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Every hen that is protected has the potential to produce more. In commercial layer production, Escherichia coli (E. coli) can be everywhere and the predisposing environmental factors are impossible to eliminate. Each factor can spark colibacillosis and respiratory distress, increase mortality and reduce flock performance. Further, as the industry migrates toward cage-free production, bacterial challenges will likely intensify.

Poulvac® E. coli is the only available modified-live E. coli vaccine that is safe for birds.2 Recommended for mass administration to healthy chickens 1 day of age or older, it helps provide broad-spectrum protection against avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) bacteria,3 and it has shown to reduce mortality and potential egg losses.1,4,5


Zoetis recently studied Poulvac E. coli against two very common APEC E. coli isolates — the homologous O78 strain and the heterologous O2 strain. Pullets were vaccinated at 10 days of age and 12 weeks of age.1 Birds were split into two houses, with hens challenged at different ages per house.

Consistent with results from previous studies in long-lived chickens, protection against the APEC O78 from Poulvac E. coli was significant. Protection against the APEC O2 strain was also significant.

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a,b Indicates statistically significant difference

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The power of one more egg

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According to one of the industry’s leading layer veterinarians, leaving five eggs per bird on the table can cost producers at least $35,000 in profit when market prices are high. Layer vaccination programs are almost always cost-effective in disease-challenged areas under these circumstances.6

Poulvac® E. coli can help deliver a strong return on investment for egg producers. The data above suggested an 11-eggs-per-hen difference against unvaccinated challenged birds1, but saving even just one egg per hen housed can dramatically impact profitability. The table below demonstrates the economic benefits of a $2,600 investment for two doses of Poulvac E. coli vaccination in a 100,000-hen operation.


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A Calculations assume the following industry standards, as per a recent industry analysis:

  • 100,000 chicks placed, with standard 5% mortality during rearing
  • Genetic standard through 60 weeks of age: 253 eggs per hen housed
  • Actual production: 240 eggs per hen housed

B Egg prices based on three-year combined regional large egg prices7


What Zoetis can do for you

Zoetis is committed to providing insightful veterinary service. We work to better understand your company’s flock health challenges and to offer insights and disease management strategies designed to help your operation thrive.

We have built vaccination protocols for Poulvac® E. coli that make sense for your business, following these best practices for spray vaccination. We audit vaccine and crew administration performance to maximize efficiency. And the Poulvac portfolio from Zoetis includes several additional vaccines for diseases affecting layer operations, including Salmonella, Mycoplasma, infectious coryza, infectious bronchitis and infectious bursal disease.



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