Poultry production plays a significant role in meeting the everincreasing global demand for animal protein. In recent years, poultry nutritionists have shown considerable interest in alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters, including organic acids. One of these alternatives is butyric acid, which exhibits antimicrobial activity, lowers the pH of intestinal contents, and reduces the abundance of pathogenic microorganisms. Various forms of butyric acid (such as salts, coated salts, and butyric acid glycerides) are utilised in poultry practice, each differing in effectiveness, bioavailability, stability and targeted release within the gastrointestinal tract. This article provides a comprehensive review of research on the effects of different forms of butyric acid on the functional status of the gastrointestinal tract, nutrient digestibility, slaughter value and production performance in poultry.
Funded by the Minister of Science under ‘the Regional Initiative of Excellence Program’.
The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Abdelqader A., Al-Fataftah A.R., 2016. Effect of dietary butyric acid on performance, intestinal morphology, microflora composition and intestinal recovery of heat-stressed broilers. Livest. Sci. 183, 78–83,
Adedokun S.A., Olojede O.C., 2019. Optimizing gastrointestinal integrity in poultry: the role of nutrients and feed additives. Front. Vet. Sci. 5, 348–359,
Afsharmanesh M., Pourreza J., 2005. Effects of calcium, citric acid, ascorbic acid, vitamin D3 on the efficacy of microbial phytase in broiler starters fed wheat-based diets I. Performance, bone mineralization and ileal digestibility. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 4, 418–424,
Ahsan U., Cengiz Ö., Raza I., Kuter E., Chacher M.F.A., Iqbal Z., Umar S., Çakir S., 2016. Sodium butyrate in chicken nutrition: the dynamics of performance, gut microbiota, gut morphology, and immunity. Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 72, 265–275,
Ali A.M., Seddiek S.A., Khater H.F., 2014. Effect of butyrate, clopidol and their combination on the performance of broilers infected with Eimeria maxima. Br. Poult. Sci. 55, 474–482,
Antongiovanni M., Buccioni A., Petacchi F., Leeson S., Minieri S., Martini A., Cecchi R., 2007. Butyric acid glycerides in the diet of broiler chickens: effects on gut histology and carcass composition. Ital. J. Anim. Sci. 6, 19–25,
Apata D.F., 2009. Antibiotic resistance in poultry. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 8, 404–408,
Awad W.A., Molnár A., Aschenbach J.R., Ghareeb K., Khayal B., Hess C., Liebhart D., Dublecz K., Hess M., 2015. Campylobacter infection in chickens modulates the intestinal epithelial barrier function. Innate Immun. 21, 151–160,
Bedford A., Yu H., Squires E.J., Leeson S., Gong J., 2017. Effects of supplementation level and feeding schedule of butyrate glycerides on the growth performance and carcass composition of broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 96, 3221–3228,
Boling S., Webel D., Mavromichalis I., Parsons C., Baker D., 2000. The effects of citric acid on phytate-phosphorus utilization in young chicks and pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 78, 682–689,
Brown K., Uwiera R.R., Kalmokoff M.L., Brooks S.P., Inglis G.D., 2017. Antimicrobial growth promoter use in livestock: a requirement to understand their modes of action to develop effective alternatives. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents. 49, 12–24,
Canani R.B., Di Costanzo M., Leone L., Pedata M., Mel R., Calignano A., 2011. Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World J. Gastroenterol WJG. 17, 1519–1528,
Casewell M., Friis C., Marco E., McMullin P., Phillips I., 2003. The European ban on growth-promoting antibiotics and emerging consequences for human and animal health. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 52, 159–161,
Castanon J.I.R., 2007. History of the use of antibiotic as growth promoters in European poultry feeds. Poult. Sci. 86, 2466–2471,
Cerisuelo A., Marín C., Sánchez-Vizcaino F., Gómez E.A., De La Fuente J.M., Durán R., Fernández C., 2014. The impact of a specific blend of essential oil components and sodium butyrate in feed on growth performance and Salmonella counts in experimentally challenged broilers. Poult. Sci. 93, 599–606,
