12 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE 12 VACCINATION General Recommendations Vaccination is an important way of prevent- ing diseases. Different regional epidemic situ- ations require suitably adapted vaccination programmes. Therefore, please be guided, by the advice of your local veterinarian and poul- try health service. Only healthy flocks should be vaccinated. Check the expiration date of the vaccine. The vaccine must not be used after this date. Keep records of all vaccinations and vaccine serial numbers. Vaccination Methods Individual Vaccinations such as injections and eye-drops are very effective and gen- erally well tolerated but also very labour intensive. Drinking Water Vaccinations are not la- bour intensive but must be carried out with the greatest care to be effective. The water used for preparing the vaccine solution must not contain any disinfectants. During the growing period, the birds should be with- out water for approximately 2 hours prior to vaccination. During hot weather reduce this time accordingly. The amount of vaccine solution should be calculated for complete consumption within 2–4 hours. When vacci- nating with live vaccines, add a stabiliser in order to protect the virus titre. Spray Vaccinations are highly effective. For chicks up to the age of 3 weeks apply only coarse spray. Use distilled water for vaccination. Special Recommendations Mycoplasmosis Vaccinations are only advisable if the farm cannot be kept free of mycoplasmosis. Infections with virulent mycoplasma species during the produc- tion period lead to performance depression. The best performance is achieved by flocks which are kept free of mycoplasmosis and are not vaccinated. Vaccination against Coccidiosis is the most reliable method to develop immunity against this disease. Never use coccidiostats in the feed when pullets are vaccinated. Applying Vitamins in the first two to three days after vaccination can help to reduce stress and prevent undesired reactions. To what extent depends on the specific situa- tion on each farm.