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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Research Project #430311

Research Project: Administration of a Continuous Flow Bacterial Culture to Poultry to Mitigate Social Behaviors Associated with the Spread of Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Project Number: 3091-32000-035-12-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

Objective:
Determine the effect of a continuous flow bacterial culture on behaviors associated with the acquisition of foodborne pathogens in poultry.

Approach:
Laying hens will be obtained from a commercial hatchery on day-of-hatch. Birds will be randomly assigned to one of three groups: control, CF-treated, and irradiated CF (eBeam). CF (continuous-flow) bacterial cultures will be provided by ARS to the cooperator to be electron beam irradiated for the studies. Chicks will be administered respective doses of treatments weekly for the duration of the study. Behavioral testing will begin at 21 weeks of age. Feces and pen samples will be tested for the presence of Salmonella and Campylobacter weekly from day-of-hatch and before and after behavioral stressors are administered. Behavioral stressors (manual restraint, isolation) will be applied to individual hens, and their responses over selected time periods, will be recorded using video cameras and recorders. Feather scores (indication of aggression/pecking behaviors) will be recorded throughout the study. Blood samples prior to and after stressors will be analyzed for corticosteroids.