Chamba F., Puyalto M., Ortiz A., Torrealba H., Mallo J.J., Riboty R., 2014. Effect of partially protected sodium butyrate on performance, digestive organs, intestinal villi and E. coli development in broilers chickens. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 13, 390–396,
Czerwiński J., Højberg O., Smulikowska S., Engberg R.M., Mieczkowska A., 2012. Effects of sodium butyrate and salinomycin upon intestinal microbiota, mucosal morphology and performance of broiler chickens. Arch. Anim. Nutr. 66, 102–116,
De Meyer F., Eeckhaut V., Ducatelle R., Dhaenens M., Daled S., Dedeurwaerder A., De Gussem M., Haesebrouck F., Deforce D., Van Immerseel F., 2019. Host intestinal biomarker identification in a gut leakage model in broilers. Vet. Res. 50, 1–14,
Deepa K., Purushothaman M.R., Vasanthakumar P., Sivakumar K., 2018. Butyric acid as an antibiotic substitute for broiler chicken-A review. Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 6, 63–69,
Dehghani-Tafti N., Jahanian R., 2016. Effect of supplemental organic acids on performance, carcass characteristics, and serum biochemical metabolites in broilers fed diets containing different crude protein levels. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 211, 109–116,
Denbow D.M., 2015. Gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology, in: Sturkie’s Avian Physiology. Elsevier, pp. 337–366,
Diaz Carrasco J.M., Casanova N.A., Fernández Miyakawa M.E., 2019. Microbiota, gut health and chicken productivity: what is the connection? Microorganisms. 7, 374–389,
Dibner J., Richards J., 2005. Antibiotic growth promoters in agriculture: history and mode of action. Poult. Sci. 84, 634–643,
Elnesr S.S., Alagawany M., Elwan H.A., Fathi M.A., Farag M.R., 2020. Effect of sodium butyrate on intestinal health of poultry-a review. Ann. Anim. Sci. 20, 29–41,
Fernández-Rubio C., Ordonez C., Abad-González J., Garcia-Gallego A., Honrubia M.P., Mallo J.J., Balana-Fouce R., 2009. Butyric acid-based feed additives help protect broiler chickens from Salmonella Enteritidis infection. Poult. Sci. 88, 943–948,
Gadde U., Kim W.H., Oh S.T., Lillehoj H.S., 2017. Alternatives to antibiotics for maximizing growth performance and feed efficiency in poultry: a review. Anim. Health Res. Rev. 18, 26–45,
Gálfi P., Neogrády S., 2001. The pH-dependent inhibitory action of n-butyrate on gastrointestinal epithelial cell division. Food Res. Int. 34, 581–586,
Graham J.P., Boland J.J., Silbergeld E., 2007. Growth promoting antibiotics in food animal production: an economic analysis. Public Health Rep. 122, 79–87,
Grela E.R., Semeniuk V., 2006. Consequences of the withdrawal of antibiotic growth promoters from animal feeding (in Polish). Med. Wet. 62, 502–507.
Guilloteau P., Martin L., Eeckhaut V., Ducatelle R., Zabielski R., Van Immerseel F., 2010. From the gut to the peripheral tissues: the multiple effects of butyrate. Nutr. Res. Rev. 23, 366–384,
Hajati H., 2018. Application of organic acids in poultry nutrition. Int. J. Avian. Wild. Biol. 3, 324–329,
Hamer H.M., Jonkers D., Venema K., Vanhoutvin S., Troost F.J., Brummer R.J., 2008. The role of butyrate on colonic function. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 27, 104–119,
Hamer H.M., Jonkers D.M., Bast A., Vanhoutvin S.A., Fischer M.A., Kodde A., Troost F.J., Venema K., Brummer R.J.M. 2009. Butyrate modulates oxidative stress in the colonic mucosa of healthy humans. Clin. Nutr. 28, 88–93,
Hashemi S.R., Davoodi H., 2011. Herbal plants and their derivatives as growth and health promoters in animal nutrition. Vet. Res. Commun. 35, 169–180,
Heimann E., Nyman M., Degerman E., 2015. Propionic acid and butyric acid inhibit lipolysis and de novo lipogenesis and increase insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in primary rat adipocytes. Adipocyte 4, 81–88,
Hernandez F., Garcia V., Madrid J., Orengo J., Catalá P., Megias M.D., 2006. Effect of formic acid on performance, digestibility, intestinal histomorphology and plasma metabolite levels of broiler chickens. Br. Poult. Sci. 47, 50–56,
Hu Z., Guo Y., 2007. Effects of dietary sodium butyrate supplementation on the intestinal morphological structure, absorptive function and gut flora in chickens. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 132, 240–249,
Hughes P., Heritage J., 2004. Antibiotic growth-promoters in food animals. FAO Anim. Prod. Health Pap. 160, 129–152.
