Fecal Microbial Population and Growth in Broiler Fed Organic Acids and Palm Fat-Composed Diet

C. H. Goh, T. C. Loh, H. L. Foo, F. Nobilly


Organic acids (OA) are natural constituents of plant and animal tissues and their uses as feed additives are now being studied worldwide. Organic acids consisted of different acids and mixtures of several acids have an antimicrobial function and promote the growth performance of animals. The current experiment was designed to study the inhibitory activity of the organic acids, palm fat (PF), a combination of organic acids-palm fat (OAPF) against various pathogens and investigate the performance in dietary inclusion of OAPF in broilers. A feeding trial was conducted to determine the growth performance and microbial population in the dietary inclusion of OAPF in broilers. A total number of 96 one-day-old chickens (Cobb 500) were used in this study and divided into two treatment groups with six replicates per treatment. The treatment group was T1 (diet without OAPF) and T1OA (diet with OAPF). The differences among treatment means were tested using an independent t-test. The results showed that T1OA had approximately two-fold inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli E-30 compared to T1. Broilers fed diet supplemented with OAPF had higher (p<0.05) final body weight (BW) and total weight gain (WG) compared to broilers fed T1. Broiler fed with T1OA had lower (p<0.05) feed conversion ratio (FCR) than T1. Inclusion of OAPF in the diet also increased (p<0.05) the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and reduced (p<0.05) Enterobacteriaceae (ENT) cell population. The inclusion of OAPF in the diet showed significantly improved nutrient digestibility and had a beneficial effect on the growth performances of the broiler chickens with a positive effect on the bacterial population in GIT.


Adil, S., B. Tufail, A. B. Gulam, S. Masood, & R. Manzoor. 2010. Effect of dietary supplementation of organic acids on performance, intestinal histomorphology, and serum biochemistry of broiler chicken. Vet. Med. Int. 2010:1-7. Article ID 479485. https://doi.org/10.4061/2010/479485

AOAC. 1995. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Washington, DC.

Broom, L. J. 2015. Organic acids for improving intestinal health of poultry. Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 71. 630-642. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933915002391

Brzóska, F., B. Śliwiński, & O. Michalik-Rutkowska. 2013. Effect of dietary acidifier on growth, mortality, post-slaughter parameters and meat composition of broiler chickens. Ann. Anim. Sci. 13:85-96. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10220-012-0061-z

Desbois A. P. & V. J. Smith. 2010. Antibacterial free fatty acids: activities, mechanisms of action and biotechnological potential. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 85:1629-1642. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-2355-3

Dittoe, D. K., S. C. Ricke, & A. S. Kiess. 2018. Organic acids and potential for modifying the avian gastrointestinal tract and reducing pathogens and disease. Front Vet Sci. 5: 216. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00216

Foo, H. L., T.C. Loh, P.W Lai, Y. Z. Lim, C. F. Kufli, & G. Rusul. 2003. Effects of adding Lactobacillus plantarum I-UL4 metabolites in drinking water of rats. Pakistan J. Nutri. 2:283-288. https://doi.org/10.3923/pjn.2003.283.288

Ghazala, A. A., A. M. Atta, K. Elkloub, M. E. L. Mustafa, & R.F. H. Shata. 2011. Effect of dietary supplementation of organic acids on performance, nutrients digestibility and health of broiler chicks. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 10:176-184. https://doi.org/10.3923/ijps.2011.176.184

Hajati, H. 2018. Application of organic acids in poultry nutrition. Int. J. Avian Wildlife Biol. 3:324-329. https://doi.org/10.15406/ijawb.2018.03.00114

Huyghebaert, G., D. Richard, & F. Van Immerseel. 2011. An update on alternatives to antimicrobial growth promoters for broilers. Vet. J. 187:182-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.03.003

Kareem, K. Y., T. C. Loh, H. L. Foo, H. Akit, A. A. Samsudin. 2016. Effects of dietary postbiotic and inulin on growth performance, IGF1 and GHR mRNA expression, faecal microbiota and volatile fatty acids in broilers. BMC Vet. Res. 12: 163. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0790-9

Loh, T. C., T. M. Lee, H. L. Foo, F. L. Law, & M. A. Rajion. 2008. Growth performance and fecal microflora of rats offered metabolites from lactic acid bacteria. J. Appl. Anim. Res. 34: 61-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/09712119.2008.9706941

Lückstädt, C. & S. Mellor. 2011. The use of organic acids in animal nutrition, with special focus on dietary potassium diformate under European and Austral-Asian conditions. Recent Adv. Animal Nutr. Aus. 18:123-130.

