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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Richardson, Larry
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Northcutt, Julie
item 5fairchild, B
item Mauldin, J
item Bailey, Joseph

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2005
Publication Date: 7/29/2005
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Northcutt, J.K., 5fairchild, B.D., Mauldin, J.M., Bailey, J.S. 2005. Presence of various naturally occurring bacteria in unabsorbed yolks of six week old commercial broilers [abstract]. Poultry Science Association Meeting. 84(suppl.1):15.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Commercial broilers (6 weeks of age) were obtained from a processing plant after defeathering but prior to evisceration and transported to the laboratory. Each carcass was hung on a shackle by the feet and aseptically cut open. From the carcasses, the free floating unabsorbed yolk, yolk stalk, attached unabsorbed yolk and stalk, spleen, liver/gallbladder and ceca were aseptically removed and individually analyzed. The free floating unabsorbed yolks, unabsorbed attached yolks and the yolk stalks were analyzed for levels and types of total bacteria (TPC), Enterobacteriaceae (ENT), Campylobacter and Salmonella. In trial 1, the average TPC and ENT was greater than log 6.0 in the three attached unabsorbed yolks and one of the free floating unabsorbed yolks. For the other two free floating unabsorbed yolks the TPC was log 3.3 and ENT was log 2.8. For the three yook stalk samples the TPC was log 5.1 and ENT was log 5.0. Camyplobacter was found in 1/3 attached unabsorbed yolk samples and was not present in any other yolk samples. Campylobacter was present in 3/6 spleens, 3/6 liver/gallbladders, 2/6 ceca and Salmonella was not present. In trial 2, the average TPC and ENT was greater than log 6.0 in the three attached unabsorbed yolk samples, two of the free floating unabsorbed yolks and two of the yolk stalks. For the other free floating unabsorbed yolk samples, TPC was log 3.7 and ENT was not found at the lower dilution. For the one remaining yolk stalk, the average TPC was log 2.6 and ENT was log 4.8. Salmonella was present in 2/3 attached unabsorbed yolks, 2/6 spleens and 2/6 liver/gallbladders and 1/6 ceca and Campylobacter was not present. Streptococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. was the predominant organism in TPC, while Escherichia coli and Hafnia alvei was found to comprise ENT samples. This study is further evidence that Campylobacter, Salmonella, and other bacteria are naturally present in many internal tissues of a six week old broiler. The significance of these bacteria reservoirs is yet to be determined.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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