Big Data: Increasing benefits in the poultry industry by improving coccidiosis vaccination

Big data are already being used to improve operational efficiency, and the ability to make informed decisions based on the very latest up-to-the-moment information is rapidly becoming the mainstream norm. Companies that fail to adapt do so at their own competitive and market risk, and this is also true for farm and hatchery management. But, what about its use for controlling coccidiosis in poultry by vaccination?

In the next post we present 2 different practical-use cases in which companies have successfully used analytics to deliver extraordinary results. In poultry farming we are at the beginning of the big data revolution. But much more needs to be done and taken into account for the future.

Logistics, UPS: UPS makes 16.9 package and document deliveries every day with over 4 billion items shipped per year in almost 100,000 vehicles. With this volume, there are numerous ways UPS uses big data, and one of the applications is for fleet optimization. On-truck telematics and advanced algorithms help with routes, engine idle time, and predictive maintenance. Since starting the programme, UPS has saved over 39 million gallons of fuel and avoided driving 364 million miles. The next steps include completion of the roll-out and applying the operational efficiency to their airplanes.

US XPRESS: A supplier of a wide variety of transportation solutions collects about a thousand data components ranging from fuel usage to tyre condition to truck engine operations to GPS information, and uses these data for optimal fleet management and to drive productivity, saving millions of dollars in operating costs.

These two examples are not so different from farms and hatcheries. The poultry sector also has data and therefore, multiple variables to analyze in order to optimize sustainability and profitability.

Specifically talking about vaccination for the prevention of coccidiosis in poultry, we need to focus our attention on two critical points: administration (which most of the time takes place at hatchery level) and the development of immunity after administration, which involves factors and variables connected with the farm environment.

Starting with administration itself, Hipraspray® is the first device ever developed for the administration of the Eimeria vaccines EVALON® and HIPRACOX®. As regards the improvements and innovation of HIPRASPRAY®, compared to other devices already on the market, the following points can be mentioned:

  1. Automatic adjustment of pressure and of the volume administered
  2. Stirrer included in the design
  3. Automatic calibration according to the size of the box
  4. An intelligent and low-maintenance vaccination device

Last, but not least is traceability and control during vaccination. The ability to trace the entire vaccine application process is the result of the ability of Hipraspray® to link up with a data network and send and receive all the information relating to the vaccination.

This requires the HIPRAlink® software, which links the information created regarding sessions and planning of vaccination dates with the vaccination process, with the possibility of receiving information on vaccination in real time. Traceability works on two levels:

A) At hatchery level:

HIPRAlink® software makes it possible to “plan”, “control” and “analyze” the data relating to the vaccination process. In terms of planning, the software is able to create reminders in the calendar (how many pullets/chicks are going to be vaccinated, how many doses are going to be administered, final producers etc.). These reminders are synchronized and HIPRASPRAY® receives this information as a Vaccination order.

When the device is vaccinating, at the same time it is tracing the whole process. At hatchery level, Hipraspray® creates a database with all the information relating to the vaccination sessions: the start time and end time, the vaccine batch number, applied doses, animals per box, doses per box, additional data on the animals, destination, operator of the device, etc. In this way, this software provides the opportunity to control and analyze the data such as which final producer has been sent more animals, which device was working more, the activity time of each device etc…

B) At final producer level:

at this level, the final customer will reap the benefit of traceability. HIPRAlink® generates traceability reports showing all the information relating to the EVALON® and HIPRACOX® Eimeria vaccines and the number of vials and doses applied at the time vaccination is carried out.

Carrying on with the development of immunity at farm level, here, too, we find many variables that can influence the correct development of immunity after vaccination. For this reason, at Hipra, we have a department working exclusively with multivariate analysis. In order to build the coccidia network, we need to know the important variables (or factors) that would affect vaccination or the result of the vaccination.

Now, assuming that we have everything under control at the hatchery, and the chicks will shed the oocysts properly, how can we guarantee the results on the farm?

Let´s see some important factors that can affect the coccidiosis vaccination results. In order to sporulate, we need a certain degree of moisture in the litter. Therefore, we have the litter as an important factor as well as the moisture. The moisture is associated with climate (dry or wet season, cold or hot), drinker: type or model.

The type of feed, can it have an impact on reaction and shedding? The immune status of the chick: presence of mycotoxins, subclinical Gumboro or chicken anaemia, infectious pressure of field Eimeria strains, number of flocks vaccinated in the same house, is it the first? Second? Third?

Of course, if you have everything under control, the probability of vaccination success will be highest, let us say 99.99% (because, as you know, it is biology and it is better not to use 100%).

Important factors that can affect the coccidiosis vaccination results in poultry.

HIPRA has created a tool to determine the probability of success of vaccination with Hipracox® and without anticoccidials, called HIPRAstats for Coccidia. You just need to enter the status of the important variables for coccidia vaccination and the output is the chance of successful vaccination against coccidiosis.

It also provides comments on the most important issues and shows how the result may vary by resolving these opportunities for improvement.

HIPRA has created a tool to determine the success of coccidiosis vaccination in Poultry

In this way, every day we record more and more data and this – in time – will turn into Big Data. Failing to also exploit this huge source of information for the control of coccidiosis by vaccination is a risk that HIPRA has decided not to take.