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Broiler-house management is key to preventing winter respiratory disease

By Tak Niino, VMD
Technical services veterinarian
Zoetis Inc.


Respiratory disease in broilers can occur any time of year, but it’s especially problematic in winter months, when air and environmental conditions may become compromised as producers try to keep costs under control.

Maintaining good air quality is essential and is heavily influenced by ventilation techniques. When a house is underventilated, ammonia levels and litter moisture can rise to the point where they’re detrimental to the health of birds, predisposing them to respiratory disease.

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1. Shane, SM. Reducing pathogen E. coli infection by vaccination.  Broilers. World Poultry. Updated October 14, 2010. Accessed September 25, 2015.

2. Cookson K, Davis S, et al. Cross protection study of a modified live E. coli vaccine against three heterologous APEC serotypes in commercial broiler chickens. In: Proceedings of the 58th Western Poultry Disease Conference; 2009 March; Sacramento,CA. p. 60-62.

3. Cookson K, Macklin K, et al. The efficacy of a novel live E. coli vaccine using a broiler skin challenge model. Abstract 1568. In: Proceedings of the 23rd World’s Poultry Congress; 2008 July; Brisbane, Australia.

4. Cookson K, Sasipreeyajan J, et al. Efficacy study of a live E. coli vaccine in broilers against three field isolates from Thailand. In: Proceedings of the 59th Western Poultry Disease Conference; 2010 April; Vancouver, BC, Canada. p. 70-72.






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  • Protecting longer-life layers against infectious bronchitis

    With many laying hens now remaining in production up to 500 days, it’s time to rethink infectious bronchitis (IB) protection protocols, says Dieter Vancraeynest, DVM, PhD, a poultry veterinarian at Zoetis.

  • Poultry veterinarian named to AVMA Future Leaders program

    Tak Niino, VMD, a senior poultry technical services representative for Zoetis, was one of 10 veterinarians in different fields selected to the Future Leaders program of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • Air quality affects S. Heidelberg colonization in broilers

    Improving air quality in broiler houses may be an important way to reduce colonization of S. Heidelberg, according to the results of a study presented at the 2017 International Poultry Scientific Forum.

  • Surveillance, careful vaccine selection tops “shoot-in-the-dark” strategy for IB control

    Microbiologist Mark Jackwood, PhD, University of Georgia, urges producers not to “shoot in the dark” with infectious bronchitis vaccines and, instead, to focus on surveillance, monitoring and testing before committing to a vaccination program.

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