2011 Annual Report
Barns were constructed to house layer hens in aviary and enriched caged systems, respectively. A barn with used cages (previously used) was present. A coordinator for collection of samples was hired. Parent layer breeder flocks were surveyed for the colonization by Salmonella and Campylobacter. These flocks are parents of the birds that were placed in the three housing systems. Environmental samples were taken prior to chicks being placed. The sample coordinator was trained for collection of environmental and egg shell samples. Eggs were crushed aseptically and placed into centrifuge tubes, packed with freezer blocks, and transported to the laboratory. The processing facility was toured and appropriate environmental and water samples were designated.
Monthly sampling has been conducted for each of the housing types. A quarterly sampling of the processing facility has been conducted. Environmental samples (swabs of egg collection equipment, cages, and floors) and egg samples were enriched for Salmonella and Campylobacter, respectively.
Over the three months of sampling more positive environmental samples collected from traditional cages were positive for Salmonella. More Campylobacter have been recovered from environmental samples collected from the aviary housing system than from traditional and enriched cages combined.
Salmonella was not recovered from any eggs collected at the house or in the processing facility. Unwashed egg slurry from traditional cages and a washed egg slurry from enriched cages were positive for Campylobacter.
All samples have been saved and will be analyzed subsequently. Sero-grouping and sero-typing will be performed for Salmonella. Salmonella and Campylobacter will be characterized on a molecular level.