Pashu Sandesh, 07 July 2022

Aruna Panwar1 , Hukma Ram Parihar2, Narendra Singh3 and Heena Panwar4

College of Veterinary and Animal Science.

Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. 9785284202, 8890943970, 7610843500 and 9057596138.


Organic acids decrease the pH of GIT (Gastrointestinal tract) which favours the good bacteria and eliminate bad bacteria or pathogenic bacteria. They are used in drinking water and feed to improve growth, digestibility and immunity in poultry. Organic acid activity depends upon the concentration of acid and the population of bacteria exposed. Organic acid helps in the prevention of enteric disease in poultry. Linalool is a natural plant by-product which has antimicrobial and insect-repellent properties. It has the ability to control insects, pests and enteropathogens. Linalool also has an effect on birds' liver weight, blood glucose level and serum aspartate aminotransferase. (AST) linalool anaesthetic effect in silver catfish. The main effect of copper supplementation in chickens is the reduction of total muscle lipid and cholesterol content in chickens, which is an effective way to improve haematological parameters and production performance. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is a limited amount in poultry feed reflected in the performance, immunological competence & behaviour of birds. Laying hens under climatic stress show a response toward ascorbic acid supplements by improving food intake, egg production and egg quality. Ascorbic acid also plays important role in the growth of poultry bones & connective tissue during stress and disease conditions.

KEYWORDS - Poultry, Organic acid, Copper sulphate, Linalool.


Organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties associated with the Carboxyl group (-COOH). In poultry short-chain fatty acids such as Formic, Acetic, Propionic, Butyric acid and others such as lactic, malic, tartaric, fumaric, and citric acid are most commonly used for their physiochemical properties. By acidification of diet count of good bacteria (lactobacilli, bifidobacter) increases and decreases the count of bad bacteria (E. coli). 

In poultry production, an organic acid is added to drinking water & to reduce the chances of food-borne micro organisms ( Salmonella spp.) and makes the watering system free from microbes. Organic acid increase digestibility by forming complexes with minerals like Ca, P, Mg, Zn etc.

Antimicrobial activity of organic acid: - Bad bacteria damage intestinal villi which reduce the growth and performance of poultry. By using organic acid in poultry feed and water death of bad microbes takes place due to its ability to penetrate the bacterial cell wall and low or acidic pH creates the stressful condition for bad microbes and helps to set lactobacilli in GIT.

Effect on GIT: - Several reports indicate that broilers fed on a formic acid-containing diet have the longest villi improved function of secretion, digestion and absorption of nutrients. Adding organic acid salt to feed because it decreases the pathogenic organisms of the intestine which results in to decrease in inflammation of the intestine.

Effect on nutrient digestibility:-Organic acid is used as an acidifier in poultry which helps in improving nutrient digestibility. Ao et al. (2009) concluded that 2% citric acid in a broiler diet increases the retention of DM, CP and NDF. Stomach ph decreased due to organic acid which activates the enzymes (Pepsinogen and Zymogen) and improves protein digestion.

Effect on broiler performance: - By increasing organic acid in broiler feed supplementation the food conversion ratio (FCR) and Body weight in broiler chicken increase. Fascina et al. (2012) reported that the use of organic acid mixture in broiler diets improved its performance and better carcass characteristics.

Effect on immunity:-In a poultry farm good management practice and disease prevention are key to profit. Lohakare et al. (2005) in their study measured titres of infectious bursal disease (IBD) postvaccination and showed significantly higher IBD titres in the vitamin C (2%) supplemental group. The possibility of this increased titre in the vitamin C group might be due to the speeding up of differentiation of lymphoid organs by increasing the activity of the HMP (Hexose monophosphate pathway ) thus increasing the circulating antibody. 

Linalool:-It is an essential oil having antimicrobial, antifungal & insecticidal properties. It inhibits feeding, oviposition and egg hatching in houseflies (Musca domestica). Linalool reversibly inhibits acetylcholinesterase which results in insecticidal properties. Linalool-containing plants show medicinal properties due to their anticonvulsant, sedative and antinociception effects.

Linalool has sedative action in fish at low concentration and anaesthetic action in high concentration.

Copper Supplementation:-Copper (Cu) is a part of the cytochrome system. In 1920, the first recognised essential nutrient for animals. Copper is essential for the activity of different metalloenzymes related to iron metabolism, elastin and collagen formation, melatonin production and CNS integrity. It is required for RBC formation by allowing iron absorption through the intestine and for bone formation by promoting bone collagen formation and elastin formation in the cardiovascular system. 

Body immunity also depends upon copper. Copper deficiency leads to anaemia, diarrhoea, pigmentation, cardiovascular disorders and glucose and lipid metabolism get disturbed. It promotes low-density lipoprotein. Excess dietary copper reduces cholesterol content in the meat of the broiler.

Vitamin C:-L - Ascorbic acid has an important role in the metabolic reaction due to its reducing properties. Dehydro-L-ascorbic acid act as a co-factor for cytochrome P450-dependent hydroxylase. The requirement for ascorbic acid increased during stress conditions.

STRESS: - Metabolic effect: - Stress in poultry produce a range of biochemical change. Glucocorticoid steroid Hormone (Corticosterone) is the main hormone associated with stress in poultry. During stress, plasma corticosterone concentration rises. During stress, ascorbic acid depletion takes place in adrenal glands & it is related to corticosterone release.

Immunological effect:-During stress corticosteroid is released which has strong immunosuppressive effects. Under stress conditions, ascorbic acid diet supplementation enhances immune responses.

Climatic stress: - Laying hen during stress show response to the ascorbic acid supplement. It helps in improving livability, food intake, egg production and egg quality.

Transportation: - Heat stress and psychological and physiological stress affect the broiler during transportation. Giving ascorbic acid supplements before transportation improves carcass yield.

Antioxidant role of ascorbic acid:-Ascorbic acid forms ascorbate radicals which destroy free radicals derived from oxygen, hydroxyl, singlet oxygen and superoxide.

Bone and connective tissues: - Ascorbic acid plays important role in the biosynthesis of collagen which is an important component of connective tissues, skin, cartilage and bone.


Organic acid supplements boost the performance of the broiler by increasing villus width, height and area of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum of the broiler. Organic acid improves nutrient digestibility by reducing bad microbes. It reduces sub-clinical infections by secretion of immune mediators.

A high concentration of copper sulphate reduces the weight gain of the broiler but the insignificant effect was decreased mortality.

High copper shows beneficial growth performance and haematological parameters in the broiler. It also reduces plasma cholesterol levels and improves the quality of broiler meat.

Linalool is an important insecticide that reduces bacterial contamination in the poultry house and calming effect on the chicken flock.

Ascorbic acid plays important role in different metabolic pathways, corticosterone and collagen synthesis. During stress corticosterone production inhibit by ascorbic acid due to its stress-relieving properties and is also involved in the immunological response under stress conditions. Ascorbic acid helps in improving egg quality and egg production in layers.



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