Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301771

Title: Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella recovered from non-sanitized and sanitized broiler hatching eggs

item Musgrove, Michael
item STEPHENS, C - University Of Georgia
item Bourassa, Dianna
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item MAULDIN, JOSEPH - University Of Georgia
item Berrang, Mark
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2014
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Musgrove, M.T., Stephens, C.B., Bourassa, D.V., Cox Jr, N.A., Mauldin, J.M., Berrang, M.E., Buhr, R.J. 2014. Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella recovered from non-sanitized and sanitized broiler hatching eggs. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 23(3):516-522.

Interpretive Summary: Bacteria can reduce the chances that fertile eggs will hatch into chicks. Sanitizers are used to decrease bacterial numbers and increase rate of hatch. Sanitizers may be applied as a spray or as a foam. This study was conducted to see if the type of application (spray or foam) affected the ability of a sanitizer to reduce bacterial populations (Enterobacteriaceae or Salmonella). In this study a quaternary-biguanide sanitizer was applied as spray or foam on naturally contaminated broiler chicken eggs at a commercial hatchery. Eggs were treated at day 0 and day 19 of incubation. Foam application reduced Enterobacteriaceae on days but spray was only effective at day 0. Too few Salmonella were recovered to determine the effectiveness of the sanitizer regardless of application method. However, applied as foam, the sanitizer reduce the rate of recovery from Enterobacteriaceae, a bacterial family that include Escherichia coli and Salmonella. This information will be used by hatchery managers in developing sanitation protocols in commercial hatcheries and by other scientists studying egg microbiology or hatching efficiency.

Technical Abstract: Sanitizing hatching eggs may reduce the chances that a flock will become colonized with Salmonella and reduce the numbers of other microorganisms, such as Enterobacteriaceae, that can depress hatchability. An experiment was conducted to determine if a quaternary-biguanide sanitizer applied as foam or spray would reduce Enterobacteriaceae or Salmonella naturally occurring on broiler hatching eggs. The sanitizer was applied to buggies of 5,040 eggs prior to set. Treated eggs were compared to untreated controls. Foam application lowered Enterobacteriaceae prevalence at set (0% vs, 18%) and transfer (5% vs, 28%); spraying was effective only when eggs were set (2.5% v 11%). At transfer spray treated and control eggs were 19% Enterobacteriaceae positive. Five Salmonella positives were recorded during the study. There was no indication that the sanitizer was effective in reducing Salmonella prevalence when applied as foam (3/120 vs, 1/120). No Salmonella were recovered from spray treated eggs. No statistically significant difference for Salmonella prevalence was noted but with such a low rate of recovery it is difficult to draw a firm conclusion. However, the sanitizer applied as foam was effective at decreasing the prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae (a family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and Escherichia coli), and is present more often and in higher numbers than Salmonella.