Effect of Negative Air Ionization
on Ambient Particulates in a Hatching Cabinet

By Mitchell Bailey

Interpretive Summary:

Starter chicks for broiler houses are produced in hatcheries throughout the United States which often produce several hundred thousand chicks each week in hatching cabinets. These cabinets are one of the primary sources for salmonella contamination of poultry. Extensive dust is generated during the hatching process from egg shell and feather particles which become airborne. Previous research has demonstrated that a single salmonella contaminated egg could contaminate all eggs and newly hatched chicks in a hatching cabinet. Two types of electrostatic air charging devices were tested for their ability to remove dust from air in a poultry hatching cabinet and to determine their potential for reducing airborne transmission of salmonellae. The devices were tested in a hatching cabinet with ambient dust which had a good cross section of particle sizes to determine their basic effectiveness prior to testing in an operational hatching cabinet with fertile eggs. Dust removal efficiencies ranged from an average of 92.2% for the larger device, a 6-Bar Ionizer, to 81.1% for the smaller device, a 3-Bar Ionizer. The effectiveness of the ionizers for removing dust suggests that this type of system has good potential for reducing airborne transmission of disease in hatching cabinets. Reducing most of the dust in hatching cabinets and containing it within a collection device would also reduce the effort required to clean exhaust air from the numerous cabinets in a hatchery and to clean other areas of the hatchery - all of which are potential sources of contamination.

Contact:

SE Poultry Research
934 College Station Road 
Athens, GA 30604
Email: baileym@bae.uga.edu

Approved Date: 1997-08-31

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