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Two identical trials were conducted with 5 to 14-day-old broiler chicks. Sodium zeolite A (NZA, 0 and .75%) and Ca (1.0 and 1.5%) were fed to both uninfected and Eimeria acervulina-infected chicks resulting in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Coccidial infection reduced weight gain and gain:feed (P less than .01), and tibia ash, Ca, and Ca:P ratio (P less than .05). Excess dietary Ca reduced (P less than .05) weight gain and tibia ash in uninfected chicks but had no effect (P greater than .10) in coccidiosis-infected chicks (Ca x coccidiosis interaction, P less than .05). Addition of NZA to diets with excess Ca further decreased (P less than .05) weight gain and tibia ash in both uninfected and E. acervulina-infected chicks. Tibia Ca, as a percentage of dry fat-free tibia, was reduced (P less than .05) by the addition of NZA. This effect was not observed when tibia Ca was expressed as a percentage of ash. These results suggest that NZA may exacerbate the adverse effects of excess dietary Ca.

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Poultry science

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