Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 188, Issue 1, pp 99–126 | Cite as

Systematic Review of the Effects of Chromium(III) on Chickens

  • Pandora E. White
  • John B. VincentEmail author


Chromium supplementation has been proposed to have beneficial effects in farm animals, particularly when under stress. The last two decades, in particular, have seen an emphasis on examining the effects of supplemental chromium on a variety of variables in chicks and chickens. Thus, given the recent approval of a Cr(III) compound for use in chicken feed in the United States and the recent surge in papers on the use of Cr in chicken feed, the need for a systematic review of studies utilizing chickens is extremely urgent and timely. With the exception of studies on cold-stressed laying hens, the results of studies of Cr supplementation of chickens, whether broilers or laying hens, were found to be too inconsistent for any firm conclusions to be drawn other than that Cr supplementation generally leads to accumulation of Cr in tissues. Few potential trends in terms or beneficial or deleterious effects from Cr supplementation were found regardless of strain of chicken, Cr source, Cr dose, duration of supplementation, or variable examined. Hence, in summary, no recommendation for the use of Cr as a supplement for the diet of chickens can be made at this time.


Chromium(III) Chicken Chromium picolinate Chromium propionate Laying hen Broiler 



The authors wish to thank the co-editors-in-chief of Biological Trace Element Research for the opportunity to contribute to the special issue commemorating the 40th anniversary of the journal.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest. J.B.V. is an inventor or co-inventor on seven patents involving the synthesis or use of chromium-containing peptide or chromium compounds as nutritional supplements or pharmacological agents. None of the patents are currently licensed, and the patent holder, The University of Alabama, is neither producing nor selling these materials for commercial use.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 58 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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