The addition of encapsulated sodium butyrate in milk replacer and prestarter has been shown to improve the performance and health of suckling calves, according to research published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

Sodium butyrate increased the average daily weight gain during the first 21 days of life and avoided weight loss during the first week of life, according to the data. In addition, the sodium butyrate increased the intake of prestarter feed during the first 21 days. Calves fed sodium butyrate had longer ruminal papillae, and the rumen weight compared to the total body weight was also modified. The need for antibiotic or electrolyte therapies were reduced when butyrate was used and the treated animals had improved fecal scores, according to the research.