Vaccination and Medication Programs for Small Poultry Flocks

Dr. Nathaniel L. Tablante
Associate Professor and Extension Poultry Veterinarian VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine University of Maryland College Park 8075 Greenmead Drive College Park, MD 20742 Tel. 301-314-6810

• Vaccination
• What is vaccination? • Do I need to vaccinate? Why or why not? • If yes, when, how, and with what?

• Medication
• What is medication? • Do I need to medicate? Why or why not? • If yes, when, how, and with what?

• What is vaccination?
– Inoculation with a specific biological substance (antigen) to stimulate resistance or immunity to a particular disease – Usually, the antigen is a small dose an attenuated (weakened) organism that triggers the body’s defense mechanism to produce antibodies or certain cell types to attack the invading organism

Why small flock owners seldom vaccinate their birds
• Rarely have disease problems • Unaware that disease is present • Do not get the disease(s) properly diagnosed • Do not know where to purchase vaccines • Vaccines are too expensive because they usually come in 500, 1000, or 10000 dose vials

Do I need to vaccinate my birds?
• You may not need to vaccinate your birds if:
• Your flock is “closed”, i.e. new birds are never introduced and birds that leave your farm are not allowed to return • Your flock has been disease-free and there are no diseases that are prevalent in your area

Do I need to vaccinate my birds?
• Consider vaccinating your birds if:
• Your birds have experienced disease problems in the past • You take your birds to poultry shows or swap meetings p g • You buy birds from hatcheries, bird auctions, or other sources and add them to your flock


What types of vaccines can I use?
• Vaccines for diseases caused by viruses
• Live attenuated virus vaccines
• Contain live attenuated viruses that reproduce in the host and stimulate antibody production

Recommended Vaccination Program for Chickens Age
1 day

• Vaccines for diseases caused by bacteria
• Live attenuated or killed preparations of bacteria that stimulate antibody production
• Commonly called bacterins


-subcutaneous (inject under skin at back of neck)

10 and Newcastle/ -drinking water, eye drop, or intranasal 35 days Bronchitis (ND/IB) 6 wks 8 wks Laryngotracheitis -eye drop (use tissue culture origin or TCO vaccine) Avian Enceph. -drinking water -wing web -subcutaneous

10 wks Fowl pox 12 wks Fowl cholera 12 wks ND/IB 6 months 9 months 12 months 15 months

• Killed (inactivated) virus vaccines
• Contain killed virus particles that stimulate antibody production

-drinking water, eye drop, or intranasal
(repeat vaccination of pullet and layer flocks at 3-month intervals to maintain immunity) OR vaccinate with killed vaccine via intramuscular route at time of housing (18-20 wks)
Source: Penn State Poultry Health Handbook, 4th ed.

Recommended Vaccination Program for Purchased Pullets and Mature Chickens Age

Recommended Vaccination Program for Turkeys Age
1 day

ND (B-1) IB (Mass)

-drinking water, eye-drop, or intranasal (DO NOT SPRAY)

Turkey Coryza (Rhinotracheitis)

-live Bordetella vaccine given intranasally at hatchery -live culture vaccine via drinking water -live B1 or PMV3 via drinking water -live culture vaccine via drinking water -live culture vaccine via drinking water or killed vaccine by intramuscular injection -live virus vaccine via drinking water -2nd FC vaccination: live or killed vaccine (last dose for hens) -live vaccine via drinking water -live culture vaccine (last dose for toms)
Source: Penn State Poultry Health Handbook, 4th ed.

14 days Turkey Coryza 21 days Newcastle Disease 28 days Hemmorhagic Enteritis 6 wks 8 wks Fowl Cholera Newcastle Disease

4 wks later

ND (LaSota) - drinking water, eye-drop, or intranasal IB (Mass or Conn) OR killed kill d ND/IB -intramuscular (no further ND/IB i t l
vaccination needed)

Repeat at 12 wk ND (LaSota) -drinking water, eye-drop, or intranasal intervals (if using IB (Mass or Conn)
live ND/IB)

10 wks Fowl Cholera 12 wks Newcastle Disease

Source: Penn State Poultry Health Handbook, 4th ed.

14 wks Fowl Cholera

Tips for Successful Drinking Water Vaccination*
*adapted from Penn State Poultry Health Handbook, 4th ed.

