Effect of various concentration of butyric acid on growth performance, intestinal lesion scores, and body composition of broilers raised on used litter

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There is still a need for the evaluation of alternative feed additives, including organic acids such as butyric acid, when fed in broiler diets without antibiotic growth promoters. The removal or limitation of growth promoting antibiotics from commercial production changes the opportunities for feed additives in the poultry industry and allows for the evaluation of replacement feed additives that may not have been cost effective when growth promoting antibiotics are available. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of various concentrations (200 ppm, 400 ppm, and 800 ppm) of coated butyric acid on growth performance, intestinal lesion score, and body composition of 42-day-old broilers raised on used litter. The addition of the coated butyric acid at 400 ppm and 800 ppm increased BW and 800 ppm improved mortality corrected feed conversion ratio (FCRm) over the 42-d period compared with the negative control (NC) fed broilers. Although performance was improved, the ratio of lean mass to fatty mass in the broilers was unchanged suggesting a generalize growth response. No significant differences were observed in lesion scores in the duodenum and jejunum and overall lesion scores were low. Both 400 and 800 ppm of butyric acid were able to increase 42-d broiler body weight in comparison to the NC fed birds, but 800 ppm of butyric acid was required to also improve the FCRm in comparison to the NC fed birds.