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Sanitiser Combination Shows Promise for Hatchery

18 April 2013

US - Four combination chemicals tested by researchers in Athens, Georgia, significantly reduced the recovery of Salmonella from hatching eggs.

New research shows that a combination of quaternary ammonium and biguanide shows promise for the reduction of Salmonella on hatching eggs without adverse effects on hatchability or chicken quality.

Sanitisation of broiler hatching eggs provides an opportunity to reduce the eggshell bacterial load entering hatchery incubators, which can be subsequently carried with the chicks to the grow-out farm and ultimately into the processing plant.

Two experiments reported in the Journal of Applied Poultry Research by Jeff Buhr of the Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center (USDA-ARS) and others there and at the University of Georgia evaluated combination chemicals containing ammonium chlorides (NH4Cl), biguanide (C2H7N5R; BG), bronopol (C3H6BrNO4; BP), quaternary ammonium (NR4) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for efficacy in eliminating inoculated Salmonella from the shell of broiler hatching eggs.

These chemicals were compared with no treatment, water sprayed (to account for spray rinsing of eggshells independent of sanitisation), and to 1.4 per cent hydrogen peroxide, a demonstrated effective hatching egg sanitizer for Salmonella.

All four combination chemicals tested (2NH4Cl+H2O2, 2NR4+BP+BG, 4NR4, and 4NR4+BG) significantly reduced the recovery of Salmonella (80 per cent to 100 per cent) in comparison to the water-sprayed controls (a nine per cent to 20 per cent reduction following water spray).

In the second experiment, the chemical 4NR4+BG (containing four quaternary ammoniums and a biguanide) at 200mg per litre was as effective as hydrogen peroxide at 1.4 per cent in sanitising hatching eggs for both Salmonella strains when the inoculum levels were 1×104 (0 per cent positive) or 1×106 colony-forming units (cfu) per egg shell (3.0 per cent positive).

Following hatchability and chick quality trials for 4NR4+BG, this chemical should be considered for evaluation in commercial hatchery operations for the reduction of Salmonella on the shells of hatching eggs.


Buhr R.J., J.L. Spickler, A.R. Ritter, D.V. Bourassa, N.A. Cox, L.J. Richardson and J.L. Wilson. 2013. Efficacy of combination chemicals as sanitizers of Salmonella-inoculated broiler hatching eggshells. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 22(1):27-35. doi: 10.3382/japr.2012-00537

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

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