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Bacterial Contamination of Eggshells in Furnished and Conventional Cages

The study was composed of 480 hens housed in furnished 8-hen cages or in conventional 4-hen cages from 17 to 78 wk of age. Hens of 2 commercial genotypes, Hy-Line White and Hy-Line Brown, were used. Analyses for aerobic bacteria, Enterococcus and Enterobacteriaceae, on the shell of eggs were conducted when birds were 28 and 62 wk of age. No significant differences were found in proportions of dirty eggs between furnished and conventional cages or between the genotypes. Genotype did not affect bacterial contamination. Eggs produced in furnished cages had higher bacterial contamination than eggs in conventional cages, but levels could be considered as moderate in both housing systems. For some bacterial traits, an effect of sampling period (28 vs. 62 wk of age) was found, which needs to be further investigated before conclusions can be drawn.

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12 August 2010


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