Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus salivarius can influence the adaptive immune responses in chickens but vary in their ability to do so. The present study attempted to identify how these three bacteria alter the innate immune system. A chicken macrophage cell line, MQ-NCSU, was co-cultured with the three live Lactobacillus species, alone or in combination, grown at different temperatures for various durations of time. Late exponential growth phase bacteria were more immunostimulatory, while bacterial growth temperature had little effect. L. acidophilus and L. salivarius significantly increased nitric oxide (NO) production and phagocytosis, while L. reuteri did not. In fact, L reuteri was shown to inhibit NO production of macrophages when co-cultured with the other bacteria or when cells were pre-treated with LPS. The results demonstrate a possible molecular mechanism for the immunomodulatory effects of L. acidophilus and L. salivarius, and a unique immunomodulatory ability of L. reuteri.