Coccidiosis remains a major challenge in poultry production in the tropics and all over the world. Global economic losses from coccidiosis are estimated to be $3 billion per year. The disease causes extensive damage to the intestinal lining of the birds, and although many infections are subclinical with no obvious visible signs, birds are still impacted through reduced weight gain and feed conversion, and the shedding of infectious oocysts into the surrounding environment.
In-feed anticoccidial use has been the predominant form of coccidiosis control. The poultry industry cannot be viable without specific prophylaxis based mainly on the use of in-feed anticoccidial drugs named coccidiostats and rarely on vaccination (live vaccines), because of economic reasons and adverse effects on early chick growth. However, the extensive use of anticoccidial drugs leads to parasite resistance and residue issue in poultry products. In Europe, the use of anticoccidial and anti-histomonas drugs as feed additives has been strictly limited since 2006 (Regulation 1831/2003 of the European Parliament). To cope with the regulations and followthe trend, bioactive compounds that are found in plants are currently being investigated since they are more likely to be found acceptable by consumers, for public health and food safety reasons, or as a potential replacement. Plants and their biologically active chemical constituents sometimes called secondary metabolites or bioactive, present numerous opportunities for the improvement of livestock production by inclusion in the diet.
A commercial trial to compare (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid) THB and Lasalocid in a native broiler farm
A commercial trial was conducted in a native broiler farm in Vietnam, to discover if plant extracted product would work well in controlling coccidiosis in fields. The objective of the trial was to compare diet supplementation of THB product (100g/tonne feed) and Lasalocid (75g/tonne feed) on growth performance of broilers and their impact on coccidiosis. It was expected that the results of THB group were to be as good as ionophores according to previous studies of this compound.
Day old chicks were used in the experiment and not acclimatised to any diet prior to the start of the trial. Birds in the control group (509 birds) were fed with diet containing 75ppm of Lasalocid from day 0 until day 50, after which Lasalocid was withdrawn and birds were fed with diet without any anticoccidial until market age of day 120; whereas, birds (505 birds) in the treatment group were fed with diet containing 100g/tonne of THB product from day 3 until market age of day 120, without withdrawn period. Periodically during the trial, body weight gain and feed intake of birds were monitored. At day 30, five birds from each group were sacrificed for lesion scoring.
At the conclusions of the trial, birds fed with THB had greater average body weight at 1878.2g compared to birds fed with Lasalocid at 1840.1g by day 109. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) and mortality of birds fed with THB (3.28 and 12.9, respectively) had also improved compared to birds fed with Lasalocid (3.38 and 16.50, respectively). Birds fed with THB had significantly greater villi height in the jejunum, and numerically greater villi height in duodenum and ileum; and that the villi height to crypt ratio had also improved in both jejunum and duodenum, in comparison to birds fed with Lasalocid. The oocyst count in feces of birds fed with THB had also reduced >50% in average compared to those detected for birds fed with Lasalocid.
Benefit with supplementation of THB
In conclusion, feeding THB product at minimum 100g/tonne to native broilers reduces the oocyst count in fecal materials, which is important as this limits in-farm spreading of the parasites. Beyond that, THB improves intestinal health through enhanced villi growth, as well as body weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Because of the total health condition in the intestinal tract, the group with THB has also shown lower mortality compared to Lasalocid group.
THB product used in this trial was COZANTE TM marked by Kemin. The recommended dosage is 100 to 150g/tonne feed for coccidiosis control.
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