SUMMARY.

Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a common and costly disease of poultry caused by virulent toxigenic strains of Clostridium perfringens. Although the importance of trace minerals for intestinal integrity and health is well documented, there is little information on their role in ameliorating the effects of NE. The two studies reported here examined the effects of replacing a portion of the dietary zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and manganese (Mn) supplied as sulfates in the control diets with metal-amino acid-complexed minerals in a NE-challenge model consisting of coccidiosis and Clostridium perfringens. In a 28-day battery study, the treatments were the following: (1) no additional Zn or Mn, unchallenged (negative control); (2) no added Zn or Mn, challenged (positive control); (3) added ZnSO4 and MnSO4 at 100 ppm each, challenged; (4) additional ZnSO4 at 60 ppm, Availa-Zn at 40 ppm (Low), and MnSO4 at 100 ppm, challenged; (5) added ZnSO4 at 60 ppm, Availa-Zn at 60 ppm (high), and MnSO4 at 100 ppm, challenged; and (6) added ZnSO4 at 60 ppm, Availa-Zn at 40 ppm, MnSO4 at 60 ppm, and Availa-Mn at 40 ppm, challenged. None of the treatments ameliorated gross lesion scores, but all reduced NE-associated mortality compared with the positive control. At 28 days, the group supplemented with Availa-Zn at 40 ppm (low) had a lower body weight than challenged groups supplemented with Zn and the negative control. In a floor pen study, the five treatment groups were the following: (1) Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources at 100, 100, and 20 ppm respectively; (2) Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources at 40, 100, and 20 ppm, respectively, plus Zn from Availa-Zn at 60 ppm; (3) Zn and Mn from sulfate sources at 40 and 100 ppm, respectively, plus Zn from Availa-Zn at 60 ppm and Cu from Availa-Cu at 10 ppm; (4) Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources at 60, 60, and 20 ppm, respectively, plus Zn and Mn from Availa-Zn/Mn at 40 and 40 ppm, respectively; and (5) bacitracin methylene disalicylate at 55 g/metric ton with Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources at 100, 100, and 20 ppm, respectively (Zoetis, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI). None of the treatments reduced lesion scores. The Availa-Zn and Availa-Zn/Mn had lower mortality than the sulfate-supplemented feed, whereas Availa-Zn/Cu and bacitracin methylene disalicylate were intermediate and did not differ from the other groups. Considering both trials together, and by using NE mortality as the discriminating factor, we found that adding Zn and Mn exceeding National Research Council requirements reduced NE-associated mortality, and in the floor pen study, complexed Zn and complexed Zn plus Mn appeared to be superior to sulfates.

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