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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2010, Article ID 645150, 8 pages
Research Article

Comparative Efficacy of an Organic Acid Blend and Bacitracin Methylene Disalicylate as Growth Promoters in Broiler Chickens: Effects on Performance, Gut Histology, and Small Intestinal Milieu

Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, 37 Kshudiram Bose Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal 700037, India

Received 27 August 2009; Accepted 8 November 2009

Academic Editor: Kazim Sahin

Copyright © 2010 Saikat Samanta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study evaluated the efficacy of organic acids as a growth promoter for broiler chickens relative to antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs). Broiler chickens were supplemented with graded doses of an organic acid blend (OAB, 1 g and 2 g/kg diet) and bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD, 0.5 g and 1 g/kg diet) for 35 days. Supplementation of OAB improved ( 𝑃 < . 0 0 1 ) feed conversion ratio (FCR) and increased protein accretion ( 𝑃 < . 0 0 1 ). Dietary acidification caused pH of the gizzard to decline linearly ( 𝑃 < . 0 1 ) with the dose of supplemental OAB. In the lower intestine, pH remained unaffected by dietary treatments. Unlike BMD, supplemental OAB selectively promoted growth of lactobacilli in the small intestine. Moreover, compared to BMD, OAB tended to maintain the villi in the small intestine at a greater height. Although benefits of exceeding the dose of supplemental organic acids more than 1 g/kg diet are not always conspicuous, based on the live weight and feed conversion data, supplementation of 2 g organic acid per kg diet may be recommended for total replacement of AGPs in broiler diet.