SUMMARY This study was conducted to investigate the effects of replacing in-feed antibiotics with synergistic organic acids on growth performance, health, carcass, and immune and oxidative status of broiler chickens under Clostridium perfringens type A challenge. Two organic acids products (OA1 comprising of butyrate, MCFAs, organic acids, and phenolics and OA2 comprising of buffered short chain fatty acids) was tested. A total of 600 one-day-old male AA broiler chicks were randomly assigned to five treatments: Control 1: basal diet, birds were not challenged; Control 2: basal diet, birds were challenged with Clostridium perfringens; AGP: basal diet supplemented with Aureomycin Chlortetracycline, birds were challenged; OA1: basal diet supplemented with OA1, birds were challenged; OA1OA2: basal diet supplemented with OA1 and OA2, birds were challenged. Each treatment had eight replicate pens of 15 birds. The experiments lasted for 29 days. The challenge was performed on d 15, 16, and 17, by orally gavaging the birds with 0.5 mL culture of CP containing 2.0×108 cfu/mL. The body weight (BW), intestine lesion score, immune organ index, and serum malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration were estimated on d 19, 22, and 29, respectively for three birds from per replicate. Carcass characteristics were determined on d 29. The five treatments did not show difference in mortality before the challenge (P = 0.28), after the challenge (P = 0.64), or over the whole study (d 0-28) (P = 0.66). On d 19, the BW of Control 2 was lower than other treatments (P < 0.0001). On d 22, AGP, OA1, and OA1OA2 had higher BW than Control 2 (P = 0.001). The breast muscle yield of OA1 and OA1OA2 was higher than AGP (P < 0.05). The abdominal fat yield of OA1OA2 was lower than AGP and Control 2 (P < 0.05). On d 22, the birds of OA1OA2 showed lower lesion score than OA1 (P < 0.05). The five treatments did not show differences in immune organ (spleen, thymus, and bursa) indexes (P > 0.05). On d 29, the MDA concentration of OA1 and OA1OA2 was lower than those of Control 1 and AGP (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the addition of organic acids may protect the broilers from severe intestine lesion and oxidative stress, and reduce abdominal fat mass deposition. There is potential for the organic acids products as alternatives of AGP in preventing necrotic enteritis in broilers.

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