Tips for Successful Drinking Water Vaccination
• Provide clean, pure (potable) water for your poultry at all times. • Store and handle all vaccines properly:
– Keep vaccines refrigerated until immediately before use. Protect from heat and direct sunlight at all times. – Use vaccines before their expiration date. – Burn or disinfect empty vaccine containers before discarding. An open vaccine container may still contain enough live virus to cause infection. infection

• In hot weather, keep water from birds for 1 hr prior to vaccination; increase to 2 hrs in cold weather • Scrub waterers thoroughly with brush, removing all dirt, droppings, and slime. Make sure everything is clean before mixing and administering vaccine. DO NOT USE BLEACH AS IT WILL INACTIVATE THE LIVE VACCINE.

• Prepare the vaccine/powdered skim milk/water mixture in a clean container.
– Mix powdered skim milk with water (3 oz packet of skim milk powder per 10 gal water) in a dispensing container. The milk proteins will neutralize small amounts of sanitizer and other contaminants that may be present in the water. Skim milk also keeps the virus alive and prolongs its potency. – Reconstitute the vaccine per manufacturers directions. – Add the reconstituted vaccine to the milk/water solution. Mix thoroughly.


Tips for Successful Drinking Water Vaccination
• Immediately administer the milk-vaccine/water mixture. Let the birds drink. • Encourage birds to get to the waterers and drink the vaccine. The water-vaccine mixture must be consumed within 15 to 20 minutes. • After all birds have consumed the water-vaccine mixture, turn on the regular water supply or fill empty waterers with f h water. l t l t t ith fresh t • Record the date of vaccination, vaccine serial number, and other pertinent information on the flock’s health chart.

Subcutaneous Vaccination

Eye Drop Vaccination

Wing Web Vaccination

Intramuscular Vaccination

Final Thoughts on Vaccination
• Vaccination is no substitute for good management. • Never vaccinate for a disease that is not present in your flock or area/region. This will only introduce a new disease to your birds. • Vaccines do not provide 100% protection. Diseases are best prevented through good biosecurity, nutrition, and management.


• What is medication?
– The administration of therapeutic agents to treat various infectious diseases or conditions:
• • • • • • Worms = anthelmintics (dewormers) Bacteria = antibiotics* Coccidia = coccidiostats Fungi = antifungals Lice and mites = insecticides/acaricides Vitamin/Mineral deficiencies = Vit/Min supplements

Do I need to medicate my birds?
• Only if a specific disease or condition is diagnosed in your flock.
• If you suspect disease, call your veterinarian, Extension agent, or MDA Animal Health Technician • Submit sick birds to a diagnostic laboratory • Treat with the proper therapeutic agent based on the confirmed diagnosis • Always follow label directions and withdrawal times

*Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections

Common Diseases and Medications

Common Diseases and Medications

Amprolium (Amprol)

Prevention: 0.0125% in feed continuously until 8 weeks of age Treatment: 1/3 oz. powder/gal. water for 10-14 days 50mg/lb body weight for 1 day Broilers: 4 wks; repeat at 6 wks of age Pullets: 5 wks; repeat at 30 day intervals until 21 wks of age 1 oz Safeguard or Panacur per 15-20 lb feed for 1 day or 1.2 oz/100 lb of feed for 3 days. Dissolve the fenbendazole product in one cup of water. Mix this solution well into the feed and give to the birds as their only feed source. 20 mg. per bird per day (1 gm. powder per gallon water for 1-2 days).

Tylosin* (Tylan) Erythromycin* (Gallimycin)

2 gms/gal of water for 2-3 days withdrawal: chickens: 1 day; turkeys: 5 days 0.5 gm/gal of water for 5 days withdrawal: 1 day


Piperazine (Wazine)

Bacterial infections

Oxytetracycline* 1 gm/gal. of water (Terramycin) withdrawal: 5 days Chlortetracycline* -same as for oxytetracycline (Aureomycin) Sulfamethazine* 2 tablespoons (1 fl oz) per gallon (Sulmet 12.5%) of drinking water for 6 days withdrawal: 10 days Sulfaquinoxaline* -same as for sulfamethazine
*do not use in birds that lay eggs for human consumption

Other worms

Fenbendazole (Safeguard) (Panacur)

Tetramisole (Tramisol)

Common Diseases and Medications
Lice and Mites

Carbaryl (Sevin)

-apply 5% dust to vent and feathers or place the bird into a garbage bag containing the medicated powder with the birds’ head out and rotate/shake the bag to completely cover the bird with powder -repeat every 2 weeks -withdrawal: 7 days -provide water-soluble Vit. D3 for 3-7 days - Vitamin E and/or selenium in feed and/or water -Vit. A in feed or water for 5-7 days

Final Thoughts
• Do not vaccinate for diseases that are not present in your flock • Treat diseases only when necessary and upon proper di diagnosis i • Use medications judiciously and responsibly • Always follow label directions


Vit. D3

Encephalomalacia Vit. E

Roup (Vit. A def.) Vit. A


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