Hatchery vaccination for day old chicks

Interchick’s solution to Gumboro and Newcastle diseases (Hatchery vaccination for day-old chicks)

Interchick has introduced hatchery vaccination in all day-old Broilers against Gumboro, Newcastle (ND), and Infectious Bronchitis (IB) diseases. With the intensification of broiler production, total or partial condemnation of carcasses has risen due to poor growth rates, cellulitis, water belly, downgrades, high mortality, etc. Because of these enormous losses, the broiler industry has constantly tried to improve the facilities, optimize the stocking densities and improved some management techniques. Furthermore, broiler producers continuously seek new ways of reducing the condemnation rates at the slaughterhouse.

Recently, more and more trials have demonstrated that concentrating the vaccination in the hatchery could significantly improve the profitability to the farmers. Indeed, the reduction of vaccinations applied in the farms can contribute to reduced mortalities during growing, minimal condemnation at the processing plant and consequently avoidance of huge financial losses that farmers can experience. The vaccination of the day-old chicks in the hatcheries effectively started in the 70s with the use of a Mareks vaccine. Now vaccines against Newcastle disease, IB and Gumboro are available for day-old vaccination.

Interchick has subsequently introduced TRANSMUNE vaccination against Gumboro and VITABRON against Newcastle and Infectious Bronchitis diseases in day-old chicks at the hatchery. These vaccines have widespread use in Europe, Brazil, and China and emerging markets in Nigeria and the Middle East. There are several benefits in moving vaccination from the farm towards the hatchery. These include,

  • The vaccine is handled by a Interchick team that is well trained and monitored. The centralization of controls at the hatchery ensures that the vaccine is precisely administered as per the manufacturers’ guidelines.
  • The vaccines cold chain storage guidelines are well adhered to at the hatchery level to match the vaccine (?) producer’s requirements while the chain could be broken at the farm level.
  • Vaccination cover is close to 100% on all chicks at the hatchery compared to typically 70-80% success rates at the farm. It further reduces stress on the birds in the farm and ensures early and improved disease resistance/immunity.
  • Sophisticated and consequently expensive equipment is more affordable and relevant for a big structure like a hatchery than for a poultry farm. Also, equipment can be better monitored and better maintained in the hatchery than on the farm. Vaccine application becomes more effective. The farmer has more time left to look after the vaccinated birds instead of bothering on vaccination.
  • Spray vaccination, which is the best method for administration of respiratory vaccines like ND or IB, is much easier to apply and consequently highly efficacious when given in the hatchery than when applied on the farm. The farmer will only do one single Newcastle disease vaccination in the Broiler farm at day 14 instead of 2 vaccinations as done previously. This will reduce stress to the birds, reduce the use of vitamins before and after vaccination, reduce post-vaccination reactions and the cost of treatment.
  • Better growth rates
  • Low mortality in the event of disease outbreak.

Farmers are, however, requested to entrench bio-security measures on their farms to provide additional protection to their birds and reduced exposure to all threats. We strongly recommend this vaccination to all farmers and with an acquisition of automatic vaccinators, all Interchick day old Broiler chicks will be vaccinated at the hatchery against Gumboro, Newcastle and Infectious bronchitis diseases. We are the sole providers of this vaccine in East and Central Africa.


Gumboro disease or Infectious Bursal Disease


The disease was first isolated in a village called Gumboro in the USA in the early 60s but by 1980s the virus had spread to the rest of the world. This Viral infection attacks the immune system of young birds destroying the B lymphocytes in their immature stages in the Bursa. The virus is hard to kill and can survive in litter for 4 months or more.

The virus can mutate and change its form avoiding the immune system of the bird. It is common in large poultry complexes, where birds are raised in multi-age systems. Chickens are more susceptible at 3-6 weeks of age when Bursa is at its maximum rate of development and filled with B cells. The affected birds discharge whitish diarrhea, huddle together, massive mortality is observed in non-vaccinated flocks and mortality pattern often has a bell shape curve and disappears in about 7 days.

Newcastle Disease


It is a disease of poultry caused by Orthovulavirus (avian paramyxovirus) causing both respiratory and enteric infection in chickens of all ages. The virus enters via any mucosal surface: multiplies in epithelium spreading via the bloodstream to other organs, where fast multiplication occurs leading to rising in virus concentration in the blood, multiplies in all organs especially respiratory and intestinal tract, and in case of virulent strains in the nervous system.

Virus shedding occurs by feces and air (aerosol, dust) The most obvious clinical signs are sudden and massive mortality, with neurological signs like star gazing, limbs paralysis, twisted necks, with the inability to feed resulting into greenish diarrhea. For birds in production, there is a significant drop in egg production.