General information

How to identify salmonellosis in chickens: methods of dealing with the disease


In poultry farming, knowledge about salmonellosis in chickens, symptoms and treatment are necessary. It is difficult to treat this disease in birds in a large flock. They can quickly infect each other, it will be impossible to keep track of this process. Therefore, sick individuals are separated from the flock and destroyed. And the rest are treated with antibacterial agents.


Birds' salmonellosis is an infectious disease that affects humans. There is the possibility of infection upon contact with a sick bird. And ordinary consumers can become infected from poultry products.

Causative agent

The disease is caused by the salmonella microbe. The name of the bacterium received from the discoverer D. Salmon, who discovered this stick in swine fever. The greatest damage to the poultry industry is caused by three types:

  • Salmonella enteritis,
  • Salmonella Typhimurium,
  • Salmonella Gallinarum-Pulumum.

State monitoring of poultry farms in Russia in 2014 revealed that more than 60% of the country's poultry farms are infected with salmonellosis. Moreover, in 92% of cases the bird was a carrier of S. enteritis and only in 8% of farms was found S. pullorum.

These two types of salmonellosis have a completely different course and nature of the disease. The disease caused by C. enteritis, called salmonellosis-paratyphoid birds. The infection that develops from S. gallinum-pullorum is called pullorosis, or pullorosis-typhus, and is not dangerous for humans, but it still requires treatment in chickens.

Susceptible to the disease, all types of domestic and wild animals and humans. From poultry, chickens (including broilers), turkey poults, waterfowl youngsters, pigeons and quails are the most sensitive to salmonellosis. The bird is infected through feed, water (especially ducks and geese), care items, bedding, recycled packaging, from parents through an egg, or become sick from bacteria on the surface of the shell. Carriers of the pathogen can be rodents, insects, meal worms, ticks and bedbugs.

The scheme clearly illustrates potential sources of viral danger.

Causes of disease

Most often, chickens become infected when eating feed or with water. However, salmonella ingestion does not necessarily cause illness. It all depends on the type of microbe, the conditions of the poultry, its age and overall resistance to diseases.

Overheating or overcooling of young stock, unsanitary housing conditions, a large concentration of livestock, stagnant water and litter of water bodies contribute to the disease. In hatcheries, mass infection of young stock may occur at the hatch, with the microbe penetrating through the respiratory tract.

In large poultry farms pathogen is recorded more often with feed or breeding egg. This causes an outbreak of salmonellosis chickens, which lasts about a year. Then, as a result of the measures taken and the technological change of livestock, the economy is improving.

Salmonella affects primarily the digestive system, when penetrating through the respiratory tract - the lungs, then the microbe can spread throughout the body through the bloodstream and cause sepsis - a general inflammatory reaction. In the chronic course of the disease, the joints are often affected, which manifests as lameness. Different species of birds have their own characteristics of the course of the disease. Consider them in more detail.

The most susceptible chickens are up to two weeks of age. The first symptoms of salmonellosis in chickens can be seen 2-4 days after infection. The disease occurs in acute and subacute form, mainly with lung damage.

The most frequent symptoms

  • depression, drowsiness, muscle weakness,
  • lacrimation
  • nasal discharge
  • difficulty breathing, wheezing.

In chickens over the age of 2 weeks and up to a month, diarrhea and goitre atony are observed simultaneously with respiratory failure. Death occurs within 5-10 days; convulsions and head drooping on the back as a result of intoxication may appear. Mortality of chickens with salmonellosis is from 15 to 30%. Sick hens are stunted, remain a carrier of salmonella for a long time and can infect other individuals.

In chickens older than 50 days of age and in adult chickens, the disease is chronically or hidden. Chickens can die from inflammation of the cloaca or massive yolk peritonitis without symptoms and, accordingly, without treatment.

Pullorosis (white bacillary diarrhea, typhoid) is a dangerous disease of chickens and turkeys, caused by Salmonella gallinarum-pullorum. The course of the disease depends on the method of infection. When aerogenic (through the air) infection in an incubator, chickens become ill in the first days of life (up to five days).

  • drowsiness, many chickens stand with eyes closed,
  • white or greenish-brown diarrhea,
  • dyspnea,
  • clogging of the cloaca with sticky fecal matter,
  • cyanosis of the comb and mucous membranes.

Death occurs in 1-2 days, mortality reaches 50-100%.

Poults in the transmission of salmonella from their parents die in the first hours after the withdrawal. In other cases, there is an acute course of the disease in the first 10 days of life:

  • turkey poults are inactive,
  • there is thirst, appetite deterioration,
  • pale yellow diarrhea, sticky, mushy,
  • clogging cloaca
  • dyspnea,
  • convulsions in the final stage.

Young pheasants and chickenflies also suffer from pullorosis.

Without treatment, mortality from pullorosis is high. With timely treatment, the sick bird recovers, gradually gaining live weight and can give good meat productivity.

In adult birds, pullorosis is asymptomatic, sometimes yolk peritonitis occurs in layers.

