Novation News January 2015



Coccidiosis is one of the biggest causes of loss in poultry and infections is spread too fast in a few days. The use of anticoccidial drugs provided a good growth of poultry, but Eimeria has developed resistance to all the coccidial drugs. Since the EU has banned the use of several anticoccidial drugs and regulations will be tightened gradually, there is a need to search into new methods of control. As part of this effort, we tested Butirex C4 and Enviva EO (protected sodium butyrate and essential oils) for their capacity to provide protection against coccidiosis. This experiment was designed to determine the sensitivity of a recent field isolate of Eimeria spp to several in-feed doses of Butirex C4 and Enviva EO.

Method and Material:

The trial was carried out in the Animal Pathology department of Veterinary University of Zaragoza (Spain 2013).

392 one-day old Cobb 500 birds were distributed in 4 treatments * 7 pens (14 birds/ m 2 ). Control group (C) contained Maxiban (1-21 days), Monteban (22-48 days) at authorized dosages. Three other groups were treated with Butirex C4 + Enviva EO (1-48 days) (Table 1). All birds were orally inoculated on day 15 with 0.5 ml solution containing sporulated oocysts of Eimeria (1 *10 5 cfu E. acervulina, 1 *10 4 cfu E. tenella, 5 *10 4 cfu E. maxima). On days 25, 35 and 48 we measured performance, oocyst excretion and intestinal lesion scoring as well as clinical observations.

Diets were nutritionally adequate and given in mash (starter: 0-10 days), small pellet (starter: 11-21 days) and standard pellet (grower: 22-48 days). No other additive rather than the tested products were used throughout the trial. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Feed conversion, body weight and mortality were measured at different periods reflecting the economic impact of coccidiosis. Intestinal lesion scoring (0: no lesions; 4: severe lesions) of sacrificed birds and oocysts counts in litter were measured (21, 35 and 48 days) to analyse the health effect in the coccidiosis control.


Table 1: Treatments
1 Maxiban 0-21 d; Monteban 22-48 d
2 100 gr/ton Enviva EO +750 gr/ton Butirex 0-48 d
3 200 gr/ton Enviva EO +750 gr/ton Butirex 0-48 d
4 100 gr/ton Enviva EO +1500 gr/ton Butirex 0-48 d

Performance Results

Average Weight Gain (AWG), Average Daily Gain (ADG) and Feed Conversion Rate (FCR) were significantly (p<0.001) improved in birds fed with Maxiban-Monteban compared to all Butirex C4 + Enviva EO treatments after two weeks post infection. However, all three Butirex C4 + Enviva EO treatments improved numerically AWG and FCR in periods 1-15 and 30-48 days compared to Maxiban-Monteban. Overall, (48 days), no significant differences were detected for any of the performance parameters measured among treatments (Table 2).


Table 2: Performance parameters
Tto AWG (g) ADG (g) FCR (g/g)
Days 1-15 15-30 30-48 1-15 15-30 30-48 1-15 15-30 30-48
1 517 1160 a 1541 37 77 a 84 1.41 1.49 a 3.00
2 523 908 b 1753 37 61 b 97 1.36 1.77 b 2.75
3 521 869 b 1769 37 58 b 98 1.41 1.84 b 2.71
4 533 909 b 1768 38 61 b 98 1.35 1.95 b 2.75
P 0.28 <0.0001 0.69 0.28 <0.0001 0.12 0.16 0.002 0.23

Clinical Results

Almost a week post infection Maxiban-Monteban treated birds showed a logical significant (p<0.0001) lower lesion score throughout the intestine; however, 20 days post infection only 7 birds showed slight lesions in the caeca and no lesions at all in the whole of the intestinal tract. At the very end of the trial (48 days), there were no lesions for any of the four treatments, demonstrating an excellent intestinal recovery effect of Butirex C4 + Enviva EO treatments (Table 3).


Table 3: Clinical Results: Coccidiosis intestinal lesion scoring
6 d post infection 20 d post infection
Tto Upper Middle Caeca Upper Middle Caeca
1 0.1 a 0.0 a 0.3 a 0.0 0.0 0.3 ab
2 2.3 b 1.4 b 2.6 b 0.0 0.0 0.0 a
3 2.3 b 1.7 b 2.7 b 0.0 0.0 0.4 b
4 2.1 b 1.7 b 2.5 b 0.0 0.0 0.0 a
P (X2) <0.0001 <0.0001 <0.0001 1 1 0.015


  • Butirex C4 + Enviva EO before infection and well after it improved performance numerically over Maxiban-Monteban.
  • Maxiban-Monteban showed significant lower lesion but Butirex C4 +Enviva EO recovered birds from the infection, showing no lesions 20 days pot-infection.
  • The combination Butirex C4 + Enviva EO had no effect on Eimeria infection but showed great potential recovering infected birds as seen by global performance and no intestinal lesions at the end of the trial.

Butirex C4 + Enviva EO showed a positive effect restoring coccidia-damaged intestinal wall while at the same time reducing possible secondary pathogenically infections (E. coli, Clostridium); based on this trial results, Butirex C4 could play a beneficial role in coccidia vaccinated flocks. An improvement of performance in the latter can be expected when fed with the combination of Butirex C4 + Enviva EO.