Mirza, M.W., Z.U. Rehman, & N. Mukhtar. 2016. Poultry research use of organic acids as potential feed additives in poultry production. J. World's Poult. Res. 6. 105-116.

Naseri, K.G., S. Rahimi, & P. Khaki. 2012. Comparison of the effects of probiotic, organic acid and medicinal plant on Campylobacter jejuni challenged broiler chickens. J. Agric. Sci. Technol. 4:1485-1496.

Ricke, S.C. 2003. Perspectives on the use of organic acids and short chain fatty acids as antimicrobials. Poult. Sci. 82: 632-639. https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/82.4.632

Rosyidah, M. R., T. C. Loh, H. L. Foo, X. F. Cheng, & M. H. Bejo. 2011. Effects of feeding metabolites and acidifier on growth performance, faecal characteristics and microflora in broiler chickens. J. Anim. Vet. Res. 10: 2758-2764.

Samanta, S., S. Haldar, & T.K. Ghosh. 2010. 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. Vet. Med. Int. 2010:645-650. https://doi.org/10.4061/2010/645150

Shazali, N., H. L. Foo, T. C. Loh, D. W. Choe, & R. Abdul Rahim. 2014. Prevalence of antibiotic resistance in lactic acid bacteria isolated from the faeces of broiler chicken in Malaysia. Gut pathog. 6: 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1757-4749-6-1

Short, F., P. Gorton, J. Wiseman, & K. Boorman. 1996. Determination of titanium dioxide added as an inert marker in chicken digestibility studies. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 59: 215-221. https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-8401(95)00916-7

Smink, W., W. J. Gerrits, R. Hovenier, M. J. Geelen, H. W. Lobee, M. W. Verstegen, & A. C. Beynen. 2008. Fatty acid digestion and deposition in broiler chickens fed diets containing either native or randomized palm oil. Poult. Sci. 87: 506-513. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.2007-00354

Tagg, J. & A. McGiven. 1971. Assay system for bacteriocins. J. Appl. Microbiol. 21: 943. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.21.5.943-943.1971

Tancharoenrat, P., V. Ravindran , F. Zaefarian, & G. Ravindran. 2014. Digestion of fat and fatty acids along the gastrointestinal tract of broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 93: 371-379. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.2013-03344

Thanh, N. T., T. C. Loh, H. L. Foo, M. Hair-Bejo, & B. K. Azhar. 2009. Effects of feeding metabolite combinations produced by Lactobacillus plantarum on growth performance, faecal microbial population, small intestine villus height and faecal volatile fatty acids in broilers. Brit. Poult. Sci. 50:298-306. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071660902873947

Waite, J. G., J. M. Jones, & A. E. Yousef. 2009. Isolation and identification of spoilage microorganisms using food-based media combined with rDNA sequencing: ranch dressing as a model food. Food Microbiol. 26: 235-239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2009.01.001

Wu, Y., J. Bai, K. Zhong, Y. Huang, H. Qi, & Y. Jiang. 2010. Antibacterial activity and membrane-disruptive mechanism of 3-p-trans-coumaroyl-2-hydroxyquinic cid, a novel phenolic compound from pine needles of Cedrus deodara, against Staphylococcus aureus. Molecules. 21:1084. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21081084


C. H. Goh
T. C. Loh
tcloh@upm.edu.my (Primary Contact)
H. L. Foo
F. Nobilly
Author Biography

T. C. Loh, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Field of interest: Animal nutrition

E-mail: tcloh@upm.edu.my; lohteckchwen@gmail.com

GohC. H., LohT. C., FooH. L., & NobillyF. (2020). Fecal Microbial Population and Growth in Broiler Fed Organic Acids and Palm Fat-Composed Diet. Tropical Animal Science Journal, 43(2), 151-157. https://doi.org/10.5398/tasj.2020.43.2.151

Article Details