U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Poultry Science 85 (2006) pp. 1442–1448


Nicarbazin (NCZ), a coccidiostat used in the poultry industry, has been developed as a contraceptive for resident Canada geese. We tested the efficacy of NCZ as a contraceptive using mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) as a model for Canada geese. Nicarbazin-treated corn was fed ad libitum for 14 d at 0, 750, 1,000, or 1,500 ppm. Plasma and egg levels of 4,4′-dinitrocarbanilide (DNC), the active anticoccidial component of NCZ, differed among treatment groups in a dose-response relationship, but plasma levels did not differ between sexes. Nicarbazin caused a decrease in egg weight, but there was no effect of NCZ on the numbers of eggs laid per female per day. Nicarbazin did not significantly impact bird health. An additional trial tested the effect of the method of NCZ delivery on plasma DNC levels. Mallards were given NCZ daily for 12 d either by gavage with a corn oil suspension, gavage with a water suspension, peroral administration of a capsule, or feeding 500 mg of NCZ/kg of pelleted feed ad libitum. The method of delivery significantly affected plasma DNC levels, with the highest levels in the corn oil suspension group and the lowest levels in the pelleted feed group. This is likely due to decreased availability of NCZ in a pellet compared with gavage with a suspension or capsule. Mallards receiving 34.2 mg of NCZ/kg of BW when fed cracked corn coated with NCZ daily for 14 d had higher plasma DNC levels than those obtained by liquid gavage, capsule, or pelleted NCZ feed. For maximum effect in the field, NCZ should be coated onto corn. A higher concentration of NCZ is needed in pelleted feed to obtain comparable plasma DNC levels to allow for the decreased absorption of DNC.