Kenchic, a poultry producer has launched a new vaccine against Gumboro disease. The new vaccine which is administered subcutaneously – under the skin — has been introduced for day-old broiler chicks.
The chicks are vaccinated at the hatchery by a professional team and an adapted equipment. This vaccination guarantees that 100 per cent of the chicks are vaccinated.
The project is a partnership with a French global animal health product laboratory, Ceva Sante Animale.
Gumboro, caused by a virus, kills over 80 per cent of non-vaccinated birds during an outbreak. It suppresses the bird’s immune system making it vulnerable to secondary infections – mainly caused by bacteria and fungi striking the already helpless birds.
Over the years, a vaccination against the disease has taken place in the farms – increasing chances of contamination and failure.
The farmer avoids the risk of failure linked to drinking water and eliminates farm vaccination stress, which allows a better quality of chicken with faster weight gains.
So far at least 20 million birds have been administered with the new vaccine at a cost of Sh40 million, according to Dr Watson Messo, Kenchic’s Company Veterinarian. Each week, Kenchic vaccinates 150,000-210,000 broiler chicks destined to its farms, contracted farmers and other poultry farmers across the country.
“Kenchic sells and supplies the pre-vaccinated and the non-vaccinated day-old broiler and pullet chicks. Prospective farmers decide on which chicks to acquire and this determines the number to be vaccinated with new vaccine,” noted Dr Messo.
Kenchic is the only firm that produces day-old broiler chicks vaccinated against Gumboro. Farmers raising non-vaccinated chicks have to go through the often tedious process of vaccinating using the drinking water Gumboro vaccines.
There are two types of oral vaccines.
The intermediate strain of live virus is given on the 10th to 14th day in broilers as the initial vaccine. A repeat booster intermediate plus vaccine has to be administered orally on the 18-24 day of age.
In layers, a similar vaccination regime is followed although a third round is given at 30-35 days of age with the intermediate plus Gumboro vaccine. Vaccinating using the killed Gumboro virus is done to breeder layers at the point of lay around the 18th week. The killed vaccine helps to confer immunity to the progeny-chick hatched from vaccinated mothers- for the first seven to10 days of life. Challenges abound in the use of drinking water Gumboro vaccination technique.
“Oral administration of the vaccines can only guarantee to cover 80 per cent of the birds- leaving at least 20 per cent vulnerable to attack. Water quality is also a contentious issue as metal ions, chlorine, organic material and disinfectants have been known to lower the potency of the vaccine,” said Dr Messo.