The effects of two sources of dietary lipids and supplementation of Clostridium butyricum on performance and intestinal metabolism of broilers were investigated. In a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 168 one-day-old broiler chicks were divided into four treatment
groups, and fed four diets with two lipid sources (soya bean oil or fish oil, at 25 g/kg and 30 g/kg in starter and grower diets respectively), and without or with supplementation of C. butyricum (1 · 109 colony forming units per kg diet). C. butyricum had no
effect on broiler performance. At 20 and 40 d of age, the pH of caecal digesta and the relative length of caecum were decreased after supplementation of C. butyricum (p < 0.05). After this treatment, the activity of alkaline phosphatase was increased in jejunal
mucosa at 40 d of age (p < 0.01). Furthermore, there were increases in populations of lactic acid bacteria and the concentrations of acetic acid, n-butyric acid, n-valeric acid and total short chain fatty acids in caecal digesta of birds fed C. butyricum
(p < 0.05). A significant interaction between lipid source and C. butyricum was found in the pH of caecal digesta at 20 d of age (p < 0.01). The results of the present study indicated that dietary supplementation of C. butyricum maybe
a benefit for gut health of broiler chickens.