The course of the disease in geese and ducks

Waterfowl carry the virus harder than chickens. Youngsters are sensitive - goslings, ducklings, especially at the age of 10-15 days. The first signs of the disease in goslings are noted 2-3 days after infection, in ducklings - in 3-7 days. When infected in a hatchery, symptoms may appear after 12 hours. Accordingly, in this case, the treatment of salmonellosis should begin immediately.

In the acute course of salmonellosis in goslings and ducklings, the following symptoms are noted:

  • loss of appetite,
  • drowsiness,
  • unsteady walk, limp,
  • diarrhea,
  • labored breathing,
  • inflammation of the joints of the legs and wings,
  • bleeding from eyes, gluing eyelids.

Ducklings tumble down on their side or back, strenuously move their paws. Mortality of ducklings is 15-30%, goslings 45-80%.

The chronic course of salmonellosis is characteristic of birds older than two months of age and is accompanied by stunting, recurrent bowel disorders. In adult waterfowl under unfavorable conditions, the carrier state may turn into a subclinical form of the disease, while in the herd, the mortality of layers from yolk peritonitis will be observed.

Other types of poultry

In turkey poults, salmonella causes intestinal upset, exhaustion, weakness of the legs, and rapid death. If infected up to 10 days of age, it is possible, like in goslings, to have a hyper-acute course of the disease. A sick turkey has long been a carrier of salmonella.

Doves have two forms of salmonellosis. In intestinal form, the symptoms are:

  • oppression,
  • rejection of feed
  • watery diarrhea greenish
  • swelling of the joints of the legs and wings,
  • small nodules appear under the skin in the joints.

Birds lose their ability to fly, move with the help of wings, limp, wings and legs tremble finely.

The nervous form of salmonellosis in pigeons develops following intestinal and is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • convulsions
  • incoordination
  • eye damage, even blindness.

The bird lies on its side with a twisted neck, sometimes overturns on its back. When the nervous form of death occurs from convulsions.

The diagnosis of salmonellosis is confirmed by the veterinary laboratory after examining the corpses of dead birds and material from sick individuals. You can also get recommendations on the choice of antibacterial drug for the treatment of the disease.

Treatment of salmonellosis in chickens is not always effective, as the pathogen quickly becomes resistant to antibiotics. The sick chicken lags far behind in growth and development. Therefore, obviously sick birds are killed and disposed of, and the rest of the herd is subjected to treatment with antibacterial drugs.

Antibiotic list

  • chloramphenicol,

For treatment even in a small farm is more profitable to buy veterinary chloramphenicol in the package of 500 tablets. In Russia, it produces "Ascont +" from the Moscow region.

The most popular broad-spectrum drug with the active ingredient enrofloxacin - Baytril production Bayer (Bayer).

4% solution of gentamicin sulfate, veterinary drug. Photo is increased by clicking.

The dosage is 5-10 mg of active ingredient per kg of live weight for young animals and 45-50 mg for adult birds. Antibiotics is better to drink with water.

Additionally, it is possible to give with the feed preparations of the nitrofuran series: furazolidone, furagin at the rate of 4-6 g per 10 kg of feed.

To maintain intestinal microflora probiotics are sucked out:

Bifidobacteria are supplied dry, they will need to be diluted in water according to the instructions before treating chickens.

Antibacterial agents are given for five days, probiotics - 7-14 days.

After the course of treatment, bacteriological examination of the litter is carried out in order to exclude bacteria in the herd. In the case of a positive reaction, pharmacotherapy should be repeated.

State control

As already noted, salmonellosis is constantly monitored by government agencies. In the poultry industry, the salmonella control program includes several areas.

  1. Bacteriological control of salmonella carriage in parental herds and industrial herds of layers and meat poultry.
  2. Bacteriological control of the state of hatcheries.
  3. Bacteriological control of feed and drinking water entering the farm.
  4. Laboratory control of each batch of products at meat processing plants. Quality control of daily disinfection after the end of the work shift.
  5. Studies on pullorosis-typhoid in KRNGA of breeding young hens at the age of 55 days with the subsequent culling of positively reacting individuals.
  6. Studies on salmonellosis are required when obtaining a certificate for products. Also, bacteriological studies impose upon registration of veterinary documents for permission to engage in the production and processing of farm products, the delivery of poultry for slaughter, and the sending of finished poultry products to retail chains.
  7. All workers of poultry and meat processing enterprises are required to undergo an annual physical examination, including testing for salmonellosis. People who have replaced with signs of respiratory or intestinal infections are not allowed to work.

Sanctions of veterinary services

Restricted farms are subject to restrictions. The sale of live poultry, hatching eggs, fluff and feathers stops. Meat of hens sick with salmonellosis is prohibited to sell in the catering network.

At slaughter, the affected internal organs are disposed of, and the carcass is boiled for 2.5 hours or sent to produce canned food. If there are changes in the muscles of the carcass, the birds are discarded. Eggs obtained from dysfunctional livestock are sent to food enterprises producing confectionery and bakery products of high-temperature processing. It is forbidden to make melange and egg powder from such eggs.

Restrictions are removed from the farm after a double laboratory test for salmonella carriage, as well as after three months after the last case of the disease.