Effects of Coccidiosis on the Welfare, Growth Performance, Carcass and Meat Quality of Broilers


  • Nikola Čobanović Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • Sara Čalović Department of Animal Breeding, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • Nevena Grković Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • Slobodan Knežević Scientific Veterinary Institute "Novi Sad", Rumenački put 20, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Marko Pajić Scientific Veterinary Institute "Novi Sad", Rumenački put 20, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia


broiler coccidiosis, carcass quality, meat quality, oxidative stress, performance indices


Avian coccidiosis compromises welfare and production performance, increases susceptibility to bacterial infections and leads to substantial economic and production losses upon the poultry industry. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of a mixed coccidiosis (Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, Eimeria tenella and Eimeria necatrix) challenge on oxidative stress biomarkers, performance indices, carcass and meat quality of broilers. Broilers challenged with coccidiosis had higher concentrations of catalase, glutathione-S-transferase and malondialdehyde and lower concentration of superoxide dismutases at all sampling days. The same group of broilers had a lower feed intake on day 21 and 35, and a lower daily weight gain and body weight on day 35. Healthy broilers had higher hot and cold carcass weights and breast weight, but a lower back and pelvis weight. Also, healthy broilers produced better meat quality in terms of higher water-holding capacity (lower drip and thawing loss in breast and thigh muscle) and less yellow colour (lower b* value in breast and thigh muscle). Chemical composition of healthy broiler meat was better in terms of higher content of dry matter, ash and protein in breast muscle. In conclusion, the presence of coccidiosis in broilers resulted in impaired welfare, poor performance indices and lower carcass and meat quality.


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Technologies Applied in Animal Husbandry