Effects of fatty acid glyceride product SILOhealth 104 on the growth performance and carcass composition of broiler chickens

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Butyric acid is the primary energy source for colonocytes, and has shown potential as an alternative to in-feed antibiotics, due to its antimicrobial activity and positive effects on production performance traits of broiler chickens. SILOhealth 104 (SILO S.P.A., Florence, Italy) is a commercial product mainly containing mono- and di-glycerides of butyrate with a small portion of propionic, caprylic, capric, and lauric acid mono- and di-glycerides. Its effects on broiler performance and carcass composition have yet to be evaluated. Four-hundred-eighty day-old male Ross 308 birds were divided into different dietary treatment groups with equal starting weights and fed a diet containing 0, 500, 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 ppm of SILOhealth 104 for 35 days. There were no significant differences in overall average daily gain or feed: gain ratio with the addition of SILOhealth 104 to the diets (P > 0.05). At 5 wk of age, abdominal fat weight was reduced in birds supplemented with SILOhealth 104 in a dose-responsive manner (P < 0.05), while breast muscle weight increased with supplementation, with significant increases in 2,000 ppm and 3,000 ppm birds compared to controls (P < 0.05). A significant reduction in gene expression of both forkhead box protein O4 and myostatin, 2 factors that can inhibit protein synthesis, was found in the breast muscle of all SILOhealth 104 treated birds (P < 0.05). In addition, gene expression in the adipose tissue, including acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha and lipoprotein lipase, which are associated with lipid metabolism, was significantly decreased and increased, respectively, by the supplementation of SILOhealth 104 (P < 0.05). These data suggest that the components of SILOhealth 104 can positively affect the deposition of muscle, while reducing abdominal fat deposition in broiler chickens.

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