The effects of Original XPC and a coccidiostat (Salinomycin) were investigated individually and in combination at Southern Poultry Research during a coccidiosis challenge in broiler chickens. A total of 320 test birds were housed and lesion scores were conducted. Male broilers (Cobb X Cobb) were used from zero to 27 days of age. All birds received vaccinations at the hatchery for Marek's Disease (HVT:SB-1) and birds were weighed at zero, 21 and 27 days of age. Feed consumption was measured at 21 days and 27 days. The study included five treatments with eight birds per cage and eight replicate cages per treatment. Test articles were added to the feed of each treatment.
All birds except the negative controls were challenged orally with a coccidia inoculum at 21 days. The challenge dose per bird was designed to be much greater than a routine field challenge and to produce approximately 3.0 lesion scores for each species in the infected, non-medicated control group.
At 27 days, all birds from each cage were lesion scored. The upper, middle and cecal regions of the intestine were scored, using the system of Johnson and Reid where 0 is normal and 1, 2, 3, or 4 indicate increasing severity of infection.
E. acervulina coccidia lesions sores were reduced in the upper gastrointestinal tract when Original XPC was included in the feed. Salinomycin inclusion further reduced lesions compared to the non-medicated, infected group. E. maxima lesion scores in the mid gut were also significantly reduced with the addition of Original XPC to the diets, and the response was equivalent to that of Salinomycin and to the combination of products. Cecal lesions reflecting E. tenella were also significantly reduced when feeding Original XPC, and an even greater response was observed when Salinomycin was included.
Body weight gain during the coccidiosis infection was severely affected in the non-medicated, infected group. Adding Original XPC to the feed significantly improved body weight gain, and Salinomycin produced even greater gain. The combination of Original XPC and Salinomycin provided the greatest weight gain among the infected groups.
The treatment response for feed conversion ratio was similar to body weight gains. Significant improvement was seen both with Original XPC and Salinomycin. Combining Original XPC and Salinomycin resulted in feed conversion similar to that of non-infected controls.
Previous research had suggested that the metabolites in Diamond V Original XPC empower the bird's immune system by strengthening the instinctive immune response and supporting adaptive immunity within the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, chemical signals help suppress the inflammatory response during a challenge, and metabolites in Original XPC increase antibody production to commercial vaccines.
Previous work also demonstrated that feeding Original XPC can reduce the incidence and severity of intestinal lesions when birds are challenged with coccidiosis. Further evidence of reduced coccidiosis stress from feeding Original XPC is the improved body weight gain and feed conversion when birds are fed Original XPC during a coccidia challenge.