Huyghebaert G., Ducatelle R., Van Immerseel F., 2011. An update on alternatives to antimicrobial growth promoters for broilers. Vet. J. 187, 182–188,
Irani M., Gharahveysi S., Zamani M., Rahmatian R., 2011. The effect of butyric acid glycerides on performance and some bone parameters of broiler chickens. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 10, 12782,
Jankowski J., Juśkiewicz J., Lichtorowicz K., Zduńczyk Z., 2012. Effects of the dietary level and source of sodium on growth performance, gastrointestinal digestion and meat characteristics in turkeys. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 178, 74–83,
Jerzsele A., Szeker K., Csizinszky R., Gere E., Jakab C., Mallo J., Galfi P., 2012. Efficacy of protected sodium butyrate, a protected blend of essential oils, their combination, and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spore suspension against artificially induced necrotic enteritis in broilers. Poult. Sci. 91, 837–843,
Kaczmarek S.A., Barri A., Hejdysz M., Rutkowski A., 2016. Effect of different doses of coated butyric acid on growth performance and energy utilization in broilers. Poult. Sci. 95, 851–859,
Kamal A.M., Ragaa N.M., 2014. Effect of dietary supplementation of organic acids on performance and serum biochemistry of broiler chicken. Nat. Sci. 12, 38–45.
Katoh K., Tsuda T., 1987. Effects of intravenous injection of butyrate on the exocrine pancreatic secretion in guinea pigs. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A. 87, 569–572,
Khan S.H., Iqbal J., 2016. Recent advances in the role of organic acids in poultry nutrition. J. Appl. Anim. Res. 44, 359–369,
Kim J.W., Kim J.H., Kil D.Y., 2015. Dietary organic acids for broiler chickens: a review. Rev. Colomb. Cienc. Pecu. 28, 109–123,
Kim Y., Kil D.Y., Oh H., Han I.K., 2005. Acidifier as an alternative material to antibiotics in animal feed. Asian-Australas. J. Anim. Sci. 18, 1048–1060,
Kulcsár A., Mátis G., Molnár A., Petrilla J., Wágner L., Fébel H., Husvéth F., Dublecz K., Neogrády Z., 2017. Nutritional modulation of intestinal drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 by butyrate of different origin in chicken. Res. Vet. Sci. 113, 25–32,
Lan R.X. Li, S.Q., Zhao Z., An L.L., 2020. Sodium butyrate as an effective feed additive to improve growth performance and gastrointestinal development in broilers. Vet. Med. Sci. 6, 491–499,
Leeson S., Namkung H., Antongiovanni M., Lee E.H., 2005. Effect of butyric acid on the performance and carcass yield of broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 84, 1418–1422,
Leonel, A.J., Alvarez-Leite J.I., 2012. Butyrate: implications for intestinal function. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care 15, 474–479,
Mahdavi R., Torki M., 2009. Study on Usage Period of Dietary Protected Butyric Acid on Performance. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 8, 1702–1709.
Makled M.N., Abouelezz K.F.M., Gad-Elkareem A.E.G., Sayed A.M., 2019. Comparative influence of dietary probiotic, yoghurt, and sodium butyrate on growth performance, intestinal microbiota, blood hematology, and immune response of meat-type chickens. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 51, 2333–2342,
Makowski Z., Lipiński K., Mazur-Kuśnirek M., 2022a. The Effects of sodium butyrate, coated sodium butyrate, and butyric acid glycerides on nutrient digestibility, gastrointestinal function, and fecal microbiota in turkeys. Animals 12, 1836–1847,
Makowski Z., Lipiński K., Mazur-Kuśnirek M., 2022b. The effects ofdifferent forms of butyric acid on the performance of turkeys, carcass quality, incidence of footpad dermatitis and economic efficiency. Animals 12, 1458–1469,
Mallo J.J., Puyalto M., Rao S.R., 2012. Evaluation of the effect of sodium butyrate addition to broiler diets on energy and protein digestibility, productive parameters and size of intestinal villi of animals. Feed Compd. 32, 30–33,
Mansoub N.H., 2011. Comparitive effect of butyric acid and probiotic on performance and serum composition of broiler chickens. Adv. Environ. Biol. 1, 1188–1192.
