Complex broiler-vaccine decisions require expert advice
Developing a vaccination program targeting optimal performance and return requires more planning and expertise than local “experts” at the farm store can offer. Relying on professional advice helps producers avoid the shotgun approach — shooting at everything with the hope it hits something — which often results in increased costs and reduced disease coverage.
“Producers and veterinarians must rely on thorough testing to pinpoint effective vaccine choices and timing,” says Kalen Cookson, DVM, MAM of Zoetis Inc. A combination of diagnostics ranging from visual inspection to PCR and histopathology are needed to correctly identify the diseases and variants present in their flocks.
For instance, the chicken-embryo origin (CEO) vaccine is vital in controlling outbreaks of infectious laryngotracheitis in medium and large birds but can result in lost production and income potential when used in small birds due to fever and inappetence associated with vaccination.
The vaccination spectrum ranges from in ovo vaccines to day-of-age vaccines at the hatchery to field vaccines. The field vaccines, in particular, can be stressful for birds and increase labor costs. The monetary cost of the vaccine along with often subtle production costs associated with vaccination are just two of the many factors in the decision process associated with an effective vaccination program.