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COCCI FAQs

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

Q. WHY IS FIELD MANAGEMENT SO CRITICAL FOR SUCCESSFUL COCCIDIOSIS VACCINATION?

A. Coccidiosis vaccines such as Coccivac are composed of live organisms that must cycle in the birds for at least 3 weeks to induce full immunity. The ability of the coccidia to cycle and the severity of the reaction will depend on house conditions. Poor house conditions can result in weak immunity or severe vaccination reaction.

Q. CAN I USE COCCIDIOSIS VACCINES AT PARTIAL DOSE?

A. No. The vaccine must be able to out-compete the wild coccidian strains in the house. If you do not start with a sufficient dose of vaccine oocysts, the wild strains may overtake the vaccine before the vaccine has multiplied to levels that can induce full immunity. Also, it is important to ensure that all birds in the flock will receive an adequate dose to stimulate fast and complete development of immunity. Always use the full dose to ensure proper cycling and protection.

Q. WHEN SHOULD BIRDS VACCINATED FOR COCCIDIOSIS BE RELEASED FROM HALF-HOUSE BROODING?

A. We recommend birds be released to full house by 10-12 days. If weather permits, releasing birds sooner may help lessen reactions, give birds more access to the feed and reduce the chances of litter eating. (For more information see article on page 8.)

Q. AT WHAT POINT SHOULD VACCINATED BIRDS BE TREATED FOR COCCI LESIONS?

A. There will be a percentage of birds (approximately 35%) with mild cocci lesions (+1 range) that should not be treated. This is normal and is needed to allow for proper cycling of the oocysts and ultimate immunity development in the birds. Typically, if there is a noticeable amount of cecal cocci (E. tenella), then treatment may be warranted — usually amprolium at half level for 2 days.

Q. DO BIRDS VACCINATED FOR COCCIDIOSIS NEED TO BE TREATED WITH AMPROLIUM?

A. No. Using the Spraycox machine to administer coccidiosis vaccine ensures a more uniform dose, so reactions are milder and amprolium is not needed.

Have more questions about coccidiosis vaccination? Send yours to the editor at jfeeks@prworks.net or by fax to 928-569-2491. You’ll get a personal reply from a Schering- Plough Animal Health Corporation technical service representative and we may include it in our next issue of CocciForum.

Source: CocciForum Issue No.5, Schering-Plough Animal Health.

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