because birds are placed based on pounds per square feet in most poultry operations. But, with respect to oocyst output, the number of birds per square feet is more important because each bird is literally a coccidial, oocyst-producing machine.

In general, the more birds there are per square feet, the more oocysts there are per square feet; yet, if the coccidial field challenge is under control and birds are properly vaccinated and managed, small weight flocks tend to do well on a Coccivac-B program.

Q. WOULD THE USE OF ROXARSONE (3-NITRO) IN BROILER FEEDS HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON IMMUNITY TO COCCIDIOSIS AFTER COCCIVAC-B VACCINATION?

A. No. The use of roxarsone in broiler feeds has no adverse effect on immunity to coccidiosis after Coccivac- B vaccination. On the contrary, roxarsone can be used in feed to enhance performance in vaccinated broilers.

In addition, research at Colorado Quality Research has shown that in Coccivac-B vaccinated birds, roxarsone has a positive impact on live production performance parameters such as weight gain and feed conversion ratio.

Q. HOW SHOULD COCCIVAC VACCINATED FLOCKS BE MONITORED AFTER VACCINATION?

A. A representative number of Coccivac vaccinates should be monitored by postmortem examination when the first vaccinated flocks reach 21 days of age. Vaccinates should demonstrate coccidial lesions within the expected vaccination profile. A representative number of Coccivac vaccinates should again be monitored by post-mortem exam when the first vaccinated flocks reach 28 days of age. Vaccinates should demonstrate resolution of coccidial lesions within the expected vaccination profile.

Vaccinates 7 through 21 days of age should also be observed in the field for signs of necrotic enteritis or management practices that are incompatible with controlled vaccine cycling.

Thereafter, flocks should be monitored by monthly postmortem sessions including representatives from 14 days of age through slaughter, with an emphasis on ages 21 through 35 days.

Q. CAN THE RATION FORMULATION IMPROVE RESULTS WITH VACCINATION?

A. Yes. The ration formulation can be designed to maximize growth in Coccivac vaccinates and it can minimize secondary bacterial challenges that could induce enteritis.

Data suggest that improved levels of total sulfur amino acids in the first 2 to 3 weeks is linked to better performance in broilers receiving Coccivac-B. Extra fortification with fat-soluble vitamins (D and E) during peak vaccinal oocyst cycling may improve performance. Vitamin D supplemented at 40,000 to 60,000 IU in the starter feed is recommended.

The ration must be formulated to enhance growth from day 28 through slaughter, maximizing compensatory gain. Very low protein diets should be avoided. Pay special attention to the digestibility of raw materials in the starter feed.

Subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics with anticlostridium activity (bacitracin, virginiamycin, etc.) or with the ability to manage intestinal microflora composition (bambermycin) are highly recommended during the immunity-building phase of vaccination to prevent secondary necrotic enteritis.

If wheat, barley or rye is a significant ration component, appropriate enzymes should be incorporated to minimize the incidence of necrotic enteritis by removing fish meal or animal proteins.

Do not use any drugs with anticoccidial activity for the first 2 weeks after vaccination in broilers and for at least 4 weeks after vaccinating other long-life birds, such as broiler breeders.

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