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In-ovo vaccination is highly sensitive to any contamination levels and could influence the transfer and hatch due to a significant increase of the risk of an eventual embryo contamination.
Therefore, the incubation process and in-ovo vaccination needs to be conducted maximizing the hygiene conditions and following specific procedures to keep contamination levels under control. Hygiene requirements monitoring for in ovo-vaccination are based in the control of the following three main pillars:
- Hatching eggs quality and disinfection
- Biosecurity, hatchery cleaning & disinfection and environmental control
- Sanitation during the in-ovo process itself is influenced by the water and sanitizer quality, sanitary status of the flocks, waste management, rotten eggs handling among other factors.
Hatching eggs quality
Egg quality is the main factor influencing In ovo vaccination performance. Low bacterial load and good quality eggshell are paramount to success. Therefore, the objective would be to avoid In ovo vaccination of contaminated eggs (dirty or floor eggs), and reduce the risk of contamination of those good quality eggs destined to be incubated. Once the contamination is inside the eggs, there is no way back and, consequently, contaminated eggs might be a risk for the flock performance and hatchery hygiene. Thus, management guidelines to reduce dirty eggs or laid out of the nest becomes significantly important when In ovo vaccination is planned in a hatchery.
Hatching-eggs need to be classified by its sanitary status, separating those that are in compliance with In ovo hygiene requirements, from those that do not. Floor, washed or faecally contaminated eggs, will produce higher embryo mortality and lower chick quality.
Moreover, the presence of explosive and rotten eggs during incubation will be also higher within the group of dirty and floor eggs, influencing the final In ovo process performance.
There is a direct relation between the flock eggshell quality (shape, fragility, micro cracks...) and sanitary status of the flocks, and the impact of the In ovo process.