Rotating Success: A Guide to Anticoccidial Rotation Programs in Poultry Farms
Nowadays, the poultry industry is more focused on improving gut health and performance with different approaches, i.e., acidifiers, probiotics, phytobiotics, prebiotics, etc. But without successful management of coccidiosis in commercial poultry production, it is very difficult. Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite belonging to the genus Eimeria, which mainly affects the intestine and can cause poor growth, diarrhoea, impaired nutrition, and sometimes the death of birds. It is almost impossible to eradicate Eimeria with the disinfection practices used at the poultry houses. Almost everywhere in the world, commercial poultry farmers use anticoccidial drugs through feed as a prevention strategy against coccidiosis.
Unfortunately, not understanding the proper use of these anticoccidial drugs often leads to the failure of coccidiosis prevention strategies. This blog post serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding and implementing anticoccidial rotation programs, a strategic approach vital in preventing the development of resistance and ensuring long-term efficacy.
Understanding Anticoccidial Drugs:
Anticoccidial drugs are compounds used for the control and prevention of coccidiosis in poultry. The anticoccidial drugs currently used can be classified into three categories: polyether antibiotics (Ionophores), synthetic, and mixed.
They interfere with the transport of ions across the cell membrane, resulting in parasite death. They have a common method of action, and if resistance develops to one, it will be visible to the others, specifically amongst ionophores of the same class (cross-resistance).
- a) Monovalent Ionophores: Salinomycin, Monensin, and Narasin.
- b) Monovalent glycoside ionophores: Maduramicin and Semduramicin.
- c) Divalent Ionophores: Lasalocid.
2. Synthetic compounds:
They interact in a completely distinct manner and inhibit a wide range of biochemical pathways; if resistance develops, it will not be shared with an ionophore or synthetic drug of a different type.
Mixed products are a few drug mixtures consisting of either a synthetic compound and ionophore, i.e., Nicarbazin/Maduramicin and Nicarbazin/Monensin, or two synthetic compounds that are also used against coccidiosis.
Know the Anticoccidial Rotation Programs
The anticoccidial drugs that are used through feed in commercial poultry farming are meant for the prophylaxis or prevention of coccidiosis. Poultry farmers should keep in mind that the long-term use of particular anticoccidial drugs may result in the failure of coccidia management on their farms.
1. Rotation Program:
- In the rotation program, one anticoccidial is used continuously through succeeding flocks and then changed to alternative anticoccidials every 4-6 months
- Resting one class of drug in rotation can help restore the efficacy of the previous one.
2. Shuttle Program:
- In the shuttle program, two or more drugs are used in different feeds in the same flock. Shuttle programs commonly involve incorporating a synthetic or combination drug in the starter feed, followed by an ionophore in the grower.
- Using two different drugs in a shuttle program can help eliminate the resistance developed by Eimeria to one drug being eliminated by another, and vice versa.
Keys to Successful Anticoccidial Programs:
Since Eimeria is known to develop resistance to anticoccidial drugs, it is important that poultry farmers keep some important things in mind to implement a successful anticoccidial program, as below:
- Do not use a single drug for a prolonged period simply because you are getting good results.
- Give an appropriate resting period to every drug after use for the prevention and control of coccidiosis.
- Do not rotate products. Rotate the molecules of different classes.
- Use a chemical cleanup once a year; it gives a very good reduction in infection pressure.
- Always follow the dose recommendations on labels.
Coccidiosis is a significant disease that affects the profitability of commercial poultry farming. To prevent coccidia, farmers commonly use anticoccidial rotation programs. Successfully managing these programs requires a good understanding of anticoccidial drugs, how to rotate them, drug flexibility, and careful planning. By navigating these anticoccidial rotation programs effectively, poultry farmers not only gain better control over coccidiosis but also enhance the overall health and productivity of their flocks. Although there may be challenges along the way, a knowledgeable and proactive approach enables poultry farmers to handle the complexities of anticoccidial rotation, ensuring ongoing success on their farms.
Glamac provides the best solutions for superior coccidia control on your poultry farms throughout the year with our broad-spectrum anticoccidial range of excellence. The Glavitro range of products is best suited for both shuttle and rotation programs for effective coccidia control. They are all very well tolerated and non-toxic in poultry and are free-flowing in nature, enabling uniform miscibility in feed.