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