Comparison of Two Coccidiostat Shuttle Programs Under European Field Conditions

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Article | 13.06.2021
A European poultry veterinary clinic performs extensive monitoring using Aviapp®, the broiler health platform from Huvepharma, for data collection, storage and analysis. This app facilitates the comparison of different anticoccidial programs under field conditions.

Scoring was performed by independent veterinarians who added coccidiosis and dysbacteriosis scores to Aviapp® as part of their standard package when visiting farms. The data were collected from the field between July and December 2020. 

Using the data from Aviapp® gathered from 63 flocks, two popular shuttle programs were compared: 

  • 42 flocks used nicarbazin/narasin from day one in the chicks until 20/21 days of age, followed by Sacox® (nicarbazin/narasin - Sacox® shuttle)
  • 21 flocks used nicarbazin/monensin (Monimax®) until 20/21 days of age followed by Sacox® (Monimax® - Sacox® shuttle)

The number of flocks on the Monimax® - Sacox® shuttle program was lower in comparison to the nicarbazin/narasin - Sacox® shuttle program because Monimax® was only registered for use in the European Union from July 2020. 

The coccidiostat products were used at their registered dosages until thinning. As a standard practice, birds were thinned at around 32 days of age (on average) and slaughtered between 38 and 41 days of age. After thinning, all flocks received blank feed until slaughter.

Intestinal health monitoring included coccidiosis scoring (Johnson and Reid, 1970) and dysbacteriosis scoring (Teirlynch et al., 2011), performed on at least five birds per flock with an age of between 14 and 42 days.

Birds on the Monimax® - Sacox® shuttle program showed lower average dysbacteriosis (1.72) and coccidiosis (0.74) scores in comparison to the nicarbazin/narasin - Sacox® shuttle program (2.21 and 1.00, respectively), indicating better coccidiosis control with the Monimax® - Sacox® shuttle (Table 1). 

Table 1. Intestinal health scoring results

The biggest difference was seen in the control of Eimeria maxima lesions. E. maxima lesions were significantly lower in the Monimax® - Sacox® shuttle groups (0.09) compared to the nicarbazin/narasin - Sacox® groups (0.29).

Although many factors are involved in determining the performance of a flock, the presence of E. maxima has an important impact due to the critical area of the intestine where damage to cells is caused. Also, higher E. maxima scores can be related to higher dysbacteriosis scores which are also linked to poor performance and higher incidence of antimicrobial treatments.

Aviapp® allows for easy and efficient data collection and processing, providing an excellent tool for poultry producers but also for veterinarians to follow-up health and performance. 


References are available on request.
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