Sign up now!
Don't show this again

Thank you for confirming your subscription!

(And remember, if ever you want to change your email preferences or unsubscribe, just click on the links at the bottom of any email.)

We’re glad you’re enjoying Poultry Health Today.
Access is free but you’ll need to register to view more content.
Already registered? Sign In
Tap to download the app


Collect articles and features into your own report to read later, print or share with others

Create a New Report


Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
follow us

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Favorites Read Later My Reports PHT Special Reports
Poultry Health Today is equipped with some amazing (and free) tools for organizing and sharing content, as well as creating your own magazines and special reports. To access them, please register today.
Sponsored by Zoetis

Sponsored By Zoetis

Featured Video Play Icon

Live-production management practices that help contain Salmonella

website builder

Avoidance of wet litter and well-timed feed withdrawal are two of several management steps that will help control the load of Salmonella going into the processing plant, Lloyd Keck, DVM, senior technical services veterinarian, Zoetis, told Poultry Health Today.

Keck conducts informal audits for poultry producers to identify problems that drive up Salmonella loads. He often works with a Zoetis public health veterinarian, and together they follow birds throughout production and to processing.

Litter condition is one of the items that tops Keck’s list of factors that may contribute to the Salmonella load. “Keeping good, dry bedding throughout the rearing process, I think, is critical,” Keck said, because a moist environment favors Salmonella growth. Maintaining proper litter moisture involves managing water-system equipment as well as gut-health management.

Manage gut health

Gut health affects Salmonella control in more ways than one, Keck indicated. If birds don’t have gut disease, there’s less likely to be a problem with excess litter moisture. In addition, if gut disease, particularly coccidiosis, is controlled, that helps prevent necrotic enteritis or clostridial gut disease. In turn, if low-grade or nonspecific enteritis can be avoided, there’s less likely to be a problem with additional diseases — like Salmonella.

Another management practice for Salmonella control that tops Keck’s list is feed withdrawal, which needs to be carefully timed. Birds should go to processing with intestinal integrity and without contents in the gut that could spill and contaminate carcasses. If feed is withdrawn for too long before processing, however, birds will pick at litter where they can ingest Salmonella, Keck said, noting that the same thing can happen if there’s a feed outage during growout.

Feed removal

The correct time to withdraw feed before processing is about 8 hours, although 10 hours may be appropriate for larger birds since they seem to have a bit slower feed passage. Water, however, should be left as long as possible.

Another consideration when planning feed withdrawal is the time birds will be without food after they’ve been moved from the farm to the processing plant. For example, they may be waiting in the lot or in a shed before they are processed.

Advised surprise farm visits

Keck encourages producers and managers to visit farms often to ensure adherence to the procedures in place. “Because to me…there’s no replacement for physically going to farms frequently, randomly, unannounced, and making sure that these programs are followed….”

Another way to help control Salmonella is with vaccination. Producers often start vaccinating breeders because they can be a source of Salmonella to progeny if they’re shedding the pathogen, but Keck has seen “a dramatic increase” in broiler vaccination among producers trying to keep the Salmonella load as low as possible.

Vaccination and other live-production Salmonella-control efforts, he noted, are in large part a response to USDA’s more stringent performance standards for allowable limits of Salmonella in poultry meat.

Although vaccinating broilers against Salmonella comes with a cost, Keck said, there may be more than one advantage. Besides reducing the load of Salmonella going into the processing plant, sometimes flocks vaccinated against the pathogen have been observed to have better average daily gain, Zoetis research indicates.

“Some of these Salmonellas seem to be more pathogenic, I’ve noticed over time, and so…they may actually be causing morbidity or, in some cases, early mortality problems. So [with vaccination], there’s certainly a payback there with better livability and more chickens,” Keck said.

Posted on July 15, 2019

tags: , ,

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

website builder

Share It
Botulism might not be a common occurrence in poultry production, but when it infects a flock, mortalities can be high — though arriving at a clear diagnosis may not be not be straightforward.

Click an icon to share this information with your industry contacts.

Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.