In poultry production, part of the important managerial practices is vaccination. Vaccination in laying chickens is one of the effective ways to boost the immunity of chicken. It is simply the introduction of the disease-causing pathogens or its product into the bird’s system such that they gain resistance over the subsequent attack from the pathogen.

Vaccination is not limited to layers along or only chicken; all livestock can be vaccinated against their peculiar diseases at a certain period of their age.

Vaccination in layers is very compulsory; the health of the layers is the wealth of the farmer. The layers must be healthy always; any deviation in the normal state of health leads to a drop in production and conversely a drop in the productivity of the farm enterprise. Hence, the health of the layers is paramount to the success of the farm.

Prevention is better than cure. Vaccination is a preventive measure of avoiding diseases in a poultry farm. If you do not prevent your layers from diseases, then be ready to treat them when they are down on any diseases. Mind you, prevention is cheaper than treatment; this makes a vaccination for layers cheap to achieve.


Insights on the vaccination in layers


The vaccination schedule for layers can be referenced to that of day-old-chicks. There are some vaccines that are administered at the chick’s stage. One of the beauties of vaccination is that it is an aggregated program; it is a foundation on which the immunity of the layers is built.

This vaccination schedule is divided into two; the brooding stage and the rearing stage. The brooding stage starts from day 1 to 4 weeks of age. Here, the pullets are reared in enclosing where environmental parameters are modified to ensure their growth. Some vaccines are administered during this stage.
Some vaccines are also administered during the rearing stage, which starts from about 4-16 weeks. These vaccines could be a repetition of the ones administered during the brooding stage weeks. At 16 weeks, the pullets are set to lay; hence, they are transferred to the cage, where they spend the rest of their life in case of a battery cage system or laying pen if the deep litter system is adopted. 
All layers are vaccinated against Marek’s disease, Newcastle disease NDV, Infectious Bronchitis, Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD Gumboro), Avian encephalomyelitis and Fowl Pox at different ages. The vaccines are usually given before the commencement of lay. When layers start to lay, administration of vaccines is not really common, unless when there is a prevailing disease, usually Newcastle Disease.
Lastly, vaccines are administered through different routes; some are served through drinking water, some are subcutaneous, under the skin, while some are administered through the wing web or aerosol. The routes of administration of each vaccine have been stated in the vaccination schedule below. Follow this vaccination schedule judiciously to ensure the immune system of the layers is properly built.


Vaccination schedule for layers within the first 4 weeks (brooding stage)

Duration/age of the bird
Route of administration
Within 24 hours of hatching
IBD Gumboro
Between 2-4 weeks
Through drinking water or spray
Newcastle i
2 weeks
Through drinking water 
Infectious bronchitis i
0- 4 weeks
Through drinking water 
Fowl Pox
0-6 weeks
Through the wing web
E. coli
0-6 weeks
Through drinking water 
Day 7
Through drinking water 


Vaccination schedule for layers 4 – 16 weeks (point of cage) vaccine

Duration/age of the bird
Route of administration
Newcastle ii
Within 5-8 weeks
Through drinking water 
Infectious bronchitis ii
Within 5-8 weeks
Through drinking water 
Newcastle iii
Within 10-12 weeks
Through drinking water 
Newcastle iv
Within 14-16 weeks
Through drinking water or intramuscular
Infectious bronchitis iii
Within 14-16 weeks
Through drinking water or intramuscular
Avian encephalomyelitis
Within 6-15 weeks
Through drinking water or wing web



Precautions on vaccination of layers

There are some precautions you must follow to enhance the efficacy of the vaccine.

  • Give anti-stress two days before and after vaccination. This is because vaccines are stress-inducing; hence, you need anti-stress in form of multivitamins to cushion the stress.
  • Do not vaccinate sick layers. Vaccination is for prevention of diseases and not the treatment of diseases. Use drugs to treat sick birds and not a vaccine.
  • Vaccinate during the cooler part of the day. Vaccination is best done early in the morning.

Vaccination schedule for layers is one of the important documents needed to run a successful poultry farm. lastly, vaccination is a timely operation; you must ensure you administer vaccines at the right period.

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    1. Agbabiaka Abdulquadri

      No, it is not. Usually, the presence of vaccines in chicken is just for 21 days after administration. After then, the chicken product can be consumed.

  1. Can all the route vaccine be given immediately one had just be administered for example after marek’s can IBD Gumboro be given the next day

  2. Thanks for sharing on treatment of coccidiosis with herb. My question is since am giving the chicks antibiotics, vitamins and other medication as the need may arise can i still administer the herb to them for treatment or prevention of coccidiosis.


  3. Engr Aminu A. Dumburi

    We thank you for sharing your Poutry experience with us beginners we cherished your concern for poutry farming growth in Nigeria. My own issue is am beginners and non professional in Poultry farming but I have passion for it. I just bought 1000 16 weeks old layers from cage system and i am doing deep liter system of poultry farming. Kindly give me some guidelines which will assist me to manage these birds with the change in system. Secondly, I am experiencing some death in these few days.
    Thank you.

  4. Am a layers farmer based in Kenya.Does this vaccination schedule apply to farmers here in Kenya as it seems simplified than what local vets are recommending to us.

  5. Muabecho Idrisu

    Thanks for your lecture.It is really amazing indeed may Allah provide you more knowledge to share with the livestock farmers insha Allah.

  6. I really appreciate your efforts in putting up this write, its quite educating and will definitely benefit all readers, thanks.

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