Mandatory vaccination: protect your chickens early from Newcastle disease.
Newcastle disease vaccination (avian influenza)
Please note: Vaccination against the Newcastle disease is a must in Germany! All owners must have their animals regularly vaccinated against pathogenic agents. This also applies to hobby-keepers of one or two animals.
The Newcastle disease is caused by paramyxovirus 1. It is a highly contagious, worldwide spread disease of poultry of great economic and ecological importance. In Germany, ND is one of the notifiable animal diseases.
Transmission routes are feces, other body fluids, nasal, pharyngeal, ocular secretions and respiratory air. Infection thus occurs both from animal to animal directly and via air. The infection period (incubation period) is 4 to 6 days. The viruses affect the lungs, intestines, and central nervous system.
Symptoms range from sudden deaths to clinically unremarkable infections. In addition to fever, languor, drops in laying performance and disorders in egg production, swelling of the head, respiratory distress, diarrhea, and paralysis may occur. Early signs are:
- decreased laying performance
- thin-shelled eggs to shell-less eggs
- watery egg white
- thin, greenish-yellow feces, partly mixed with blood
Outbreak of Newcastle disease:
- a restricted area for poultry must be established within a radius of at least 3 km
- to protect against further spread of the disease, poultry must remain indoors for at least 3 weeks, upon the instructions of the veterinary office
- all poultry farmers must report their stocks
- additionally, an observation area of at least twice the radius may be established
- infected animals must be killed immediately
- affected stables, buildings and transport vehicles must be thoroughly disinfected
How to vaccinate properly:
Vaccination may be administered via drinking water or by means of an aerosol spray. Using these forms, vaccination must be repeated at least every 6 weeks to achieve a sufficient level of immunity. Ideally, vaccination is started at chick age to achieve sufficient immunity. While single-animal vaccination by injection into muscles provides longer-lasting immunity to ND, it is also more costly. Initially, a booster vaccination must be administered after 4 weeks, after which annual repetitions of the injection are sufficient.