Real-world results
Virtually anyone reading this magazine appreciates the importance of good research. In some cases, however, it’s easy to view research results with some skepticism. After all, we all know that what appears to be promising in the laboratory might work a little differently when tested in the field.

It’s therefore gratifying for us to report on intestinal health research that’s already paying dividends in the real world. Specifically, I am referring to work conducted by Dr. Robert Teeter, a nutritionist at Oklahoma State University, USA.

Teeter has spent vast amounts of time testing and studying the physical and economic impact of coccidiosis on broilers. In his latest trials, he found that when subclinical coccidiosis occurred late into the production cycle, broilers used more energy and needed more feed. There was also increased malabsorption, reduced effective caloric value and an elevated maintenance cost.

Subclinical coccidiosis late into the production cycle often occurs when in-feed anticoccidials lose effectiveness, thereby causing coccidial oocysts to leak into the flock. In fact, according to Teeter, birds near market age with even minor coccidial lesion scores — which are typical of subclinical coccidiosis — have an average daily gain of about zero.

In contrast, the nutritionist discovered thata coccidiosis challenge that occurs early in the production cycle has a relatively minor negative effect on flock health, efficiency and profitability. An early challenge occurs when coccidiosis vaccine is administered in the hatchery or when chicks are turned out to the house, thus enabling broilers to develop lifelong immunity against coccidiosis at a young age.

Now we are pleased to report on a fieldtrial conducted at a Canada broiler farm,which demonstrates that Teeter’s laborious laboratory research is on the mark

The results of the trial, presented at a meeting by Dr. Linnea Newman — a consulting technical service veterinarian for Intervet/Schering-PloughAnimal Health — show that broilers on in-feed anticoccidials had high coccidial-oocyst counts during the later part of the production cycle. And more importantly,their weight gain was zero. The producer switched to using a live-oocyst coccidiosis vaccine for a few cycles, which seeded poultry houses with oocysts that are still highly sensitive to anticoccidials.

By the third cycle of vaccination,oocyst cycling was earlier, oocyst countswere lower and weight had improved 240 grams, compared to the first flock on anticoccidials.

When the producer returned to using anticoccidials — after the three cycles of coccidiosis vaccination — the results were excellent, thanks to the use of the vaccine.

You can get the details on Teeter’s latestfindings and the field trial that supports his work in our special report beginning on page 16.

Marc Coulier
Global Marketing Director
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

[email protected]

P.S. We just received word that Paracox-8,our coccidiosis vaccine for broiler breeders andlayers, is now used in 70% of that market segment in Australia. The Australian government is understandably very protective of its borders, so it is very difficult to introduce new live vaccines to that market. Since its approval there in 2008, Paracox-8 hasproved to be a huge exception to the rule —not to mention a valuable asset to the Australian poultry industry. Special thanks to the many veterinarians and opinion leaders who saw the product’s potential and helped to make this possible.

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