The presence of Salmonella in chickens is a problem because poultry meat is recognized as a source of human salmonellosis. Fermented feed has characteristics like a high number of lactobacilli and high concentration of lactic acid, which could make chickens less susceptible for infection with Salmonella. Fermented feed might therefore prevent the colonization of chickens with Salmonella. Two studies were performed to quantify the effect of fermented liquid feed on the susceptibility of broilers for Salmonella. The fermented feed was prepared by fermenting a dry broiler feed supplemented with 1.4 parts of water. Lactobacillus plantarum was used for fermentation. The fermented liquid feed (FLF) contained 10(9) to 10(10) cfu lactobacilli per gram, and the pH was 4. Individually housed control chickens and FLF-fed chickens were inoculated with 10(2) to 10(7) cfu Salmonella enteritidis (SE). Colonization was estimated by cloacal swabs and quantitative caecal culture. The proportion of SE-shedding chickens was decreased in FLF-fed chickens. FLF-fed chickens required a longer time after inoculation or a higher inoculation dose to get the same proportion of infected chickens in comparison with dry feed-fed chickens. The level of cecal colonization with Salmonella in the ceca was not different at the end of the experimental period. The results indicate that FLF can hamper the introduction of Salmonella in broiler flocks because the chickens are less susceptible for infection. Fermented liquid feed might therefore be a new hurdle in the strategy to control Salmonella in chicken flocks.
- airborne transmission