6 Oct 2018
It has been suggested that all cattle kept under conventional conditions unavoidably experience infection with coccidia at some point in their lives. Estimations suggest that only 5% of infected animals show clinical signs of
coccidiosis (Muirhead, 1989) (anorexia, loss of weight, haemorrhagic and mucoid diarrhoea) whilst the remaining 95% are subclinical. The economic impact of the clinical disease is widely acknowledged (Jolley, 2006) but the
negative effect of subclinical coccidiosis on feed conversion and growth is often overlooked even though it occurs more frequently (Daugschies, 2007).
The most effective method of minimizing the effect of coccidiosis is prevention; this can be accomplished by a combination of good hygiene and the use a coccidiostat. One of the biggest problems associated with the use of coccidiostats is that of predicting intakes especially in younger calves. In milk fed calves the intakes of hard starter feed are often variable and the concentration required to achieve an effective dose would risk suppressing feed
intake. The administration of a coccidiostat in milk offers an attractive alternative as it allows more accurate dosing.