BANHAM POULTRY has said it is seeing successful results from a trial of E Coli vaccination in broiler flocks.

The integrator is working with Crowshall Veterinary Services and Zoetis on the trial, which involves giving day-old chicks a Poulvac E Coli vaccination in the hatchery alongside infectious bronchitis inoculation.

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Broilers are more typically treated for E Coli if an infection is uncovered, rather than vaccinated.

But Banham Poultry agriculture director Lars Brattinga said the trial aimed to improve bird health and welfare and further reduce antibiotic use in poultry production.

“This pathogen of poultry can cause disease and mortality in birds leading to poorer welfare and poor productivity, as well as increased antibiotic use and higher reject levels at the processing plant.

Disease prevention

“It is anticipated that this vaccine will aid in the prevention of the disease associated with E Coli bacteria by providing the birds with immunity thus improving their welfare and at the same time reduced antibiotic usage.”

He added there had been benefits to bird performance, as well.

The firm has reared 1.6 million birds to date on the trial, and if deemed successful, it will be rolled out across its entire farming base.