Selective breeding programs and good house management allowed broiler producers to reduce the time required to raise broilers to 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) to 42 days in 2012.  

Speaking at an MSD Animal Health & WATTAgnet.com webinar, Dr. Rik Koopman, global technical director, MSD Animal Health, said that the number of days required to raise a 2.5 kilogram broiler is expected to drop to 35 days by 2022. He said the shortening cycle time for broilers has an impact on the choice of vaccines and the selection of the best place to apply the vaccinations.

Dr. Sjaak De Wit, immunologist and poultry veterinarian, GD (Dutch Animal health Service), said vaccines have been developed that are effective at controlling respiratory disease agents in chickens such as infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and infectious laryngochotracheitis virus (ILT). De Wit said the poultry industry should move as much vaccination to the hatchery as possible, because in the hatchery you can have mass application of vaccine which is standardized and requires less labor. He said that early vaccination, whether in ovo or at hatch, can minimize disturbance to the growth of the birds during weeks right before market, when the birds are consuming the most feed and adding the most weight. A slight setback from a vaccine reaction earlier in the life of the flock has less impact on the bottom line.

View the webinar, Breathing from the beginning: Efficiently controlling respiratory diseases from the hatchery, and learn more about the advantages of early vaccination and how a vaccine program can be tailored for your operation.