Spraycox II Debuts at IPE - Adependable tool for coccidiosis vaccination in the hatchery just got better.

Engineers at Schering-Plough Animal Health have developed Spraycox II, an updated version of the popular spray cabinet that's already in place at most large poultry companies. Hardware can also be purchased for upgrading existing systems.

Spraycox II, which made its debut last January at the International Poultry Expo, features a dual-nozzle configuration that provides even better vaccine coverage for their birds, with virtually no overspray on the hatchery floor or other equipment.

"We'd gotten a lot of excellent response from people who had used the original Spraycox machine," says Paul Townsend, the tech engineer at Schering-Plough Animal Health who developed the original machine and came up with the changes for Spraycox II. "But some of them told us they were getting a little overspray that came through the slots on the sides of the chick boxes, and then ended up on the machine and on the floor." The residue was noticeable due to the harmless red marking dye that's used in the Coccivac products.

What to do? Townsend decided to revisit the location and spray angle of the nozzles. On the original Spraycox, the nozzles were centered side-by-side at the top of the machine, where they sprayed down and out toward the edges of the chick box. With Spraycox II, the two nozzles are separated, one at each side, near the top corners of the machine. Each nozzle sprays down and in toward the middle of the box.

Townsend says the change in nozzle placement and spray angle is a big improvement. "When we spray down and in, rather than down and out, we're able to keep all the vaccine in the box," he says. "There's virtually no overspray, either on the machines or on the floor."

Better vaccine coverage, too Besides helping maintain a tidier hatchery, Spraycox II also provides better vaccine coverage for the birds, Townsend says.

"With the new spray pattern, we're able to hit the birds that are under other birds," he explains. "In the field testing, when the chick box comes out of the Spraycox II machine, we're seeing red tint on anywhere from 95% to 98% of the birds in the box."

Townsend says that figure varies from hatchery to hatchery, depending on the types of equipment being used. Any chicks the vaccine misses end up being vaccinated anyway, since the birds ingest the vaccine primarily via their natural preening activity.

The new Spraycox II system is a snap to install. It can be set up in minutes, with no significant modifications needed in either the hatchery facility itself or in its equipment. Also, the new system operates in the same user-friendly way as the original, time-tested system.

The new sprayer system also can be installed on all existing Spraycox machines, including the earlier models introduced in the late 1990s. It also fits most of the portable expandable units. Spraycox II can be adjusted to 24 inches wide, 9 inches up and down, and up to 12 inches above the chick box, Townsend says.

Positive feedback Feedback on the Spraycox II cabinet has been positive so far. "This new spray pattern will eliminate 50% of my worries about cocci," says Jim Gottsponder of Cobb-Vantress in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. "Whoever designed this new spray nozzle system deserves a huge pat on the back." Paul Townsend and team, take a bow.

Williamsburg Seminar Draws Top US Decision-Makers

Decision-makers from more than 15 major US poultry companies got the latest news, insights and data demonstrating the benefits of coccidiosis vaccination at a CocciForum seminar held recently in historic Williamsburg, Virginia.

Steve Collins, vice president, worldwide poultry, Schering- Plough Animal Health Corporation, reported that as of 2003, about 15% of all chicks placed in the spring/summer/fall (9% year-round) in the United States are vaccinated with Coccivac-B.

The use of Coccivac-B in the broiler market continues to grow and poultry companies are making anticoccidial-vaccine rotation programs part of their regular coccidiosis- management programs.

Graham Knight, Schering-Plough Animal Health's US production manager for coccidiosis vaccines, talked about the meticulous care and quality control that goes into producing every batch of Coccivac.

Veterinarians, nutritionists and production managers also heard how each species of Eimeria coccidia in Coccivac is produced in birds kept in separate, dedicated rooms, how oocysts are sterilized, checked for sporulation, counted, potency tested and dated to ensure each batch of Coccivac is effective.

Proof positive Dr. Charlie Broussard, worldwide technical services manager, presented evidence from a major US broiler integrator that Coccivac- B renewed the sensitivity of field isolates to Clinacox.

Just two cycles of Coccivac-B in the rotation resulted in dramatic improvement in Clinacox sensitivity. In contrast, "resting" Clinacox by rotating it with ionophores or chemical/ionophore shuttle programs yielded neither consistent nor significant results, Broussard said.

Dr. Rick Phillips, director, worldwide technical services, gave two presentations -one on Coccivac-B's field performance, the other on the need to develop a longterm strategy for coccidiosis management.

During the first presentation, Phillips showed data from a major integrator. The study, which involved 156,000 vaccinated and 156,000 unvaccinated birds, compared Coccivac-B to a nicarb + narasin/narasin shuttle program in heavy broilers. Flocks vaccinated with Coccivac-B demonstrated better performance across all major production parameters compared to controls.

In a second field trial, salinomycin administered at 50 g/ton from day 17 to 28 or from day 29 to 42 had little or no negative impact on coccidiosis immunity after vaccination with Coccivac-B. Coccivac-B vaccinated groups, with or without salinomycin added to the feed, demonstrated excellent weight gain after challenge, Phillips said.

Long-term strategy In a second talk, Phillips presented a strategy for long-term performance and efficacy. He explained the "quadrants of performance," which is a coccidiosis-control strategy that takes into account coccidial immunity, minimizes the potential for development of resistance and, ultimately, fosters maximum growth.

Producers also heard from an organic grower using Coccivac-B who has encountered no necrotic enteritis, which he attributed to a diet free of meat and bone meal.

Practical application Dr. John Radu, worldwide technical services manager, said roxarsone can be used in the feed to enhance performance in broilers vaccinated with Coccivac-B. He presented data that 3-Nitro (roxarsone) administered from days 1 to 28 or from days 17 to 42 had no negative impact on immunity to coccidiosis following Coccivac-B vaccination. The source was a study conducted by Dr. Steve Davis at Colorado Quality Research.

At 35, 42 and 47 days, weights and feed conversion ratios were significantly better in Coccivac-B vaccinates fed 3-Nitro from days 17 to 42 than in birds that received Coccivac-B alone, Radu said. In addition, roxarsone fed from days 1 to 28 had a positive impact on weight at 35 days, but the benefit declined as the birds were evaluated at 42 and 47 days of age.

Source: CocciForum Issue No.8, Schering-Plough Animal Health.

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