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Arch Anim Nutr. 2012 Apr;66(2):102-16.

Effects of sodium butyrate and salinomycin upon intestinal microbiota, mucosal morphology and performance of broiler chickens.

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The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jablonna, Poland.


The effect of dietary sodium butyrate (SB) or salinomycin (SAL) or both additives on performance, small intestinal morphology and microbial ecology of broiler chickens was studied. A growth trial was conducted with 96 Ross 308 female broilers from 1 to 30 days of age. Four treatment groups were fed with a non-supplemented control diet or three experimental diets supplemented with i) 300 mg SB (Adimix 30 coated) per kg, ii) 60 mg SAL (Sacox) per kg or iii) both additives in combination. Feed intake and body-weight gain decreased and gain-to-feed ratio increased due to SAL supplementation, while addition of SB did not affect performance in comparison with the control diet but positively affected feed intake and body-weight gain in comparison with birds fed the SAL-supplemented diet. Villus height in jejunum decreased, while crypt depth increased due to SAL supplementation. Addition of SB increased crypt depth in jejunum. No significant effect of either additive was observed in ileum morphology. Total short-chain organic acids concentration in ileal digesta decreased with SAL supplementation, mainly due to lower lactic acid concentration, but no effects were observed in the caeca. The SAL supplementation was accompanied by a pH increase in ileum and a pH decrease in caecum. No significant effect of SB addition was observed for these parameters. Total bacterial numbers and Lactobacillus [lactic acid bacteria (LAB)] counts in ileal and caecal contents were lower in birds fed with SAL-supplemented diet in comparison with birds fed with control or SB diet. DNA fingerprints revealed SAL supplementation to affect the microbial population by suppressing dominating LAB, potentially L. aviarius. The presented results show that dietary SAL, supplemented alone or in combination with SB, suppressed the microbial activity and altered the microbial community structure mainly in ileum. SAL alone negatively affected feed intake and body-weight gain; however, the effect was ameliorated by SB supplementation.

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