Nairobi, 6th March, 2018

The leading poultry firm in East and Central Africa has started vaccinating all day-old broiler chicks at the hatchery against Gumboro, Newcastle and Infectious Bronchitis diseases. The chicks are vaccinated at the hatchery by a professional team that have been fully trained and equipped with the latest chick vaccination technology.

Gumboro is an immunosuppressive viral disease in chickens that causes massive economic losses as the disease can kill more than 80% of non-vaccinated birds during an outbreak.

Speaking during the transition to 100% vaccination, Kenchic Ltd's Head of Veterinary Services, Dr. Watson Messo said the vaccination of the day-old-chicks in the hatcheries effectively started in the 70's with the use of Mareks vaccine.

"Recent trials have demonstrated that concentrating the vaccination in the hatchery could significantly improve the profitability to the farmers. Reduction of vaccinations applied in the farms can contribute to reduced mortalities during growing and minimal condemnation at the processing plant and consequently the huge financial loss seen by farmers," Dr. Messo explained.

He further revealed additional benefits of centralized vaccination, "vaccine potency is maintained as the cold chain storage is not broken, farmers are guaranteed that all their birds receive the appropriate dosage of the vaccines without incurring stress from water breaks and have reduction in costs around use of vitamins before and after on farm vaccination".

Farmers are advised to ensure that they administer a booster vaccine against Newcastle disease between day 12-14 and to maintain sufficient bio security measures to ensure that the birds are well protected against potential hazards.

Because of enormous economic losses by farmers, the global broiler industry has constantly tried to improve the facilities, optimize the stocking densities and even improved some management techniques." Kenchic Ltd has locally spearheaded these efforts by partnering with a French global animal health product laboratory, to provide these vaccination services.

Gumboro disease suppresses the bird's immune system making it vulnerable to secondary infections that are 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.

Kenchic is the only firm that produces day-old broiler chicks vaccinated against Gumboro, Newcastle and Infectious Bronchitis.

NOTE TO THE EDITOR:

What causes Gumboro disease and how is it spread?

The disease is caused by a virus that is shed in the droppings and transferred from house to house by fomites (objects that have been in contact with sick birds such as bedding, drinking and feeding equipment, attendants’ feet, clothes and hands).

The IBD virus is stubborn and can be difficult to eradicate. However, it is important to note that there is no vertical transmission, that is, from parents to offspring.

How is the disease recognized?

The severity of the infection depends on the age and breed of chicken and the virulence of the virus. Two forms of the disease may occur:

  1. Sub-clinical form: This is when the infection may be present without the birds showing any signs. This is common in birds less than three weeks old. The young birds will not respond well to vaccination and are prone to other infections.
  2. Clinical form: This happens to birds of three to six weeks of age. The signs include severe prostration, watery diarrhea, soiled vent feathers, vent picking, and inflammation of the cloaca (passage for droppings). Deaths occur from day three and peaks at day five to seven. Recovery starts in less than one week but broiler weight gain is affected and delayed.