Effect of Adding Citric and Lactic Acids to Broiler Diets Different in Their Protein Content on Productive Performance, Bacterial Count and Some Blood Parameters
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the supplementation of an organic acid (citric acid), antibiotic growth promoter (avilamycin), and their combination for a period of 35 d on the growth, feed efficiency, carcass yield, tibia ash, and immune status of broilers. One hundred sixty 1-d-old broiler chicks (Hubbard Classic) were randomly distributed into 4 groups with 4 replicate cages having 10 birds in each. A corn-soybean-based diet was used as the basal diet (control). The basal diet was supplemented with an organic acid (citric acid, 0.5%), an antibiotic growth promoter (avilamycin, 0.001%), and their combination in other groups. The highest BW was attained in citric acid-fed chicks (1,318 g), which was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than control chicks (1,094 g) or avilamycin-fed chicks (1,217 g). The combination-fed chicks showed similar weight (1,246 g) as citric acid- or avilamycin-fed chicks (P > 0.05). Total feed intake was higher in citric acid-fed chicks compared with antibiotic-supplemented chicks. The addition of citric acid improved feed conversion efficiency (g of weight gain/ kg of feed intake) significantly (P < 0.05) compared with control chicks or its combination with avilamycin. Higher carcass weights were found in chicks fed the combination diet. Supplementation of citric acid increased tibia ash percentage significantly (P < 0.05) compared with controls. Addition of citric acid reduced the pH of the formulated diets. An improvement of immune status was detected by densely populated immunocompetent cells in the lamina propria and submucosa of cecal tonsils and ileum and also in the cortex and medulla of bursa follicles in citric acid-supplemented chicks. Supplementation of citric acid at 0.5% in the diet had positive effects on growth, feed intake, feed efficiency, carcass yield, bone ash, and immune status of broilers. Therefore, citric acid might be a useful additive instead of antibiotic growth promoters such as avilamycin, considering performance and health status of broilers.