Reducing the impact of Necrotic Enteritis with UltraGuard-Duo

19th August 2021

Necrotic Enteritis

Necrotic Enteritis costs the poultry industry approximately €0.10 per chick. It is prevalent worldwide and has increased in occurrence and severity over the years, coinciding with the EU ban on feed antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs).

Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria that occurs naturally in the intestine of birds, causes necrotic enteritis when it proliferates and produces toxins that damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, subclinical infections can take place, resulting in reduced performance.

For the commercial poultry industry, controlling the levels of Clostridium perfringens is an important issue because of the economic cost of infected flocks.

Numerous strategies and products have been developed over the years to support antibiotic free production and reduce the impacts of necrotic enteritis on poultry production. One of those that consistently performs well is butyrate.


Butyrate's support and deliver a range of biological functions, from fighting challenge, through to absorption of nutrients, all with the ultimate aim of supporting bird welfare and performance.


Butyrate is an essential molecule associated with the maintenance of intestinal health and function.

The epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa get 70% of their energy from butyric acid, it is the primary energy source for the gastrointestinal tract.

In regard to gut health, it improves intestinal health and function by maintaining intestinal integrity, boosting mucin production and balancing the intestinal micro-flora.

One of the most important functions of butyrate is the modulation of the immune system by minimizing inflammation.

Whilst other fatty acids such as acetate are produced by the birds from day 1, butyrate only starts to be produced from 12-14 days of age. It is therefore essential to support the young bird with butyrate through their feed and maintain butyrate supplementation through their lifetime.

VFA concentrations chart


UltraGuardTM-Duo is a specific blend of calcium and sodium butyrate that has been derived from Devenish's extensive in-house trial work.

The unique blend of both sodium and calcium butyrate, encapsulated in an innovative fat matrix, allows for a slower release of the butyrate salts giving whole gut protection.

Chicken illustration

We have trialled UltraGuard extensively in both research facilities and on commercial farms and consistently seen improvements in performance.

If you would like to know more about UltraGuard, and how it can be used as an effective tool to reduce or replace antibiotics in your poultry business, contact your Devenish representative, or get in touch with us at or call +44(0)28 90 755566. You can also watch our UltraGuard animation here.

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