Dr Matthew Jones, director of nutrition and veterinarian at the Southern Poultry Research Group (SPRG) has presented results of a trial at the 2022 Annual Poultry Science Association Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The work is titled 'Evaluation of a Phytogenic Compound, Orego-Stim, in Broiler Chickens During Eimeria maxima Challenge'.

The results reported that Orego-Stim supplementation in broilers infected with Eimeria maximahelped to mitigate the severe effects of coccidia cycling. Dr Jones has a PhD in poultry science and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia, 'Eimeria maxima is one of the three primary coccidia affecting broilers and is one of the most frequent causes of intestinal damage resulting in Necrotic Enteritis,' Dr Jones explains.

Broilers fed diets with Orego-Stim included had a significantly greater body weight gain and a numerically improved feed conversion ratio at 21 days of age compared to infected control birds. In addition, later cycling of coccidia was numerically lower in groups supplemented with the natural phytogenic, Orego-Stim.

'It is often this late cycling of coccidia that has the most negative impact on broiler performance,' explains Dr Jones. 'Whilst there is no question that early health issues can result in a lingering influence on performance, broilers have a tremendous capacity to compensate from such challenges and attain growth very close to breed standards. Later intestinal challenges though can have a far greater economic impact.'

'This is because there is not the opportunity for compensational growth, and mortality near the end of production is related to far greater losses for the producer due to the feed and energy costs associated with raising these birds,' says Dr Jones.

In the trial, 450 day-old male Ross chicks were assigned to one of five groups (Negative control, Challenge control, Orego-Stim: 600 g/t, Orego-Stim: 800 g/t and Orego-Stim: 1000g/t). On day eight, all birds except the negative control were individually challenged via oral gavage with E. maxima (75,000 oocysts per bird at 1ml dose per bird). Body weight gain, intestinal lesion scores, oocyst count and mortality were recorded until 28 days of age.

'At all inclusion rates, Orego-Stim was effective at supporting bird performance,' explains Dr Jones. "Commercial poultry producers will have a coccidiosis programme in place and this maybe a coccidiosis vaccine, a chemical, an ionophore or a combination of these. Natural alternatives, such as Orego-Stim, gives producers options to integrate these into their systems to take pressure off these traditional interventions."

'Orego-Stim is a natural solution which has potential for use within existing rotation or bioshuttle coccidiosis control programmes, as well as in programmes where late breaking coccidiosis is suspected,' Dr Jones concludes.

Natural oregano oil sources have many well-documented properties, including antimicrobial, antioxidant and immunomodulatory functions. Orego-Stim, developed and manufactured by independent feed additive manufacturer Anpario, is a phytogenic feed additive formulated from a unique source of 100 percent natural oregano essential oil. It has been extensively researched and trialled in controlled challenge models and has been shown to successfully support broiler performance during coccidiosis challenge. It is available as both a liquid and powder, enabling flexibility in application for producers.

For more information visit the Anpario website, HERE.

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