Necrotic enteritis ( NE ) is a common and costly disease of poultry caused by virulent toxigenic strains of Clostridium perfringens . While 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, copper, and manganese supplied as sulfates in the control diets with metal-amino acid complexed minerals in a necrotic enteritis challenge model consisting of coccidiosis and Clostridium perfringens . In a 28-day battery study, the treatments were no additional Zn or Mn, unchallenged (negative control); no added Zn or Mn, challenged (positive control); added ZnSO 4 and MnSO 4 at 100 ppm each, challenged; additional ZnSO 4 60 ppm, Availa-Zn 40 ppm (Low), and MnSO 4 100 ppm, challenged; added ZnSO 4 60 ppm, Availa-Zn 60 ppm (High), and MnSO 4 100 ppm, challenged; added ZnSO 4 60 ppm, Availa-Zn 40 ppm, MnSO 4 60 ppm, and Availa-Mn 40 ppm. None of the treatments ameliorated gross lesion scores, but all reduced NE-associated mortality compared to the positive control. At 28 days, the group supplemented with Availa-Zn 40 ppm (Low) had a lower body weight than challenged groups supplemented with Zinc and the negative control. In a floor pen study, the 5 treatment groups were: (1) Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources at 100/100/20 ppm respectively; (2) Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources at 40/100/20 ppm respectively plus Zn from Availa-Zn at 60 ppm; (3) Zn and Mn from sulfate sources 40/100 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 60/60/20 ppm respectively plus Zn and Mn from Availa-Zn/Mn at 40/40 ppm respectively; and (5) Bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD) at 55 g/metric ton with Zn, Mn, and Cu from sulfate sources 100/100/20 ppm respectively (BMD, Zoetis, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI 49007). None of the treatments reduced lesion scores. The Availa-Zn and Availa-Zn/Mn had lower mortality than the sulfate supplemented feed, while Availa-Zn/Cu and BMD were intermediate and did not differ from the other groups. Considering both trials together, and using mortality as the discriminating factor, adding Zn and Mn exceeding NRC requirements reduced NE-associated mortality, and in the floor pen studies complexed Zn and complexed Zn plus Mn appeared to be superior to sulfates.

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