Mátis G., Petrilla J., Kulcsár A., van den Bighelaar H., Boomsma B., Neogrády Z., Fébel H., 2019. Effects of dietary butyrate supplementation and crude protein level on carcass traits and meat composition of broiler chickens. Arch. Anim. Breed. 62, 527–536,
Melaku M., Zhong R., Han H., Wan F., Yi B., Zhang H., 2021. Butyric and citric acids and their salts in poultry nutrition: Effects on gut health and intestinal microbiota. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, 10392–10409,
Moeinian M., Ghasemi-Niri S.F., Mozaffari S., Abdollahi M., 2013. Synergistic effect of probiotics, butyrate and L-Carnitine in treatment of IBD. J. Med. Hypotheses Ideas 7, 50–53,
Moquet P.C.A., Onrust L., Van Immerseel F., Ducatelle R., Hendriks W.H., Kwakkel R.P., 2016. Importance of release location on the mode of action of butyrate derivatives in the avian gastrointestinal tract. J. World’s Poult. Sci. 72, 61–80,
Moquet P.C.A., Salami S.A., Onrust L., Hendriks W.H., Kwakkel R.P., 2018. Butyrate presence in distinct gastrointestinal tract segments modifies differentially digestive processes and amino acid bioavailability in young broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 97, 167–176,
Myers R.L. (Editor), 2007. The 100 most important chemical compounds: a reference guide. Greenwood Press: Westport, CT (USA),
Nezhad Y.E., Gale-Kandi J.G., Farahvash T., Yeganeh A.R., 2011. Effect of combination of citric acid and microbial phytase on digestibility of calcium, phosphorous and mineralization parameters of tibia bone in broilers. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 10, 15089–15093,
Pan D., Yu Z., 2014. Intestinal microbiome of poultry and its interaction with host and diet. Gut Microbes. 5, 108–119,
Panda A.K., Rao S.V., Raju M., Sunder G.S., 2009. Effect of butyric acid on performance, gastrointestinal tract health and carcass characteristics in broiler chickens. Asian-Australas. J. Anim. Sci. 22, 1026–1031,
Papatsiros V.G. Christodoulopoulos G., Filippopoulos L.C., 2012. The use of organic acids in monogastric animals (swine and rabbits). J. Cell Anim. Biol. 6, 154–159,
Qaisrani S.N., 2014. Improving performance of broilers fed lower digestible protein diets (PhD Thesis). Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Qaisrani S.N., Van Krimpen M.M., Kwakkel R.P., Verstegen M.W.A., Hendriks W.H., 2015. Diet structure, butyric acid, and fermentable carbohydrates influence growth performance, gut morphology, and cecal fermentation characteristics in broilers. Poult. Sci. 94, 2152–2164,
Raza M., Biswas A., Mir N.A., Mandal A.B., 2019. Butyric acid as a promising alternative to antibiotic growth promoters in broiler chicken production. J. Agric. Sci. 157, 55–62,
Ronquillo M.G., Hernandez J.C.A., 2017. Antibiotic and synthetic growth promoters in animal diets: review of impact and analytical methods. Food Control. 72, 255–267,
Sengupta S., Muir J.G., Gibson P.R., 2006. Does butyrate protect from colorectal cancer? J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 21, 209–218,
Sikandar A., Zaneb H., Younus M., Masood S., Aslam A., Khattak F., Ashraf S., Yousaf M.S., Rehman H., 2017. Effect of sodium butyrate on performance, immune status, microarchitecture of small intestinal mucosa and lymphoid organs in broiler chickens. Asian-Australas. J. Anim. Sci. 30, 690–699,
Smith D.J., Barri A., Herges G., Hahn J., Yersin A.G., Jourdan A., 2012. In vitro dissolution and in vivo absorption of calcium [1 14C] butyrate in free or protected forms. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60, 3151–3157,
Smulikowska S., Czerwiński J., Mieczkowska A., Jankowiak J., 2009. The effect of fat-coated organic acid salts and a feed enzyme on growth performance, nutrient utilization, microflora activity, and morphology of the small intestine in broiler chickens. J. Anim. Feed Sci. 18, 478-489,
Sugiharto S., 2016. Role of nutraceuticals in gut health and growth performance of poultry. J. Saudi Soc. Agric. Sci. 15, 99–111,
Suresh G., Das R.K., Kaur Brar S., Rouissi T., Avalos Ramirez A., Chorfi Y., Godbout S., 2018. Alternatives to antibiotics in poultry feed: molecular perspectives. Crit. Rev. Microbiol. 44, 318–335,
Taherpour K., Moravej H., Shivazad M., Adibmoradi M., Yakhchali B., 2009. Effects of dietary probiotic, prebiotic and butyric acid glycerides on performance and serum composition in broiler chickens. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 8, 2329–2334.
