Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Nutrition and Food Sciences

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Andrea Etter


Public health, Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter spp., zoonoses, backyard poultry (BYP)


Across the United States, backyard poultry has been increasing in popularity. With this comes an increase in the risk of transmission of the zoonotic pathogens which poultry can carry. Common backyard birds such as chickens, turkeys, and geese can be carriers of Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter, zoonotic pathogens which can be spread to people through contact with birds and their fecal matter or through consumption of their eggs or meat. This study sought to identify the prevalence of S. enterica and Campylobacter spp. in adult Vermont backyard poultry (BYP). Other studies performed in this area outside of the state of Vermont have identified S. enterica prevalence ranging from 2-4%, while Campylobacter prevalence has ranged from 10-35%. Studies also identified S.enterica more commonly among younger or multiage flocks. Previous work performed in the Etter lab found that eight of 42 sampled flocks (19%) tested positive for S. enterica between 2019-2021, with the majority of those positive samples being identified in 2021 (seven of 13 flocks sampled in 2021 (53.8%)). The Etter lab also tested four flocks for Campylobacter in 2021 and found one flock (25%) to be positive. Based on these past studies, we hypothesized that Campylobacter would be more prevalent compared to S. enterica, and that S. enterica would be more prevalent among younger or multiage flocks. Samples were collected from across Vermont between September and November of 2022, and analyzed for both S. enterica and Campylobacter. While seven of 58 flocks (11.11%) were positive for S. enterica, only one of 62 tested flocks (1.6%) was positive for Campylobacter. This sample was plated on R&F Products C. jejuni/C. Coli Chromogenic media in an effort to grow Campylobacter, which proved unsuccessful.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, April 24, 2025