Poultry production: Water quality and vaccines


By Digital team | 21 May 2018
bird; poultry; avian; surveillance; vaccines

Question: Can water quality have a negative effect on vaccines used for poultry?

  • There’s no negative effect on the “killed/inactivated” (oil emulsion) vaccines, applied as intra-muscular or subcutaneous injections.
  • Water quality becomes very important, however, when “live” vaccines are used.
  • Excessively hard water, or water that contains a lot of organic matter, will result in a poor response to vaccines because the minerals and the organic matter can bind with them.
  • This also applies to water stored in rusty water tanks.
  • Remember that when water’s been chlorinated, vaccines can be totally neutralised.
  • That’s why there are a number of products available to neutralise chlorine.
  • Even skimmed milk powder can be used successfully.
  • If possible, stop chlorination for 24 hours before and 24 hours after vaccination.
  • Use distilled water for a spray application of a live vaccine, or boil the water for about 10 minutes and allow it to cool completely before using.

Also read: The difference between live and inactivated vaccines

  • This article was written by Dr. Mick Versfeld and first appeared in Farming SA.