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Volume 35, Number 4, December 2002

Monitoring the hygiene of chicken hatcheries in Taiwan during 1999-2001

Su-Jen Chen, Tsui-Er Lee, Eve-Ming Wang, Ta-Jen Cho, Ching-Ho Wang
Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC



Microorganism contamination in hatcheries and eggs has a serious impact on the viability and quality of chicks as well as on the overall growth performance of chickens. Microbiological agents are present in the fluff when chicks hatch. Detecting microorganisms in fluff is a convenient method for evaluating the hygienic status in a hatchery. Fluff samples from 31 hatcheries collected over 3 years were tested for the total bacterial count, the presence of Salmonella spp., and fungus to evaluate the hygienic status of hatcheries in Taiwan from 1999 through 2001. The total bacterial score from the fluff samples was calculated and expressed as a bacterial score in a log scale. Most hatcheries had a bacterial count ranged from scale 1 to 3. Among the hatcheries, 13% to 29% were contaminated with Salmonella spp.; and 33% to 73% were contaminated with fungi in different quarters. The third quarter of each year was the most contaminated period (p<0.01). According to the data obtained from the fluff tests, hatcheries keep their hygienic status and supply good quality chicks by cleaning and disinfecting.



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2002;35:236-242.