Sponsored by Ceva Santé Animale


Hygiene is first 

The contamination of embryos through vaccine solution might have a direct impact in the hatchery performance due to hatchability decrease of late embryos or low chick quality; the contamination of one vaccine bag (1 litre) could affect 20.000 embryos as vaccination volume is 0,05 ml per egg. Moreover, vaccine solution contamination increases the risk of contamination of the vaccination system of the in ovo equipment and therefore the risk of contamination of the following flocks.

Vaccine Preparation Monitoring

To monitor the respect of the vaccine preparation protocols supplied by the vaccine manufacturer are essential to minimize any eventual loss of vaccine quality and vaccine titers. From vaccine preparation room to vaccination equipment, we need to verify:

  • The storage conditions
  • The operator technique
  • The application of aseptic routines
  • The good traceability practices

A proper in- ovo injection technique consistently monitored

All eggs need to be perforated on the top center, with no vaccine delivered outside of the egg or egg breakage. In that way, some key points need to be minimized and therefore monitored because they will affect the vaccination efficacy or embryo integrity. These will be:

  • Eggs with lateral injection. This failure leads to a risk on embryo integrity as vital organs can be perforated.
  • Egg breakage.  As eggshell is very fragile, micro-cracks can be produced after manipulation or if  hatch baskets are not handled carefully.
  • Upside-down eggs.  This condition needs to be minimized at the time the eggs are placed on trays because they will not hatch or will become culled chicks

Vaccine Dosage

To ensure chicken flocks will be protected in the field, dosing control represents one of


the most important parameters to be controlled when performing In ovo vaccination in the hatchery.  According to the in ovo C.H.I.C.K Program protocols, vaccine dosage must be systematically controlled through the following points:

  • Control of blocked needles 
  • Control of bent needles 
  • Control of air bubbles in vaccine system 
  • Control of sliding of injectors 
  • Synchronization between injection and vaccine delivering
  • Calculation of vaccinated eggs versus prepared doses

If any of the above control points is showing a deviation, the implementation of corrective actions are required to ensure that all the embryos receive the corresponding vaccine dose. It is important to know that one single injector vaccinates two embryos. Therefore, as an example, only two blocked needles will decrease vaccination efficacy by 2.6%.

The in-ovo C.H.I.C.K Program

Ceva hatchery vaccination services, well known as the C.H.I.C.K Program, aims at ensuring all birds are well vaccinated thanks to dedicated people, equipment and processes that are independently Quality Recognized by the certification and control company, Bureau Veritas Group.

By the regular visits of a Ceva local hatchery specialist, the in-ovo C.H.I.C.K Program is implemented to make sure that the in-ovo technology installed contributes to improving the hatchery performance.  Our standardized protocols for every testing performed by qualified personnel are basic tools to the monitoring of the different practices mentioned above including the maximization of hatchery performance thanks to hatchability and chick quality assessments. According to the hatchery needs, different testing protocols are part of the routine program of services and its results are made available to producers for data-driven decisions.