My Day Old Chick Screening Result

When you get your day old chicks, it is important to do what is called “day old chick screening”. Day old chick screening has a lot of benefits that can save you from disaster. It helps you to know the right time to vaccinate your birds and tells you the right antibiotics to use.


Although there are established vaccination plans that will work for most people in an area, DOC screening is still important because Hatcheries can make mistakes. Some vaccination plans may tell you to vaccinate for Newcastle disease on day 7. But because of hatchery mistake, the chicks may actually need the vaccine on day 5 to prevent disaster. DOC screening will help you discover this.

Due to the cost of this screening (N7000 as of 2015), it may not be favorable to those who has less than 500 or 1000 chicks as the case may be.

By taking a look at the sample below you might see a need to rethink your current vaccination plan if it is not effective.

The sample below is a DOC screening result for my layers chicks. Out of 607 chicks, 10 were taken to ANIMAL CARE® TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION (POULTRY DISEASES DIAGNOSIS AND AQUACULTURE LAB), Asaba, Delta State for the screening. You can read more about screening here:

1.     Benefits of Serological Monitoring of Poultry Flocks

2.     Chicken Health: Avoiding Antibiotic Abuse through Laboratory Tests

Below is the result from the lab test.

Hemagglutination Inhibition Test (for ND)

Please find below, the result of Hemagglutination inhibition test (for ND) carried out on serum samples of chicks received from your farm.

Age: 1 day old

Bird type: Commercial  pullets

Chick Lab Result

Hemagglutination inhibition Lab Result

Range: 2-32

Modal titre: 2

MGT: 2.3

% @ & above 1:16: 20%

Note that minimum protective N.D. antibody titre against lethal effect of the Newcastle disease virus is 1:16. See vaccination programme for details.


My Interpretation: Titre as used here, is just a measure of how resistant the chicks are to Newcastle disease. The higher the value, the better and the minimum titre required is 1:16. The table above shows that out of 10 chicks, only 2 exceed a titre level of 1:16 – and this means disaster waiting to happen. If I delay vaccination for Newcastle disease, it will strike.

Antibiotic Sensitivity Test

Below is the result of antibiotic sensitivity test carried out on samples from chicks submitted for analysis.

Isolate 1: Staphylococcus spp, Candida spp

Gentamicin Streptomycin Fosfotrim
“Z” Oxytetracycline

Note: “Y” is a 40% disc preparation of tylosin (20%) and doxycycline (20%) with synergistic actions, such as is found in Anidoxytyl®. “X” is a disc containing a combination of 5 antibiotics (oxytet, streptomycin, neomycin, colistin and erythromycin) as in Neoceryl® and the likes. ‘Z’ is a disc containing penicillin & streptomycin, as found in Anicillin® and the likes.

Comment and Recommendations:

Based on the A.S.T. result above, Administer Gentamicin to the chicks @ 10mg/kg body weight via drinking water for 5 consecutive days. This should be combined with Nystatin (500,000I.U./tablet) at 4 tablets per 1,000 day old chicks/day as prophylaxis against Aspergillosis. Tablets should be well dissolved in the drinking water.

Adhere strictly to other biosecurity measures.

Dr. Iloh Obiora

My Interpretation: 2 disease-causing organisms were isolated from the chicks. They were Staphylococcus spp. and Candida spp. The test shows that these pathogens were sensitive to the antibiotics: Gentamicin and Anicillin® (penicillin + streptomycin). This means that if disease occur due to these pathogens, they will likely respond to these antibiotics.

The test also shows intermediate sensitivity to streptomycin – meaning that this antibiotic will not be very effective. Finally, the pathogens were resistant to Fosfotrim, Oxytetracycline, ‘X’ [5 antibiotics (oxytet, streptomycin, neomycin, colistin and erythromycin) as in Neoceryl®], Furaltadone, “Y” [tylosin (20%) and doxycycline (20%) ], Colistin, Augmentin, and Enrofloxacin. These antibiotics are very unlikely to be effective if the above mentioned pathogens cause diseases. It is advisable that I avoid using them to prevent resistant strains from taking over my farm. I will also rotate effective antibiotics with different modes of action.


1. 1st IBD(Gumboro vaccine): Day 5.
Route: Drinking Water

2. Immucox Vaccine(Coccidial vaccine) Day 6 (Optional)
Route: Drinking Water

3. 1st NCD Lasota: Day 7
Route: Drinking Water

4. 2nd IBD (Gumboro vaccine): Day 15
Route: Drinking Water

5. 2nd NCD Lasota vaccine: Day 17
Route: Drinking Water

6. Marek (HVT):  Day 25

7. 3rd IBD (Gumboro vaccine): Day 29
Route: Drinking Water

8. 3rd ND Lasota: Day31
Route: Drinking Water

9. Fowl pox vaccine:  Week 7
Route: Wing web

10. NCD (R2B/Kamorov-live vac): Week 8

11. 1st Trivalent Salmonella vacine: Week 12

12. 2nd Trivalent Salmonella vaccine: Week 14

13. live ND+ IB combined vaccine: Week 15. Route: Drinking Water

13.  NDV+IB +EDS (oil vaccine): Week 16

Please note the following:

a. 1st to 3rd lasota vaccines: Administer live and potent lentogenic strain ND vaccine through drinking water using 1.5 to 2 doses/bird. At  week 15, birds  should be primed with live ND+ IB combined vaccine, through drinking  water  before administration of oil inactivated  NDV+ IB +EDS vaccine at week 16. Use intra-muscular route for the oil vaccines.

b. I – III IBD Gumboro – Administer live and intermediate strain IBD vaccine through drinking water using 1.5 to 2 doses/bird. . When vaccinating through drinking water, use 1/4th of the total volume of water consumed on previous day  by birds and this should be done after 1-2 hours of water deprivation( period within which they should be allowed to feed) so as to increase thirst. Don’t exceed 2 hours.

Vaccine water should be equally distributed in drinkers and the drinkers should be well spread in the pen. Where birds are to be vaccinated against coccidiosis, special attention must be paid to litter management, so as to avoid an outbreak.

c. Ensure daily water sanitation except on days that vaccines are to be   administered  through drinking water.

d. Ensure weekly weighing of birds so as to meet the weekly targeted body weight as recommended by the D.O.C supplier/Hatchery.

e. Deworm and delouse at week 8 and week 16.

f. Daily spraying of low concentration of disinfectant in the midst of birds, is suggested. Diskol® should be sprayed at 7 mls per litre of water or  Polidine at 20 mls/L of water. Avoid  spraying when birds are taking vaccine water.

g. Adhere strictly to all other bio-security measures and report all abnormal signs in birds to the laboratory as soon as possible.

h. Anti –mycoplasmal drugs  like Anitylodox®  should be used for  prevention  of  C.R.D. at  weeks  2 ,6 & 10. Where these birds are not vaccinated against coccidiosis, we suggest routine prophylaxis against coccidiosis by use of drugs like Dicoxin®, starting from day 9 of age to day 13 and to be repeated, once in 2 to 3 weeks while birds are still on the floor.

i. Between 15TH -18TH: Administration of Polidine @ 4ml/10litres of drinking water daily on these days.

Dr. Ilo obiora

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