Vaccination Schedule for Layers: Day Old To Point of Lay

In poultry production, part of the important managerial practice is vaccination. Vaccination in laying chickens is one of the effective ways to boost the immunity of chickens. It is simply the introduction of the disease-causing pathogens or their product into the bird’s system such that they gain resistance over the subsequent attack from the pathogen. A vaccination schedule for layers is one of the important documents needed to run a successful poultry farm. This article will cover the most common types of vaccines that are used for layers, as well as when they should be administered.

Insights on the Vaccination in Layers

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 an 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 the 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, and some are administered through the wing web or aerosol. The routes of administration of each vaccine have been stated in the vaccination chart below. Vaccination is a timely operation; you must ensure you administer vaccines at the right period. Follow this vaccination schedule judiciously to ensure the immune system of the layers is properly built.

What Are The Vaccine For Layers?

The Vaccines for Layers are a series of vaccines used to prevent diseases in layer chickens. These vaccines are administered to the chickens in their drinking water and are usually administered through a special nozzle attached to the drinking water tank.

For layers, there are two forms of vaccines:

1. Inactivated vaccines (also called killed or modified live vaccines) contain dead or modified viruses that stimulate an immune response but can’t cause disease.

2. Live vaccines (also called attenuated vaccines) contain live viruses that have been weakened so they can’t cause disease but still stimulate an immune response.

Types of Vaccines For Layers

The vaccines for layers are designed to protect the chicken from diseases and infections. These include viruses, bacteria and parasites. However, not all of these vaccinations are required for all types of chickens. Some of them may be able to survive without any vaccination at all.

The most common types of vaccines for layers are:

Newcastle Disease Vaccine

One of the most common bird diseases is a Newcastle disease. This is a viral infection that affects many kinds of poultry, including chickens, turkeys, pigeons, and quail. It usually causes head shaking, respiratory problems, and muscle weakness in birds.

Infectious Bursal Disease Vaccine

This vaccine is given to hens before they lay their first eggs. It helps prevent bursal disease in young chicks by giving them immunity against this disease before they hatch into the world.

Fowl Pox Disease Vaccine

Fowl pox is a viral disease that affects chickens, turkeys, and other domestic fowl. The disease is transmitted from bird to bird by the bite of contaminated mosquitoes. The virus causes very severe lesions on the skin and around the eyes, mouth, and vent of infected birds. It can also cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sneezing. This vaccine prevents fowl pox in chickens by giving them immunity against the virus that causes it so they can’t get sick when they come into contact with it later on in life even if they haven’t been vaccinated yet (which happens sometimes).

Marek’s disease vaccine

Marek’s disease is a viral disease that affects mainly young birds between the ages of 2-4 weeks old. It is spread through contact with other infected birds or contaminated environments. The symptoms include reduced egg production, weight loss, paralysis, and death in extreme cases.

Infectious Bronchitis Vaccine

Infectious bronchitis is an infectious disease caused by a virus that is spread among chickens by direct contact with nasal secretions from infected birds or through contaminated drinking water, feed, or equipment. Infectious bronchitis causes respiratory distress in young chicks, but rarely causes clinical illness in adult chickens.

Vaccination Schedule for Layers From Day Old to 4 Weeks (Brooding Stage)

VaccineDuration/age of the birdRoute of administration
Marek’sWithin 24 hours of hatchingSubcutaneous
IBD GumboroBetween 2-4 weeksThrough drinking water or spray
Newcastle i2 weeksThrough drinking water 
Infectious bronchitis i0- 4 weeksThrough drinking water 
Fowl Pox0-6 weeksThrough the wing web
E. coli0-6 weeksThrough drinking water 
SalmonellaDay 7Through drinking water 
Vaccination chart for Layers From Day Old to 4 Weeks (Brooding Stage)

Vaccination Schedule for Layers 4 – 16 Weeks (Point of lay)

VaccineDuration/age of the birdRoute of administration
Newcastle iiWithin 5-8 weeksThrough drinking water 
Infectious bronchitis iiWithin 5-8 weeksThrough drinking water 
Newcastle iiiWithin 10-12 weeksThrough drinking water 
Newcastle ivWithin 14-16 weeksThrough drinking water or intramuscular
Infectious bronchitis iiiWithin 14-16 weeksThrough drinking water or intramuscular
Avian encephalomyelitisWithin 6-15 weeksThrough drinking water or wing web
Vaccination Chart for Layers 4 – 16 Weeks (Point of lay)

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 the 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.

Final thoughts

Vaccination is not limited to layers alone or only chicken; all livestock can be vaccinated against their peculiar diseases at a certain period of age. Vaccination in layers is 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 to avoid 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 vaccination for layers cheap to achieve.

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18 thoughts on “Vaccination Schedule for Layers: Day Old To Point of Lay”

    • 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. 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. 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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