Two young chicks drinking water


21/06/2023 Poultry

Sub-clinical coccidiosis is a recurring problem in the broiler industry, which has a big economic impact. Based on 58 Norwegian farms, it was quantified that >50.000 OPG in litter/feces resulted in a 10% lower European Production Index: EPI (Haug et al., 2008). Phytogenics have proven their efficacy to support gut health and performance in combination with coccidiosis vaccines or anticoccidial programs. These plant-based products can be supplied via feed or via drinking water. In this study the effect of Elan®Cox Liquid was tested when supplied via drinking water between 19 and 23 days of age. Elan®Cox Liquid has a high content of essential oils from cinnamaldehyde, oregano oil, garlic oil, lemon oil and anethol as main ingredients. Effects were tested in the Olus research farm under practical circumstances.


  • 400 male Ross 308 broilers (starter weight 41 g) were distributed over 16 floor pens (25 birds/pen) placed in the middle of a commercial broiler house to simulate health and climate challenges similar to commercial practice. Peat was used as bedding material.
  • A 3-phase corn/wheat/soya diet was used: Starter, 0-14 days; Grower, 15-28 days and Finisher, 29-35 days of age with salinomycin as anticoccidial in the starter and grower diet. All birds received the same diet.
  • Treatments: The control group received normal drinking water, whereas the treatment group received drinking water supplied with Elan®Cox Liquid (500 mL/1’000 L) from 19 to 23 days of age. For the rest of the production period normal drinking water was given.
  • Measurements: Production performance parameters (body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and mortality) were measured per phase.
  • Feed and water weread libitum


Production performance during the 35-day production period is given in the table.

*FCRc: FCR corrected for the average body weight (0.02/100 g BW) 

At 35 days of age, average body weight of the birds was 86 g higher (P= 0.015) compared to the control, which was due to a significantly higher feed intake. Corrected for average final body weight, the feed conversion ratio was improved by 2.0 points (P= 0.048). As indicated, the treatment was the supply of Elan®Cox L via drinking water (500 mL/1’000 L) from 19 to 23 days of age. The return on investment of this water treatment was calculated compared to the control, based on weight corrected FCR. ROI of the ELAN® Cox L was 3.5, based on feed costs of 450 €/MT.

In a recent field trial in Brazil, it was shown that a four-day supplementation with Elan®Cox Liquid (500 mL/1’000 L; during the first day, at half dose) improved production performance, reduced mortality (EPI was increased from 388 to 414). Moreover, an improved intestinal villus/crypt ratio was shown by necropsy, which indicated a better intestinal health after treatment, which was confirmed by lower percentage of birds with coccidial lesions.



The supply of drinking water with Elan®Cox Liquid (500 mL/1’000 L water) from 19 to 23 days of age, improved production performance of broilers during a 35-day production period. The return on investment was calculated as 3.5. 




Jan Dirk van der Klis – Consultant Animal Nutrition

Jan Dirk van der Klis is a renowned poultry consultant with a PhD in Animal Nutrition from Wageningen University. Throughout his career, Jan Dirk has made noteworthy contributions to the industry. With his extensive expertise, he is offering valuable nutritional guidance to enhance the health and productivity of poultry. Jan Dirk’s profound knowledge and experience are pivotal in meeting the specific nutritional requirements of poultry and devising effective feeding strategies to yield optimal results. Since 2019, Jan Dirk has been working with Olus.