Comparing necrotic enteritis litter models highlights performance impacts

Focusing on the fundamentals is crucial to controlling NE and coccidiosis in production.
calendar icon 14 September 2022
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Reused litter from a previous necrotic enteritis (NE) challenge led to more severe subclinical performance impacts but fewer clinical signs of disease than in birds raised on fresh litter, in a study by Southern Poultry Research Group.

Three floor-pen models were used in the research to compare performance and clinical signs of disease. The first used reused litter to expose birds to Eimeria parasites and Clostridium perfringens bacteria, which together can lead to the development of NE.

The second set-up used fresh litter and saw coccidiosis vaccination and the introduction of C. perfringens at 14 days. Meanwhile, the final model used fresh litter, with C. perfringens introduced at 14 days like the other group but with re-exposure to the pathogen subsequently throughout the growth cycle.

The study used lesion scoring to assess clinical disease and measured performance parameters on 14, 28 and 42 days.

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