Submitted to: Poultry Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Clostridium perfringens (Cp), a cause of human foodborne and poultry disease, has been isolated from the intestinal tract of poultry and from the processed carcass. Previously we isolated CP from paper pads used to transport broiler chicks from the hatchery to the farm suggesting that the hatchery may be involved in the transmission of this pathogen. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of Cp in samples collected at the hatchery. Three commercial broiler hatcheries were each sampled three times. For each sampling period, ten samples each of egg shell fragments and chick fluff from the hatchery and 10 paper pads collected from underneath chicks after a period of one hour were analyzed for the presence of Cp. Of the total of 30 egg shell fragments collected from each hatchery, 17% from hatchery A, 23% from Hatchery B and 17% from Hatchery C were positive for Cp. Of the fluff samples, 20%, 33% and 33% were positive from Hatcheries A, B and C, respectively. Of the paper pads, 10%, 23% and 30% were positive from Hatcheries A, B and C, respectively. The incidence of Cp in all 90 samples collected at each of Hatcheries A, B and C was 16%, 27% and 27%, respectively, indicating differences between hatcheries in frequency of contamination. Of the total of 270 samples analyzed at the three hatcheries, 23% tested positive for Cp. These results confirm that the hatchery is a potential source/reservoir for Cp in the integrated poultry operation.