Impact of aMacleaya cordata-derived alkaloid extract on necrotic enteritis in broilers
Necrotic enteritis (NE) causes significant economic losses in the broiler chicken industry, especially in birds raised without in-feed antibiotics. A standardized blend of plant-derived isoquinoline alkaloids (IQA) derived from Macleaya cordata has shown to have anti-inflammatory potency and promoted animal productivity. This study investigated the effects of IQA supplementation on broiler chickens under NE challenge. A 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments was employed with factors: NE challenge (no or yes), and additives (no additive or IQA at 0.15 g/kg) in starter, grower, and finisher diets. Birds were challenged with Eimeria spp. on d 9 and 108 to 109Clostridium perfringens on d 14. Each treatment had 7 replicate floor pens with 17 birds each. NE challenge negatively affected growth performance, livability, and carcass traits. Regardless of challenge, IQA increased feed intake and gain on d 24 (P < 0.05) and 35 (P < 0.01) and improved FCR (P < 0.05), flock uniformity (P < 0.01) and breast meat yield (P < 0.001) on d 35. Supplementation of IQA also reduced lesions in the duodenum (P < 0.05), jejunum (P < 0.001), and ileum (P < 0.001). This study suggests that IQA may protect broilers from NE indicating its role as a promising antibiotic alternative.