Effect of Bac-D on Hatchability, Conductance, Growth Rate and Feed Conversion in Turkey Poults

Feed conversion ratio was significantly better at 21 days of age in poults that had hatched from eggs that had been sanitised with a wound disinfectant, Bac-D, than from eggs washed with water, according to new research from North Carolina State University.
calendar icon 6 June 2014
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The major factor facing the commercial poultry industry today is the cost of feed, according to Zachary Lowman and Carmen Parkhurst of North Carolina State University in a paper published in International Journal of Poultry Science.

They explain that breeding companies have put great emphasis on selecting their lines for rapid growth and low feed to gain to increase the efficiency of production. Even though genetics have made drastic differences in growth parameters, evident from the last 45 years of genetic selection, producers still employ other methods to help birds perform more efficiently including feed additives, temperature control, incubation, ventilation, hatchery sanitation and egg disinfection.

Bac-D™ is a novel disinfectant, which is currently being used as a wound wash for humans and animals. The product utilises benzalkonium chloride, a well-studied quaternary ammonium compound, which has been generally regarded as safe (GRAS). Bac-D has been effectively used as a human first aid antiseptic for many years.

The objectives of the Raleigh trial were to determine the effects of Bac-D on egg conductance, hatchability, body weight and feed conversion in turkey eggs and poults.

Turkey eggs were washed with Bac-D then incubated under standard conditions while recording egg conductance and hatchability. Body weights were measured at hatch and at 21 and 42 days.

The results showed that egg conductance, hatchability and bodyweights of poults hatched from Bac-D-washed eggs did not differ significantly from water-washed controls.

However, mean feed conversion was significantly lower (p<0.0062) in Bac-D poults; their FCR was 1.10 compared with the control birds' 1.17 at 21 days.

The improvement in feed conversion may be due to reduced levels of slightly pathogenic bacteria in the gut resulting from the Bac-D egg sanitisation, according to Lowman and Parkhurst. They added that the potential reduction in FCR will be of significant economic impact to poultry producers.


Lowman Z. and C. Parkhurst. 2014. Effect of Bac-D™ on hatchability, conductance, growth rate and feed conversion on turkey poults. International Journal of Poultry Science. 13(2):97-101.

Further Reading

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June 2014

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