Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 35
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LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AFFECTED BY ANIMAL DISEASES 35
During the past 25 years poultrymen have known that in nearly
every brood of chicks, bloody diarrhea, or cecal coccidiosis would appear.
Losses of one out of every two birds were not uncommon. With
the discovery of the sulfa drugs and other medicants, control of coccidiosis
became a possibility. Continuous treatment, however, is costly
and success of periodic treatments depends on early detection of the
disease. As a result of experimental work at the Alabama station
poultry raisers may now vaccinate chicks for cecal coccidiosis at 3 days
of age by feeding them the vaccination material which contains live
agents (oocysts). The chicks develop immunity by getting the disease
in such a mild form that it does not harm them but prevents later
trouble. The material is mixed with wet mash so that all chicks can
eat and clean it up at one time; it costs about 1 cent per bird, and
administration takes about half an hour for a thousand birds.
Thirteen days after feeding the vaccinating material, a sulfa drug
is administered in the drinking water as a safeguard against the immunization
procedure getting out of control. This, as has been stated,
is for control of cecal coccidiosis. Further studies are in progress
for possible control of other types by immunization.
Although improved management, treatment, and preventive measures
have reduced the incidence of this form of parasitism considerably,
the Alabama, Hawaii, and Wisconsin stations are attempting
still more effective control through breeding. This year at the Alabama
station, only about one-fourth of 497 sixth-generation White
Leghorn coccidiosis-resistant chicks in five replications, artificially
tested at 2 weeks of age with Eimweria tenella, died as compared with
the deaths in a group of 194 chicks from unselected parents. The
Hawaii station presents some clear-cut evidence that mendelian factors
do influence the chick's ability to survive an artificial infection of
The Wisconsin station reports that tests on seven highly inbred
strains of Single-Comb White Leghorns showed that 70 percent of
the chicks of one strain survived coccidiosis, whereas only 9 percent
of the most susceptible strain survived. The other five strains were
intermediate in resistance to the parasite.
As a result of early research at the Ohio station, built-up litter has
been widely proclaimed by poultrymen during the past several years
as the answer to many of their disease problems, especially that of
cecal coccidiosis. By the term built-up litter is meant the continued
rearing of successive groups of young chickens on the same litter
without any change except an occasional stirring or removal of either
the litter or feces until the material becomes 8 to 12 inches deep. It
has also been recommended that hens can be maintained on the litter
and later a new crop of baby chicks raised on the same litter. The
addition of hydrated lime as needed, to aid in keeping litter more friable,
more absorbent, and less inclined to paste or cake over, has become
a standard practice.
The Ohio station found, however, that the oocysts of Eiimeria tenella
will survive equally well in hydrated-lime-treated built-up litter and
unlimed built-up litter. Present work by the same station reveals
that both parasite ova (Ascaridia lineata, A. galli, Heterakis gallinae,
and Capillaria retusa), and oocysts (Eimeria tenella, E. acervulina,
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/37/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.