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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MICROBIOLOGICAL COMPARISON OF TABLE EGGS HARVESTED FROM CAGED LEGHORN HENS AND CAGE-FREE FLOOR REARED LEGHORN HENS

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety Research

Title: Potential for horizontal transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter among caged and cage free laying hens

Authors
item Hannah, J -
item Buhr, Richard
item Cox, Nelson
item Richardson, Larry
item Cason Jr, John

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 31, 2009
Publication Date: July 21, 2009
Citation: Hannah, J.F., Buhr, R.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Cason Jr, J.A. 2009. Potential for horizontal transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter among caged and cage free laying hens. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. 88(S1):55.

Technical Abstract: Nine hens were inoculated orally and intravaginally with a marker strain of Salmonella and Campylobacter at 56 wk-of-age and housed in individual cages in isolation. Challenged hens were comingled with non-challenged hens 2 wk post-inoculation, at a ratio of 1 challenged hen per 4 non-challenged hens, in conventional colony cages (n=3), on all wire slats (n=1), or on all litter flooring systems (n=1). Comingled hens had access to the same feeding and watering systems and after 12 d challenged and non-challenged hens were euthanized. Ceca were aseptically removed from all hens, and the spleen, liver/gallbladder, and reproductive tract were aseptically removed from the challenged hens only. All samples were separately cultured by direct plating and enrichment for Salmonella and Campylobacter. Among hens housed in colony cages, Salmonella was recovered in one cage from 2/4 ceca of non-challenged cage mates. Campylobacter was not recovered from any of the challenged or non-challenged hens housed in cages. From hens housed on all wire slats, Salmonella was recovered from 2/3 ceca and 1/3 spleens from the challenged hens and from 2/12 ceca of non-challenged pen mates. Campylobacter spread minimally among hens housed on all wire slats with 1/3 ceca from challenged hens and 1/12 ceca from non-challenged pen mates being Campylobacter positive. Among hens housed on all litter floors, Campylobacter was recovered from 1/3 ceca of challenged hens and 7/12 ceca of non-challenged pen mates. Salmonella was not recovered from any of the challenged or non-challenged hens housed on all litter floors. All liver/gallbladder and reproductive tract samples were negative for both Salmonella and Campylobacter. With an increasing number of table egg producers transitioning to cage free systems, it is important to determine the impact housing systems have on the horizontal spread of Salmonella and Campylobacter among laying hens.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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