Vaccination Methods in Poultry.


Subcutaneous injection: Marek’s Disease vaccine in the hatchery. Inactivated vaccines such as Newcastle Disease Virus, Infectious Bronchitis Virus, Reovirus and Infectious Bursal Disease Virus may be given to Breeder Hens at housing by subcutaneous injection into the back of the mid-neck region.

Conjunctival sac installation: (eyedrop) Newcastle Disease, Infectious Bronchitis, Infectious Laryngotracheitis vaccines. One hand holds the head, thumb pressing the lower eyelid down, deposit one drop into the eye, said to be faster operation than transnasal drop.

Wing-web puncture: Fowl Pox (pigeon pox), and Avian Encephalomyelitis, Fowl Cholera chickens. Use double-prong sewing machine needle (supplied by vaccine manufacturer), dip into vaccine before each stab, spread the wing to expose the underside (up), stab through, do not touch feather with needles, avoid vessels. For fowl pox, examine for “take” 6-10 days post, swelling followed by scab formation. Revaccinate non-reactor flock. To vaccinate turkeys, puncture the loose skin between the thigh and abdomen.

Feather follicle inoculation: Fowl pox vaccine in turkeys. Remove 2-3 feather follicles over the thigh, brush against the opening of the follicle with vaccine-dipped brush (supplied) or the vaccine may be sprayed on the area with a sprayer, hold the tip 2?-3? away. Examine for “take” 6-10 days post.

Intramuscular injection: Vaccines (Infectious Bursal Disease, Newcastle Disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum Fowl Cholera, Infectious Bronchitis, Reovirus) alone or in combination are used in Breeder birds usually just before housing. IM injection is in the pectoral muscles, using continuous flow, automatic syringe.

Embryo Injection: Vaccines (Marek’s Disease, Infectious Bursal Disease, Newcastle Disease or Infectious Bronchitis) are injected into 18 day old embryonating eggs with an automated machine.


Aerosol: Infectious Bronchitis vaccine, Newcastle Disease vaccine, and Laryngotracheitis vaccine. Day or night, house closed sufficiently to prevent cross drafts, use sprayer recommended by vaccine manufacturer, minimum spraying time 3-4 minutes, do not open the house for 15 minutes. Protect worker with goggles and face mask. Now also done in a spray cabinet at day one in hatchery for administering Newcastle-Bronchitis and Infectious Bursal Disease.

Water Administration: Newcastle disease, Infectious Bronchitis, (or the two combined), Avian Encephalomyelitis, Infectious Bursal Disease and Infectious Laryngotracheitis vaccines. Waterer with plastic bottom or glass container best, free of sanitizer in water or container, withhold water one hour in hot weather, or longer in cold weather, vaccine in cold water, and provide enough water space so that 2/3 birds of the flock can drink at one time. Add 0.1% powdered skim milk as stabilizer. All vaccine should be consumed within 45 minutes.


Commonly used drugs include – antibiotics, anticoccidial, antihistomonals and growth promotants

In Feed: Often used in preventive or long-term medication. Must be done when mixing feed and requires planning so that delivery and storage on the farm does not delay treatment. Requires no additional work at the farm.

In Drinking Water: Must be done at the farm and requires supervision. Compared to feed administration there is no delay in administration or withdrawal, prompt absorption and convenient to use. Birds may continue to drink when sick and “off feed”.

Topical Spray or Dust: (for Ectoparasites)

Egg Dipping: Must be done at the hatchery under controlled conditions. Usually results in reduced hatchability or fertility (e.g. antibiotics to control egg transmissible diseases such as mycoplasma).

Individual Bird Injection: Expensive labor use and time consuming, but sometimes necessary in severe disease or when drug of choice is non-absorbable (e.g. antibiotics).

Note: Some drugs or antibiotics require pre slaughter withdrawal time or are not permitted for use in laying birds.

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