Upadhayay U., Vishwa P.C.V., 2014. Growth promoters and novel feed additives improving poultry production and health, bioactive principles and beneficial applications: the trends and advances-a review. Int. J. Pharmacol. 10, 129–159,
van der Wielen P.W.J.J., Biesterveld S., Notermans S., Hofstra H., Urlings B.A., van Knapen F., 2000. Role of volatile fatty acids in development of the cecal microflora in broiler chickens during growth. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66, 2536–2540,
Van Immerseel F., Boyen F., Gantois I., Timbermont L., Bohez L., Pasmans F., Haesebrouck F., Ducatelle R., 2005. Supplementation of coated butyric acid in the feed reduces colonization and shedding of Salmonella in poultry. Poult. Sci. 84, 1851–1856,
Van Immerseel F., Fievez V., De Buck J., Pasmans F., Martel A., Haesebrouck F., Ducatelle R., 2004. Microencapsulated shortchain fatty acids in feed modify colonization and invasion early after infection with Salmonella enteritidis in young chickens. Poult. Sci. 83, 69–74,
Van Immerseel F., Russell J.B., Flythe M.D., Gantois I., Timbermont L., Pasmans F., Haesebrouck F., Ducatelle R., 2006. The use of organic acids to combat Salmonella in poultry: a mechanistic explanation of the efficacy. Avian Pathol. 35, 182–188,
Vieira B.S., Caramori J.G., Oliveira C.F.S., Correa G.S.S., 2018. Combination of phytase and organic acid for broilers: role in mineral digestibility and phytic acid degradation. Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 74, 711–726,
Wang J., Yoo J., Lee J., Zhou T., Jang H., Kim H., Kim I., 2009. Effects of phenyllactic acid on production performance, egg quality parameters, and blood characteristics in laying hens. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 18, 203–209,
Waseem Mirza M., Rehman Z.U., Mukhtar N., 2016. Use of organic acids as potential feed additives in poultry production. J. Worlds Poult. Res. 6, 105–116.
Wu W., Xiao Z., An W., Dong Y., Zhang B., 2018. Dietary sodium butyrate improves intestinal development and function by modulating the microbial community in broilers. PloS One. 13, e0197762,
Yadav A.S., Kolluri G., Gopi M., Karthik K., Singh Y., 2016. Exploring alternatives to antibiotics as health promoting agents in poultry-a review. J. Exp. Biol. 4, 368–383,
Yang X., Yin F., Yang Y., Lepp D., Yu H., Ruan Z., Yang C., Yin Y., Hou Y., Leeson S., 2018. Dietary butyrate glycerides modulate intestinal microbiota composition and serum metabolites in broilers. Sci. Rep. 8, 4940–4952,
Yegani M., Korver D.R., 2008. Factors affecting intestinal health in poultry. Poult. Sci. 87, 2052–2063,
Yin F., Yu H., Lepp D., Shi X., Yang X., Hu J., Leeson S., Yang C., Nie S., Hou Y., 2016. Transcriptome analysis reveals regulation of gene expression for lipid catabolism in young broilers by butyrate glycerides. PloS One. 11, e0160751,
Youn B.S., Nam K.T., Chang K.M., Hwang S.G., Choe I.S., 2005. Effects of wood vinegar addition for meat quality improvement of old layer. Korean J. Poult. Sci. 32, 101–106.
Zhang W.H., Gao F., Zhu Q.F., Li C., Jiang Y., Dai S.F., Zhou G.H., 2011a. Dietary sodium butyrate alleviates the oxidative stress induced by corticosterone exposure and improves meat quality in broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 90, 2592–2599,
Zhang W.H., Jiang Y., Zhu Q.F., Gao F., Dai S.F., Chen J., Zhou G.H., 2011b. Sodium butyrate maintains growth performance by regulating the immune response in broiler chickens. Br. Poult. Sci. 52, 292–301,
Zhou Z.Y., Packialakshmi B., Makkar S.K., Dridi S., Rath N.C., 2014. Effect of butyrate on immune response of a chicken macrophage cell line. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 162, 24–32,
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top