Coccidiosis caused by Eimeria species is one of the major factors militating against profitable poultry production globally because of its serous economic consequences. Continuous and misuse of synthetic anticoccidial drugs over the years had led to the emergence of resistant Eimeria strains necessitating the search of alternative, effective safe and locally available coccidiostat. Thus, the anticoccidial activity of crude leaf powder of Psidium guajava was tested against Eimeria tenella in 120 broiler chicks infected through the oro-pharygeal route with sporulated oocysts of the parasite. The experimental birds were allotted to four groups designated 1 to 4 each having 3 replicates with 10 birds per replicate in a completely randomize fashion. Groups 1 and 2 were fed diet containing 100g and 50g of the test plant per every Kg of feed respectively. Group 3 was treated with a preventive dose of Amprolium (0.3g per liter of drinking water) and group 4 was left untreated. The test material incorporated at 100g per Kg of feed compared appreciably with the Amprolium in suppressing oocysts excretion, alleviating caecal damage, reducing severity of diarrhoea, minimizing blood loss, morbidity and mortality of chicks. The 100g of the test substance was more effective against the parasite than the 50g but both the levels of inclusion had some negative effect on feed intake and weight gain. Purification of the test substance could enhance its efficacy thereby comparing favorably with the drug. Nevertheless, the evaluated plant is still recommended for prophylactic treatment of coccidiosis. The unpalatable taste of the test material which probably reduced the intake of the experimental diet with correspondingly decreased weight gain could be substantially improved through some appropriate measures one of which could be addition of molasses.
Keywords: Anticoccidial activity, Psidium guajava, Eimeria tenella, Broiler chicks.