When raising birds, administration of drugs should be the last option during production process. With good routine management practice, hygiene and well balanced diet, disease should be thing of history in the poultry. Whereas administration of vaccine is just a preventive mechanism against disease as some are air-borne. Therefore vaccines administration should not be tempered. Administration of vaccines via drinking water is only synonymous to live vaccines as large number of birds can be administering at the same time.
After careful examination of the poultry house and the birds, when problems occur, an animal scientist or veterinarian should be contacted immediately for collection of samples to be taken for diagnosis in the laboratory along the performance records, history of previous Dx and the prior and current mortality.
Laboratory diagnosis helps to detect problems, if it is a bacterial infection, sensitivity test is performed to enable the use of cheapest and yet the most effective drugs to be use. Whereas laboratory test also helps to know other causative agents like virus, protozoan, helminth and also help to know if it is a management problem. Do not vaccinate already sick birds, stressed or chicken that is heavily affected by parasite. The total cost of medication is the price of drug; therefore ensure the venture is futuristic. The labour involved and the possible negative influence on those birds in the flock not involved with the disease.
Drugs and vaccines should be used based on the manufacturer’s instructions on reconstitution and dilution. Low dosage helps the microorganism to develop resistance against the drugs thereby rendering the drugs ineffective. Attempt to increase the dosage, can be toxic to birds and it is uneconomical and of no any value by standard practice.
When administration drugs to sick birds, water is a better medium to be used because birds tend to drink even when they don’t want to eat. When administration drugs for more than three day the best medium to be used is through feed and ensures the drug is properly mixed for even distribution. If it is a vaccine, ensure they are deprived of water for at least 3hrs to make them thirsty prior to vaccination. Generally, drugs stored for longer period tend to loss their potency; hence adding extra materials to compensate loss value is not recommended.
The drinker should be shrub and wash vigorously with clean water without disinfectant or detergent or sanitizer to avoid killing of attenuated virus, rendering vaccine useless. Vaccination should be done early in the morning using cool water. The water should be mixed with dried milk or sodium thiosulphate (10g dried milk to a gallon 4.5litters of water or 250mg of sodium thiosulphate to a gallon of water). If distilled water is readily available, these substances cannot be necessarily be used for they neutralizes free chlorine that is harmful to the vaccine. Mix reconstituted or diluted vaccine to milk-water solution thoroughly and serves to the starved chickens immediately for 20 to 30 minutes after stirring the flock to drink.
Serve the flock with normal water after consumption of vaccine water.
Take all the records: date, age, the brand of vaccine used, type, serial number and Exp. Date.
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