Vaccination for village chickens
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CTA. 2004. Vaccination for village chickens. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57392
David Daka of the Zambia Institute of Animal Health discusses how small scale farmers can manage Newcastle disease vaccination for their poultry flocks.
Vaccination for village chickens? Cue: While the vaccination of poultry against diseases such as Newcastle disease is a standard practice on commercial farms, among village chicken keepers it is much less common. The reasons for this are not hard to guess. In the first place, vaccines tend to be expensive, and only available in large doses suitable for hundreds or even thousands of birds. Secondly, until recently Newcastle disease vaccines have needed to be kept at a low temperature in order to remain effective. This has meant that vaccination programmes have needed to maintain a cold chain, a system for keeping the vaccine cool, while being transported to villages, making the process much more difficult and expensive to manage. So how can an effective system for vaccinating village chickens be managed? That was the question that Chris Kakunta asked when he spoke to David Daka, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer at the Zambia Institute of Animal Health. IN: ?One of the diseases you are ? OUT: ?So you must feed well.? DUR?N 5?22? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: David Daka of the Zambia Institute of Animal Health with some advice on village chicken rearing. Transcript Daka One of the diseases you are looking at could be Newcastle disease, which can wipe almost 80-90% of the flock, you lose everything. So this is the challenge. Kakunta How can small scale farmers effectively manage a vaccination programme so that their chickens, village chickens do not die of Newcastle? Daka Before I come to your question, we must know that Newcastle disease is a viral disease. Once birds are attacked, it means that there is no treatment, they just have to die. Those that survive will have problems in growth rates. So we must do everything possible to prevent the outbreak of Newcastle disease in our birds. But if it breaks out, the impact will be reduced if you did vaccinations. Now, for you to have an effective vaccination programme, when you have chicks which hatch, these should be vaccinated at three days old, and you can also give them another dose at six weeks. As they grow, and you hear about the outbreak of Newcastle disease here and there, you can continue vaccinating, but at three days, six weeks, eighteen weeks, you can vaccinate your birds. Kakunta And what vaccines are we talking about here? Daka There are various types depending on the brands. Usually it looks like a tablet, you dissolve it. The most popular one is [administered] by drinking water. But the challenge in Newcastle vaccination, is that you have maintain a cold chain. You must not expose the vaccine to heat or sun rays, because you will destroy the vaccine and you will render it useless ? it loses its potency. But I understand there is a Newcastle vaccine which is stable under ambient temperature. It means you don?t need any cold chain, and this vaccine was established in Australia. We have tried to bring it, maybe it?s the cost, but it is the most effective vaccine. Anybody can carry it and mix it with water and vaccinate the chickens under normal temperature. As of now, what we do is, most of these vaccination campaigns for chickens is now thrown to the private sector. We have a lot of vets in Zambia; whoever wishes to vaccinate chickens, he can just buy the vaccine and they go in the villages and vaccinate. This is what we normally do. Kakunta But this is a very expensive venture for an individual, Mr Daka. Daka Unfortunately you have to invest for you to gain more. This is what we normally do. We have privatised our veterinary services, so we have invited most private vets to come on board and take up some of these clinical issues in our livestock sector. The only problem I see is that these doses, there may be in 1000 doses, it means you have to vaccinate 1000 chickens. So this is the problem, a farmer has got only maybe five chickens, but even then in the villages you can team up, you share the vaccine, you can vaccinate 1000 chickens. So it wouldn?t be expensive. Kakunta Apart from protecting these birds against disease, what other important factors do you consider are paramount for successful raising of village chickens? Daka You know, people complain that village chickens do not lay eggs during the rainy season. But somebody would assume that during the rainy season is when we have a lot of food. Unfortunately during the rainy season in this country we don?t have enough food for chickens. So my advice is that, when you are approaching the rainy season, like in November, farmers should keep enough maize bran, soya bean cakes, which they can mix to feed the chickens during the rainy season. They will be able to lay and grow and fatten, so that you don?t face any problem. Kakunta And that can also be part of your prevention against diseases? Daka Of course. A better fed animal will resist diseases. If your animal is not well fed, it is weak, the immunity goes down. Just like you, if you are not well fed whatever drug you may take it will not work in your body, because it is not complemented by good nutrition. So you must feed well. End of track.