In a recent trial conducted by Norel in India, in collaboration with Dr. Rama Rao from the Project Directorate of Poultry, 900 day old chicks followed a three phase feeding program using diets based on corn and soya.
The trial evaluated a control treatment and two levels of sodium butyrate, 0.5 and 1 kg/t of Gustor B-92 (groups 1 and 2, respectively). Besides controlling the zootechnical parameters, dietary energy and protein digestibility were evaluated. Also, on days 21 and 42 ileum samples were taken to assess the length and width of intestinal villi.
Final body weights were better in the experimental groups but not significantly different from control. However, the digestibility of protein and energy were significantly influenced by the addition of Gustor in the diet: the digestible energy was increased by 5.1 and 5.8% for groups 1 and 2, and digestibility of protein was improved by 1.7 and 4.7%, respectively. Villi size was also affected by the addition of butyrate in the diet.
At day 21, the length was increased by up to 55% while at day 42, it was improved by up to 39%. At the same time, villi width was more than double when compared to control. It was concluded that inclusion of butyrate in the diet improves the digestibility of energy and protein by increasing intestinal absorption surface.