Determine the effect of supplementation with sericea lespedeza pellets to poultry on gastrointestinal parasites and pathogens.
This experiment will be conducted at the USDA, ARS (PPPSRU) in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At 14 days of age, broilers will remain uninfected, or be artificially infected with two challenge levels of Ascaridia galli larvae (n = 20/treatment; there are three treatments). Birds will be offered a control (alfalfa pellets) or sericea lespedeza pellets (75% sericea lesepedeza leaf meal pellet described above) at hatch or at 21 days of age to examine the effectiveness of sericea lespedeza pellets on preventing or controlling A. galli. Birds will be euthanized and necropsied at day 40. The number of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract will be quantified and compared between groups. Additionally, cloacal samples will be collected every 7 days for bacterial enumeration using 16S rRNA gene sequencing methods. Cloacal samples will be collected at 14 days of age and then again at the termination of the trials to determine the effect of sericea lespedeza pellets on campylobacter and salmonella.