Effect of Gum Arabic as Natural Prebiotic on Intestinal Ecosystem of Post-Hatched Broiler Chicks

Hani Al-Baadani*, Rashed Alhotan, Mahmoud Azzam, Ibrahim Alhidary ‎, Abdulrahman Alharthi ‎, Abdulaziz Al-Abdullatif ‎
Author Information & Copyright
1Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agriculture Science, King Saud ‎University, ‎P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‎, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.
*Corresponding Author: Hani Hasan Al-Baadani, Phone: 00966558829648. E-mail:

© Copyright 2023 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of gum Arabic supplementation on short-chain fatty acids, cecal microbiota, immune-related gene expression, and small intestinal morphology in post-hatched broiler chicks. On the day of hatching, 6 dietary treatments were randomly allocated to a total of 432 commercial male broiler chicks. Each treatment included 12 cages with 6 chicks per cage repeated. Dietary treatments (T1 to T6) were supplemented with 0.0, 0.12, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.0% gum Arabic to the basal diet, respectively. Performance parameters, short-chain fatty acid concentration, quantification of microbiota and immune response gene expression (pre-inflammatory cytokines, mucin-2, and secretory immunoglobulin A), and histomorphometry of the small intestine were measured. According to our results, daily weight gains in T2 and the production efficiency index increased in T2 to T4, whereas daily feed intake decreased in T2, T3, T5, and T6, but feed conversion ratio improved. Concentration of lactate, acetate, butyrate, and total SCFA increased in T2, T3, T5, and T6. Propionate in T2 T3, T4, and T6 and format in T2, T5, and T6 also increased. <italic>Lactobacillus spp</italic>. quantitatively increased from T3 to T6, whereas <italic>Bacteroides spp</italic>. decreased in T3 and T5. Other microbiota quantitatively showed no effect of dietary supplements. <italic>IL-1β, TNF-α,</italic> and <italic>MUC-2</italic> decreased in T2 to T6 and IL-12 in T3, whereas <italic>INF -Y</italic> increased in T4 to T6 and <italic>SIgA</italic> in T4. All histometeric parameters of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum improved with dietary supplementation. We conclude that the administration of gum Arabic resulted in an improvement in overall performance, fermentation metabolites, and modification of microbiota and immune response with improved histomorphometry in the intestines of young chicks.

Keywords: Gallus domesticus; performance; SCFAs; microbiota; immune response; morphology