PoultryUSA - June 2018 - 14
14 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
Poultry diseases: gel or spray
Both products offer advantages and drawbacks for treating common
poultry diseases. An expert said the choice of product depends on
The steady removal of antibiotics from
the poultry industry is elevating the importance of using vaccines to prevent
common diseases. However, hatcheries
must assess how best to apply vaccines
to ensure proper inoculation.
Dr. Brian Jordan, an assistant professor of poultry science at the University
of Georgia, spoke about the pluses and
minuses of gel and spray vaccine application. He presented as part of a seminar on poultry
health and nutrition on March 13 at the 2018 Midwest
Poultry Federation Convention in Minneapolis.
The purpose of vaccines
In general, the value of vaccines is elevated as antibiotics and chemical ionophores are removed from
the equation. Jordan said it's unlikely rules will be
rolled back and instead only get tighter, which means
vaccines will be critical for developing immunity to
disease in longer-lived animals like breeders, layers,
turkeys and even broilers.
Vaccines work by giving the animals a dose of a live
pathogen which, when properly applied, helps them develop a lifelong immunity to the disease. In the hatchery, they
are typically mass applied as a direct spray or a gel droplet.
The best place to apply a vaccine, he said, is in the
hatchery with a direct application to the birds themselves.
This way, the vaccine is applied to birds in a chick basket who then preen and groom one another, consuming
Gel or spray vaccination in the hatchery should
give the chicks an even application of vaccine to
properly inoculate them from diseases. Austin Alonzo
droplets of the spray or gel. A water-based spray is the
most common and traditional application method but, in
the past four or five years, interest in gels is increasing.
The goal of both methods is to apply the substance so the
birds receive a consistent, effective dose of the vaccine.
Spray versus gel application
Jordan's remarks centered on coccidia and coccidia
vaccination. For coccidia vaccines, the live oocysts
are dense and must be properly mixed. Using a water
diluent for spray vaccinations requires constant mixing
or aeration to prevent settling. Gels keep the oocysts
in suspension but, again, they must be initially mixed
properly with the vaccine to get proper suspension of
the oocysts for even application. The goal of both products is to give an even application so all chicks in the
basket receive the proper amount of vaccine.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2018