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Understanding gut microbiota to prevent APEC in chicks

One consequence of modern egg handling practices is that hens cannot transfer beneficial bacteria to their chicks, creating a possible pathogen situation.

One consequence of modern egg handling practices is that hens cannot transfer their beneficial bacteria to the chicks, leaving chicks vulnerable to avian pathogen Escherichia coli (APEC) colonization. We talk with Dr. Xandra Smith, manager of microbial ecology and genetics, during the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta, Ga., about new studies that demonstrate how bacteria species in the small intestine vary from hatchery to hatchery, from chick to chick and between breeder hens at different production facilities. Managing these gut populations through probiotics may help reduce APEC in chicks, Smith said.

 

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