Under simulated natural conditions of bird production and parasite challenge, the effects of ascaridiasis and the effectiveness of fenbendazole treatment (6-day regimes in the feed at 16 ppm) were documented. Birds were artificially challenged with ascarid larvae on a daily basis from day 35 to 112, with bird grow out ending on day 119. Experimental groups, on a per pen basis, were infected control, treated with fenbendazole at days 63–69, treated with fenbendazole at days 63–69 and days 91–97, and uninfected control. In the same order as above, and on an experimental group mean bird basis, final weights were 13.34, 13.47, 13.59, and 13.78 kg, average daily gains from day 7 to day 119 were 117.8, 118.9, 120.1, and 121.8 g, and units gained per unit of feed consumed from day 7 to day 119 were 0.337, 0.341, 0.347, and 0.362. Infected control bird mean Ascaridia dissimilis burdens, with all stages combined, ranged from 351.1 on day 63 to 117.2 on day 91, levels seen commonly with naturally infected commercial turkeys. Trial data clearly indicated that moderate A. dissimilis burdens negatively impacted animal performance (average daily gains and feed efficiencies) and that these parasite burdens are effectively removed by fenbendazole treatment.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4