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Observations on the epidemiology of coccidial infections in sheep under varying conditions of intensive husbandry including chemoprophylaxis with monensin

, : Observations on the epidemiology of coccidial infections in sheep under varying conditions of intensive husbandry including chemoprophylaxis with monensin. Parasitology 87: 421-427

Coccidiosis occurs sporadically in lambs at about 6 weeks of age when oocyst output is very high in healthy as well as in diseased lambs. These experiments were designed to throw light on the source of infection and to correlate oocyst output in lambs and ewes with performance in lambs. In two experiments, one indoors on deep litter the other in outdoor paddocks, oocyst output (of different coccidial species), body weight and clinical state of lambs were recorded weekly. Oocyst output in ewes was also recorded, starting 1-4 weeks before lambing. Monensin was included in the concentrates of ewes and/or lambs, up to lambing or before and after lambing. No periparturient rise was detected in the oocyst output of ewes. Monensin drastically reduced oocyst output in animals receiving it. Oocyst output in lambs appeared to be little affected by the output of ewes around the lambing period, but was reduced if the ewes' output was kept low after lambing. Lambs receiving monensin tended to produce drier faeces but their weight gain was not significantly greater than that of controls. Eimeria crandallis was the predominant species in the lambs, followed by E. ovinoidalis and E. ovina.

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Accession: 001228872

PMID: 6657301

DOI: 10.1017/s0031182000082949

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