A series of press releases by prominent food chains and wholesalers demanding poultry that has been raised ‘without antibiotics’ has caused a quick paradigm shift in broiler production towards the reduction or elimination of antibiotics and the control of pathologies such as coccidiosis in poultry.
Poultry labelled ‘raised without antibiotics’ are distinctive products that more and more often are found in restaurants and supermarkets. However, making this type of product is a challenge for companies. One of the obstacles to raising chickens without antibiotics is coccidiosis in poultry.
The importance of information and data quality in any production process is no longer a matter for debate. Poultry production is no exception to this and we are increasingly seeing how the use of technology and relevant information is on the rise. The vaccination process and, more specifically, the control of Eimeria should form part of this new information model.
In the 2016 ‘Power of Meat’ survey, one of the emerging trends was consumers’ increasing awareness regarding traceability and transparency in the production process of the meat they consume.
There is a general consensus that consumers in the future will be more sensitive towards where their meat comes from and treatments given to animals used for meat production. For example, the same survey from 2017 stated that “antibiotic-free” was the most highly valued specific characteristic for poultry meat consumers ahead of others such as “organic” or “natural”.
A vaccine dose does not depend on body weight: the mechanism of action of vaccines is different to that of antibiotics and, as a result, the dose does not depend on the body weight of the target animal. When considering vaccines against coccidiosis in poultry, the dose is made up of a suspension of sporulated oocysts of different species of Eimeria.
In this suspension, the oocysts are not evenly distributed unless it is mixed thoroughly. If, in addition to this, the dose is reduced, the chance that the chicks will receive all the oocysts of every species decreases exponentially.
A vaccine does not have to be distributed throughout the body and the vaccine components (antigen and adjuvant) do not act directly on the pathogen. In general, the activity of vaccines starts with a rapid and local innate response depending on the route of administration.
It is our responsibility to search for and choose the right tools to deal with coccidiosis in poultry with current consumer preferences tending towards the purchase of products from livestock grown using sustainable methods.
Because of worldwide concern about drug resistance associated with the immoderate use of antibiotics in poultry production, there has been a major effort to find alternative treatment and methods of prevention.
One of the most worrying problems in poultry production is coccidiosis and how to deal with it without using antibiotics. It is a challenge that, we know, lies in prevention. Furthermore, it is impossible to think in terms of prevention and not to link this to sustainable action.
HIPRA, the reference in Animal Health and prevention, positions itself as the only company able to develop a system of vaccine administration against the main Eimeria species with its own traceability, with the development and production of its own machines and software developed internally and entirely to create traceability and services for our customers.
So Hipraspray® is the first device specially developed for the administration of the coccidia vaccines EVALON®, developed especially for long life-cycle birds, and HIPRACOX®, a vaccine developed mainly for short life-cycle birds, the formulation of which contains E. praecox, an Eimeria strain that sets it apart from its competitors.
HIPRA has overcome structural and strategic changes to develop its own vaccine administration medical devices to ensure the maximum efficacy and correct administration of its vaccines. Not only that, HIPRA’s innovation in vaccination also provides valuable information to support the decision-making process.
Market situation and acceptance of new Eimeria vaccine administration devices for poultry.
In light of the desperate need for parameter optimisation in the livestock farming industry, HIPRA has emerged as leader in the traceability of vaccination processes.
In terms of prevention against diseases caused by Eimeria in chickens, Hipraspray® represents a turning point and a major leap forward in the use of vaccination devices. With this system, HIPRA offers a high performance vaccination device specifically designed to ensure maximum efficacy of its EVALON® and HIPRACOX® products. In short, HIPRA brings some added value to both the hatchery and the final producer.
Depending on the type of production or government rules relating to antibiotic-free product labelling and trade, there will be restrictions on the use of certain products, especially for the treatment of infections or coccidiosis control. Sick flocks should be treated or sacrificed, in order to comply with welfare regulations.
The meaning of antibiotic free products can cause some confusion, mainly because there is no official or international accepted description of what it is and how to classify different types of “antibiotic-free” products or production. Further complications come with anticoccidials for prevention of coccidiosis in poultry. In fact, in some countries they are classified as antimicrobials and as such they have to be withdrawn from “antibiotic-free” productions.