Studies on feasibility of producing salmonella-free turkeys.
The feasibility of producing salmonella-free turkeys was investigated over a 5-year period. In Phase 1, a hatchery-breeder flock operation was monitored extensively for 4 years. Hatching eggs from a primary breeder over this period (1978-81) resulted in salmonella-free day-old poults from which 7500 hens and 600 toms were selected for breeders in each of the 4 years. Approximately 2.5 million poults were produced over the 4 years. Salmonella arizonae [Salmonella enterica subsp. arizonae]was isolated from the hatchery debris over a 2-week period in 1980. The pelleted feed contained no animal protein products except fish solubles. A sample of feed from each delivery was cultured, with no salmonella isolations. Samples of dust and litter remained negative for salmonella. Phase 2 involved monitoring grown-out flocks initiated with salmonella-free poults with extra precautions directed at the feed and environment. The intestinal tracts of 5 of 7 flocks at the time of marketing were negative for salmonella. Phase 3 involved a primary breeder-hatchery that had a 10-year history of S. sandiego infection in its breeder flocks and poults. A vaccination programme using an autogenous oil-adjuvant bacterin supplementing other sanitation and management practices resulted in elimination of S. sandiego. Because the breeder went out of business, it was not possible to determine if the freedom from salmonella could be sustained over a period of years.