Feed Additives Found to be Effective against Coccidiosis for Broilers

TURKEY - New research reveals that the addition of an anticoccidial (salinomycin), enzyme product, probiotic or prebiotic to the diet of broilers reduces the growth depression associated with a coccidiosis challenge. An essential oil product was ineffective in this study.
calendar icon 20 February 2014
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In the journal, Poultry Science, Mehmet Bozkurt of the Poultry Research Institute in Aydin and co-authors report their work to investigate the efficacies of five widely used dietary supplements on performance, faecal oocyst excretion, lesion score and intestinal tract measurements in healthy and Eimeria spp.-infected birds by using a comparative model.

This study included 2,400 sexed Ross 308 broiler chicks that were equally divided in two groups:

  • the infected group, experimentally infected with oocysts of mixed Eimeria spp. at 14 days of age, and
  • the healthy controls.

The birds in both groups were further divided equally into six groups, of which one was fed a basal diet and served as control without treatment and the other five served as experimental treatments.

These five groups were fed five diets containing preparations of

  1. 60mg per kg of anticoccidial, salinomycin (SAL),
  2. 1g per kg of multienzyme (ENZ)
  3. 1g per kg of probiotic (PRO)
  4. 1g per kg of prebiotic (PRE), or
  5. 40mg per kg of an herbal essential oil mixture (EOM).

Bodyweight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) showed significant improvement in the infected animals, which indicates that dietary supplemental regimens with SAL, ENZ, PRO, and PRE initiated in day-old chicks reduced adverse effects after challenge with coccidiosis. However, chicks that were administered EOM failed to show such improvement.

Uninfected chickens showed significant improvement in feed conversion ratio with supplements SAL, PRE and EOM, which signifies significant infection by supplement interactions for bodyweight gain and feed conversion.

In the infected group, all of the supplements reduced the severity of coccidiosis lesions induced by mixed Eimeria spp. through the middle and lower regions of the small intestines, whereas supplementation with SAL or EOM alone was effective in reducing oocyst excretion compared with the control treatment.

The researchers conclude their data indicates that use of these sub-therapeutic doses of the efficacious supplements (except EOM) in broiler production can lessen the depression in growth due to coccidial challenge.


Bozkurt M., N. Aysul, K. Küçükyilmaz, S. Aypak, G. Ege, A.U. Çatli, H. Aksit, F. Çöven, K. Seyrek and M. Çinar. 2014. Efficacy of in-feed preparations of an anticoccidial, multienzyme, prebiotic, probiotic, and herbal essential oil mixture in healthy and Eimeria spp.-infected broilers. Poultry Science. 93(2):389-399. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03368

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.
Find out more about coccidiosis by clicking here.

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