Studies in 32 million birds show returns on vaccinating broilers for E. coli

Vaccination has been shown to protect broilers from Escherichia coli infection. But is it worth the cost?
calendar icon 24 October 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

In both the Italian and US trials, vaccinated birds demonstrated improvements in feed conversion and overall livability, with fewer flocks affected by high mortality. Vaccination was also associated with reduced condemnations and lower total production costs per kilogram of bodyweight at slaughter (Table 2, Figures 1-4).

In addition, antibiotic use was lower in vaccinated birds: In the Italian trials, 53% of the unvaccinated control flocks required antibiotics to treat E. coli infection, compared to almost none of the vaccinated flocks.

According to Alberti, the sum of improvements across all measured parameters yielded a favorable return on investment for vaccination.

“The individual flock improvements we observed were small but consistent across both the Italian and US studies,” Alberti explained.

“Even if our observations weren’t sufficient in number to make a statistical analysis, this consistency between different geographical areas makes us confident that this is something very interesting for broiler producers.”

In both the Italian and US trials, vaccinated birds demonstrated improvements in feed conversion and overall livability, with fewer flocks affected by high mortality. Vaccination was also associated with reduced condemnations and lower total production costs per kilogram of bodyweight at slaughter (Table 2, Figures 1-4).

In addition, antibiotic use was lower in vaccinated birds: In the Italian trials, 53% of the unvaccinated control flocks required antibiotics to treat E. coli infection, compared to almost none of the vaccinated flocks.

According to Alberti, the sum of improvements across all measured parameters yielded a favorable return on investment for vaccination.

“The individual flock improvements we observed were small but consistent across both the Italian and US studies,” Alberti explained.

“Even if our observations weren’t sufficient in number to make a statistical analysis, this consistency between different geographical areas makes us confident that this is something very interesting for broiler producers.”

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