This study aimed to investigate an experimental procedure of coccidial challenge in battery cages and the anticoccidial effect of a bioactive olive pomace extract from Olea europaea (OE) in broiler chickens. To this end, four hundred 1-day-old male chicks were randomly assigned to 5 experimental treatments (10 cages/treatment; 8 birds/cage). One group was fed the control diet without any additives and not challenged (NCU). The other 4 groups were challenged and fed the control diet with no additives (NCC) or supplemented with 500 ppm of coccidiostat or with 500 or 1,500 ppm of OE. At 0, 7, and 14 d, all challenged birds, except the NCC group, were orally gavaged with a live Eimeria spp. oocyst vaccine at 1x, 4x, and 16x of the manufacturer’s recommended dose, respectively. Feed intake (FI), body weight gain (BWG), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were determined at 7, 14, 20, and 28 d. At 20 d of age, 1 bird per cage was euthanized to analyze duodenum and jejunum morphology, ileal mucosa gene expression, and plasma cytokine, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, and carotenoid (CAR) concentrations. Coccidial vaccine challenge lowered BW (P < 0.05) throughout the trial, and reduced FI and BWG, except from 20 to 28d, and increased FCR from 0 to 7, 0 to 14, and 0 to 20 d. Birds in the NCC group had higher (P < 0.05) oocyst counts and lower (P < 0.05) CAR and villus height to crypt depth ratios compared with NCU birds. Overall, coccidia challenge caused the expected reductions in growth performance and gut integrity. While the coccidiostat reduced oocysts excretion, dietary OE or coccidiostat had no effects on performance or gut integrity. The attenuated inflammatory response observed for all the treatments following the third infection can be attributed to the adaptation or immunization to the repetitive exposure to Eimeria spp.