Organic Acid Product Reduces Broiler Weight Loss During Feed Withdrawal

GLOBAL - This is the first report that demonstrate that this organic acid product increased water consumption and reduced bodyweight loss between feed withdrawal and shackling of broilers, which are associated with improved meat quality attributes, according to researchers based in the US and Latin America.
calendar icon 21 February 2014
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The effect of a commercial organic acid (OA) product on bodyweight loss during feed withdrawal and transportation, carcass yield and meat quality was evaluated in broiler chickens by a multinational group.

The paper, published in Poultry Science is by first-named author A. Menconi of the University of Arkansas with co-authors from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina as well as Pacific Vet Group-USA Inc.

Two experiments were conducted in Brazil. Commercial houses were paired as control groups receiving regular water and treated groups receiving OA in the water. Treated birds had a reduction in bodyweight loss of 37g in experiment 1 and 32.2g in experiment 2. In experiment 2, no differences were observed in carcass yield between groups. Estimation of the cost benefit suggested a 1:16 ratio by using the OA.

In experiment 3, conducted in Mexico, significant differences in water consumption, bodyweight loss and meat quality characteristics were observed in chickens that were treated with the OA.

The researchers conclude their data suggest this OA product may improve animal welfare and economic concerns in the poultry industry by reducing bodyweight loss and improving meat quality attributes.

They calculated that the cost:benefit ratio in using this product was 1:16, based on their results of reduced bodyweight loss.

The OA product tested was Optimizer (Pacific Vet Group-USA Inc.), added to the drinking water during feed withdrawal according to manufacturer's directions (4.0 litres per 1,000 litres of water). It is a combination of five different organic acids - lactic, acetic, tannic, propionic and caprylic acids - that contains proprietary flavouring agents. It has been shown to reduce Salmonella colonisation in crop and caecal tonsils without affecting water consumption in chickens.


Menconi A., V.A. Kuttappan, X. Hernandez-Velasco, T. Urbano, F. Matté, S. Layton, G. Kallapura, J. Latorre, B.E. Morales, O. Prado, J.L. Vicente, J. Barton, R.L. Andreatti Filho, M. Lovato, B.M. Hargis and G. Tellez. 2014. Evaluation of a commercially available organic acid product on body weight loss, carcass yield, and meat quality during preslaughter feed withdrawal in broiler chickens: A poultry welfare and economic perspective. Poultry Science. 93(2):448-455. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03444

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