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Nests, Eggs, and IncubationNew ideas about avian reproduction$
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D. Charles Deeming and S. James Reynolds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718666.001.0001

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Microbiology of nests and eggs

Microbiology of nests and eggs

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter 7 Microbiology of nests and eggs
Source:
Nests, Eggs, and Incubation
Author(s):

A. West

P. Cassey

C. M. Thomas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718666.003.0007

Microbes on the surface of the eggshell are associated with increased infection rates of the inner egg and reduced hatchability. The species of microbes and their relative abundance are highly variable between the nests and eggs of different birds. Various strategies are employed by the incubating bird and the egg itself, to reduce the chances of microbial infection, including using nest materials with particular anti-microbial properties. The avian egg is largely an inhospitable environment for microbial growth, incorporating a variety of anti-microbial chemicals with a broad range of targets and modes of activity, from direct lysis of bacterial cells to sequestration of molecules essential for their metabolism. This chapter discusses these strategies and the influence of other factors on infection rates such as nest humidity, uropygial secretions, male quality, egg laying sequence and incubation delay, and how these affect microbes in the nest, on the shell, and inside the egg.

Keywords:   anti-microbial, eggshell, infection, nest components, Salmonella

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