Funded by the US Poultry & Egg Association, the research project, led by Doctor Doug Smith at the University of Carolina, involved growing and monitoring turkey breeder hens and toms until 65 weeks of age, the artificial insemination and collection of fertile eggs for hatching a second-generation meat bird flock, and the monitoring of these progeny.
Intervention assessments included washing fertile eggs with sanitiser and feeding probiotics to both breeder hens and meat bird progeny.
Researchers could not any find evidence of vertical transmission, from breeders to market turkeys, but they did find campylobacter and salmonella both in semen and in the reproductive tract of hens. "Sanitising of hatching eggs reduced the contamination of eggshells by salmonella," stated the report.
The study also discovered that use of a probiotic did not reduce the prevalence of either organism in this case.