We often get questions about the active ingredient in OvoControl, nicarbazin.
Although the chemical has a long history, its use as a contraceptive for pest birds is relatively new. Originally developed by Merck in 1955, nicarbazin has been used as an FDA registered anticoccidial for chickens for more than 60 years.
Coccidiosis is a very common and debilitating enteric disease which occurs during the first three weeks of a chicken’s life. Adding nicarbazin to the feed prevents the disease. A large portion of the chicken consumed both inside and outside the US is treated with the drug.
Interference with egg hatchability occured when nicarbazin was inadvertently administered to breeder chickens. The eggs from these chickens are supposed to hatch! Innolytics developed this unwanted “side-effect” in chickens into birth control for pigeons and other pest birds.
As both a food animal drug and pesticide, nicarbazin has been vetted by both FDA, EPA and a variety of other international regulatory agencies including EFSA in the EU and MAFF in Japan. The compound has been studied extensively and the environmental data package reflects the state of the art.
Nicarbazin is non-toxic and it is difficult to find much in the world of drugs or pesticides that is less toxic or more environmentally benign.
Innolytics continues to work on additional applications for this unique compound.