How to Vaccinate Chickens

If you have chickens—either thousands or just three—you will need to vaccinate them to keep them healthy. There are many ways to vaccinate, although some are more effective for large-scale chicken farms, for example the spray method, while some are better for individual vaccinations, such as the SC injection method. You can read our articles to get more info.

Prepare for SC (subcutaneous) vaccination. Allow the vaccine to heat up to room temperature within 12 hours of the vaccination process. Before you prepare the mixture, double-check and make sure that your vaccine does have to be injected subcutaneously. Subcutaneous means that your needle only needs to go into the skin layer of the chicken and should not go too deep into the chicken muscle under the skin. To prepare the vaccine, follow the instructions on the vaccine package.

Choose your injection point. SC injections can be given at two points—the dorsal (or upper) portion of the chicken’s neck, or in its inguinal fold. This inguinal fold is a pocket that is created between the stomach and thigh of the chicken. Have an assistant hold the chicken for you. It is easier to give the injection if you keep your hands ready. How to handle the chicken will depend on where the vaccine was injected.

Make a tent shape with chicken skin. As odd as it may sound, doing this will help you get the needle in. Hold the chicken skin at the injection point and lift it with the fingers and thumb of your non-dominant hand. Insert the needle into the chicken skin. Inject the needle into the pocket created. There will be resistance at first, but once the needle has penetrated the skin and into the subcutaneous area, the needle will pass smoothly. You will feel this initial resistance, which is then followed by smooth movement. Once you have inserted the needle correctly, press down on the injector and administer the vaccine to the chicken.

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