Vaccination is meant to avoid disease from poultry, but not when it is handled the wrong way. In this article, we are going to share some of the reasons why vaccines might kill your chickens before illness comes.
Vaccines are live, killed or attenuated (weakened) form of a disease-causing organism (pathogen) that is administered to animals in order to sensitize them and prepare them in their active state for the naturally occurring pathogen.
When a vaccine (antigen) is noticed by a chicken’s immune system, the antibodies try to combat that weakened organism.
The chicken finds it easier to overcome because of the weakened state of the organism. And so, if encountered later in life, the chicken is prepared for the stronger organism. It is the organism’s predisposition that prepares the chickens, and this is the very essence of vaccination.
Having decided what a vaccine is and why it is administered, let’s get into the common mistakes that farmers make when vaccinating their chickens.
Giving vaccinations to Sick or Stressed Chickens
Vaccinating diseased birds is like adding to the disease. When a chicken gets sick, it compromises the immune system. At times like this, vaccines will only do more harm, rather than preventing the disease.
What happens when you vaccinate a sick bird is that the weakened organism which is inserted into the body of the chicken can now cause the disease. Stressed chickens have also decreased lymphocyte count. Lymphocyte is known as an antibodies factory. And the antibodies play a significant role in the immune response of your chickens.
Using Vaccination as Medicines
In poultry farming, this is demonstrated when a farmer decides to repeat a vaccine without proper guidance. They have the idea, in most cases, that repeating the vaccine would improve their chances of efficacy. Some also subtract the doses for every exercise in vaccination.
Well, there are instances where vaccines should be repeated at secure intervals only. This should be according to the prescription of the manufacturer, and not simply because you think you need to add an extra dose. Some farmers also take vaccines to treat the symptoms of viral diseases. All of these must be verified.
Poor Administration of Vaccines
This includes the management problems which may break an exercise in vaccination. For example, if careful surveillance is not performed and certain birds do not have access to the vaccine, this may lead to a significant potential outbreak. Unvaccinated birds, in such cases, pose a challenge to the vaccinated ones and to the profit of the farmer.
Bad method of storing drugs used for vaccination
Vaccines for the poultry are normally kept in a cold chain. That is, they must be kept in cold storage, from the point of manufacture to the point of use. Bad storage would then make these vaccinations useless, so no vaccination has taken place, even if administered.
It is critical as a poultry farmer that you place importance on the source of the vaccines you use. Only buy vaccines from reputable places that are trusted to have kept all the vaccine requirements potent.
Bad storage can also be caused by a freezer failure, personal carelessness, or transport problems. The worst thing about disappointment with the vaccine is that it sometimes goes unnoticed.
That is, the farmer believes that all the chickens were vaccinated until symptoms of the disease that they were vaccinated for started to surface. By taking this extra precaution to protect your investment.
The use of bad quality water
As we should already learn, most vaccines use water as the diluent. Using water that has a high salt or chlorine concentration will make vaccines impotent. This implies that the composition of the water used for vaccination must be certain. You can find more on vaccination and water quality here
As important as vaccinating your chickens to protect them from disease, it is more important that you do it properly. I hope this article will point you in the right direction as regards vaccination and the danger of not doing it properly.