Background 5 comments

Coated butyric acid - effect of different doses

Butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid, is known to be involved in mucosal immune response and to have an anti-inflammatory effect in animals. What what else does it influence?

It also influences gene expression and protein synthesis. Butyric acid has very complex and diverse modes of action and is commonly used as calcium or sodium butyrate.
After being added as a supplement to the animal diet, better nutrient utilisation and beneficial effects on animal performance were reported. Short chain fatty acids are quickly and quantitatively absorbed and metabolised by mucosa cells.
So, when given orally, butyric acid’s absorption and metabolisation starts in the crop’s mucosa and a limited amount reaches the small intestine, thus restricting its practical use in animal production. Butyrates are therefore protected through microencapsulation, a technology that helps prevent the rapid absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract, thereby increasing the region exposed to the molecule and targeting its release in the small intestine.

Enhanced animal performance

It has been shown that administering low doses of protected butyrates to healthy animals results in enhanced animal performance (body weight and feed conversion ratio), though information on its effect on the apparent metabolisable energy of diets or crude fat and amino acid availability in broiler chickens is limited. In two experiments, four dietary treatments were applied to determine the effect of protected butyrate on growth performance and nutrient digestibility in broiler chickens. One of the experiments included a group consisting of a basal diet with avilamycin, an antibiotic growth promoter. This is commonly used as a control treatment in trials in which alternatives for antibiotic growth promoters are tested.

A group of one-day-old male Ross 308 broiler chicks (480 per trial) were used. The use of protected butyrate improved the feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), irrespective of the dose administered. It also improved the apparent ileal digestibility of amino acids, apparent total tract crude fat digestibility and apparent metabolis-able energy corrected for nitrogen. 
It showed that protected butyrate, alone or in combination with avilamycin, improves digestion, absorptive processes and bird performance.

(S. A. Kaczmarek, A. Barri, M. Hejdysz and A. Rutkowski, Poultry Science)

[Source: World Poultry magazine. Volume 32.5 - 2016]

Roel Mulder


  • Yuan-Tai Hung

    Is it possible that using uncoated butyric acid more than regular does into diet can obtain the same performance as coated butyric acid?

  • JJGM van den Broek

    Numbers... Too often we get articles with some statements of improving fcr / growth, but we get too little or, as in this case, NO trial data. No use to publish such articles!!!

  • Sakthivel Civalingam

    Dose level ?

  • Stef De Smet

    As Sr. Technical Service Manager at KEMIN Europe I want to answer on those comments. The product used in this trial is a slow release encapsulated Ca-butyrate (ButiPEARL) Not encapsulated butyrates are very rapidly absorbed in the cranial part of the intestin. Therefore they are typically used at much higher dosages.
    The data from the article can be found in the scientific publication published in
    Poultry Science (April 2016) 95 (4): 851-859 first published online January 6, 2016
    For more information you can Always contact me by mail:

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