Protective Efficacy of Lepidium sativum, Capsicum frutescens and their Mixtures against Experimentally Induced Eimeria tenella Infection in Broiler Chickens

  • Mengistu Urge
  • Kassa Shawle
  • Getachew Animut
  • Tesfaheywet Zeryehun
  • Meskerem Adamu
Keywords: Cecal lesion; Eimeria tenella; Feed additive; Oocyst shed; Phytogenic


This study was aimed at evaluating the anticoccidial efficacy of Lepidium sativum (Garden cress (GC)), Capsicum frutescens (Hot red pepper (Hrp)) and their mixtures powder in broiler chickens. A total of 144 Cobb-500 broiler chickens were randomly allocated into six treatment groups with three replications. The experiment lasted for 42 days. Rations were fortified with 0.75% GC, 0.75% Hrp, 0.38% GC+0.38% Hrp and 0.0125% amprolium in groups 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively and fed to the chicks starting on day two of age. Ration fed to chicks in group 1 and 2 were without any additives. Chicks in groups 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were infected with ~105 sporulated Eimeria tenella oocyst per chick at the age of 15 days. Animal performance, oocysts output, cecal lesion score, carcass and serum parameters were recorded during the experiment. Uninfected-unfortified and amprolium ration groups in the starter period and group that received ration fortified with a mixture of GC+Hrp and uninfected-unfortified ration in the finisher phase resulted in a higher body weight gain (BWG). Across the entire experimental period, BWG was higher in the uninfected-unfortified ration group. The average feed intake in the entire period was higher in uninfected-unfortified ration, GC and amprolium groups. Broiler chicks fed a diet fortified with GC 0.75% or amprolium (0.0125%) as additive were equally effective to reduce E. tenella oocyst shed at day 6, 7, 8 and average total count post inoculation. Infected chickens fed diet fortified with GC, Hrp and their mixtures showed cecal lesion similar to those fed with infected-unfortified diet group at day 7 post inoculation. Highest intestinal length at 27 days post inoculation was observed in the uninfected-unfortified ration group and the shortest length was noticed in infected-unfortified ration group. In conclusion, broilers fed diet fortified with GC 0.75%, Hrp 0.75%, GC 0.38%+Hrp 0.38% mixture and amprolium 0.0125% showed better BWG at the end of the production phase than infected-unfortified ration group. Garden cress and amprolium lowered oocyst shed indicating better protection against E. tenella infection.