Vaccination is the easiest way to prevent the symptoms of a disease. While the bird will still get sick, it will overcome the infection without mortality and continue to gain throughout the challenge.
There are several ways to vaccinate a bird. You can use an injection, aerosol spray, or run a vaccine through the water. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks. Yet we should remember that any killed vaccines must be injected to work. Modified live vaccine, which is a live virus that has been treated or changed to reduce disease, can be given to the bird in any form.
Injecting vaccines is incredibly labor and time intensive. Many killed vaccines must be given twice. Therefore, it is usually reserved for breeders in most species and laying chickens.
Aerosol is used to treat conditions like New Castle Disease. It is fast and easy to do, yet the coverage is very unpredictable, and all the activity can be stressful for the birds.
Water vaccination is more labor-intensive than aerosol and much less than an injection, and it is effective at good coverage. If the bird isn’t healthy enough to drink, it won’t survive long. If it does drink, then it is vaccinated.
When we have selected our delivery method, we need to determine the frequency of vaccination and the strain selection for the flock. This decision is based on flock history, disease prevalence in the area, farm, and flock serology, and experience.
With that in mind, producers should examine their vaccination programs and reach out to their veterinarians to discuss changes if needed. In addition, Sioux Nation Ag Center is always ready to do whatever we can to be of service.