The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential effect of dietary calcium butyrate on growth performance, carcass traits and gut health in Japanese quails. In total, 320 one-day-old Japanese quails were randomly assigned to 4 equal treatments, with 8 replicates of 10 Japanese quails, for 4 weeks. The Japanese quails in control treatment were fed control diet whereas in the other treatments the Japanese quails were fed diet supplemented with calcium butyrate at 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 g/kg diet. Data concerning performance measurements were recorded weekly. In addition, eight Japanese quails (one/replicate) from each treatment were selected randomly for serum collection to measure pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Pooled faecal samples from each replicate of each treatment were also collected at three time points (0, 2 and 4 weeks) for count E. coli and C. perfringens. The results showed that after 7 days of the experimental period, Japanese quails fed calcium butyrate supplemented diet at 0.7 g/kg showed a greater (p < .05) body weight and a favourable (p < .05) feed conversion ratio than the other treatments. Moreover, serum superoxide dismutase and catalase activities were increased (p < .05) in Japanese quails fed calcium butyrate supplemented diet at 0.7 g/kg. Calcium butyrate supplementation at 0.7 g/kg was associated with reduction (p < .05) in TNF-α, IL-6 and IL1-β, while IL-10 was increased (p < .05). In addition, after 2 weeks of calcium butyrate supplementation, a reduction (p < .05) in E. coli and C. perfringens counts was observed in excreta of Japanese quails fed 0.5 and 0.7 g calcium butyrate/kg diets. It is concluded that calcium butyrate supplementation improves body weight gain, reduces E. coli and C. perfringens counts and has anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant effect in Japanese quails. © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.