Effect of short chain fatty acids on the performance and intestinal weight in Germ-Free and conventional chicks

M. Furuse, S. I. Yang, N. Niwa, J. Okumura

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1. In experiment 1, the performance and tissue weights of germ-free (GF) and conventional (CV) chicks fed on diets containing 25.4 g acetic acid/kg diet (AD) or 25.4 g kaolin/kg diet (KD) were investigated. Body weight gain in GF chicks was significantly higher on the AD, but significantly lower on the KD compared with their CV counterparts. The values for food efficiency, protein retention and energy retention followed a similar pattern to that of the body weight gain. 2. The weights of all sections of the intestine except the colon were significantly greater in CV chicks. In CV but not in GF birds the jejunum and ileum were heavier from birds fed on the AD than from those on the KD diet. 3. In experiment 2, the influence of butyric acid administration on the weight of some organs in chicks was investigated. The weight of duodenum, jejunum and ileum was significantly increased by intraperitoneal administration of butyric acid (2 ml of 100 mM solution/d) for 4 d. but no significant effect was observed by oral administration. 4. It might be suggested that short chain fatty acids such as acetic and butyric acids formed by bacterial action in the crop and subsequently absorbed are at least partly responsible for the heavier gut weight in CV birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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