2007 Volume 44 Issue 4 Pages 389-395
An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of organic acid salt supplementation on the performance and gut health of broiler chickens. One hundred and twenty day old commercial Vencobb-100 broiler chicks were randomly distributed into three groups having four replicates of 10 birds in each group. Control (C) birds were offered standard basal diet and treatment 1 and 2 (T1 and T2) were having diets with ammonium formate or calcium propionate (3gm/kg diet). Organic acid salt supplementation increased (P<0.05) live weight, live weight gain at day 21, whereas no significant difference was noted at day 42. Cumulative feed intake was higher (P<0.01) in treatments up to 3rd week but afterwards in control. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) at day 42 was better in treatment groups (P<0.05) compared with control. Organic acid salt reduced coliform count in feed compared to control (P<0.05), whereas clostridium count was unaffected (P>0.05). Ammonium formate supplementation lowered (P<0.05) Escherichia coli (E. coli) count in gut but clostridium count was unaffected (P>0.05). Histology of intestinal parts revealed that organic acid salt supplementation increased (P<0.05) villus height of different segment of small intestine compared with control. pH of different segments of gastrointestinal (GI) tract was unaffected by organic acid salt supplementation. Results of present experiment indicated that use of single organic acid salt i.e. ammonium formate or calcium propionate in the diet lowered feed intake but body weight gain was comparable as control birds, and thus improved feed conversion ratio. It also reduced bacterial and fungal count in feed and gut which improved villus height and helped in better nutrient utilization.