An experiment was performed in a commercial farm in Brazil to investigate potential candidates for botanical coccidiostats to pullets (Isa Brown breed) naturally infected with coccidia (Eimeria spp.). Infection dynamics and performance were investigated in 1400 pullets allocated randomly to six treatment combinations and compared to a group vaccinated with a commercial anti-coccidia vaccine. We investigated dried leaves of cassava and Artemisia annua mixed in the diet for pullets at different ages and ethanolic concentrate extracts of A. annua and A. vulgaris via drinking water supplemented before or after appearance of clinical symptoms of the disease. Performance attributes and oocyst excretion (oocysts per g faeces = OPG) were monitored weekly from 1 to 14 weeks of age. The supplementation of A. annua in the diet (3% inclusion based on feed weight) influenced negatively the growth rates of the pullets (p<0.05) and did not affect OPG. The food supplementation of A. annua at 3% reduced the growth rates of pullets by 27 and 14% in the periods of 0-7 and 0-14 weeks of age respectively (p<0.05) without affecting oocyst excretion (OE). Cassava supplementation markedly suppressed OE by 60-70% at the stage of early infection (weeks 0-7) (p<0.05) without affecting growth rate compared to the vaccine group. Ethanolic extract of A. vulgaris supplemented before appearance of clinical symptoms of disease showed a trend to reduce OE in the late infection. In conclusion, a daily 3% supplementation of cassava in the beginning of the rearing period may be an effective strategy to control coccidiosis in small scale poultry systems while ethanolic plant extracts supplemented in drinking water deserves further investigation.
Landbauforschung Völkenrode, 2012, Issue 362, p. 449-452
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2nd IFOAM/ISOFAR International Conference on Organic Animal Husbandry, "Tackling the Future Challenges of Organic Animal husbandry", 2012