Comparison of control methods for coccidiosis in native Spanish "Castellana Negra" chickens
AbstractCoccidiosis is a disease responsible for serious economic losses in the poultry industry. This paper compares the effect of coccidiosis infection in a population of experimentally infected Castellana Negra chickens previously administered the ionophorous antibiotic monensin (Treatment 1), Alquernat Zyox, a herb-based product (Treatment 2), or a live vaccine based on oocystes selected for precocity (Treatment 3). Fifty birds per treatment were housed in captivity and weighed individually once every two weeks. At nine weeks they were infected with pathogenic oocysts of Eimeria tenella, E. acervulina and E. maxima. No significant differences (P<0.05) were seen in body weight between the birds in the three treatment groups after week 10. The average daily weight gain of the Alquernat Zycox-treated and vaccinated birds was similar over the entire experimental period, and more regular than that of the monensin-treated birds. The number of oocysts eliminated in the faeces and the degree of intestinal injury caused were analysed at 10, 11 and 12 weeks. The vaccine-treated birds shed a smaller number of oocysts in their faeces at 11 and 12 weeks than did those treated with monensin or Alquernat Zycox (P<0.001). At 11 and 12 weeks the vaccine- and Alquernat Zycox-treated birds showed significantly (P<0.05) less intestinal injury than the monensin-treated birds.
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