Salmonella Enteritidis – Backyard Chickens’ Health and Care

Illnesses in chickens

What is Salmonella Enteritidis?

Salmonella Enteritidis is a type of bacteria that can cause illness in chickens, as well as humans who consume contaminated chicken products. In chickens, this disease can cause significant economic losses for the poultry industry, as well as negatively impacting animal welfare. Understanding the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis is important for backyard chicken owners to minimise its impact on their flocks.

Salmonella Enteritidis Symptoms

Chickens infected with Salmonella Enteritidis may not show any symptoms, but in some cases, they may exhibit signs such as diarrhoea, reduced feed intake, decreased egg production, and an increase in mortality rates. In severe cases, the infection can cause septicemia and death.

Salmonella Enteritidis Causes

Chickens can become infected with Salmonella Enteritidis by consuming contaminated feed, water, or coming into contact with infected birds, rodents, or other animals. The bacteria can also be transmitted from the hen to the egg, which can lead to human infection if the eggs are not properly cooked or handled.

Salmonella Enteritidis Diagnosis

Diagnosing Salmonella Enteritidis in chickens can be challenging, as infected birds may not show any symptoms. However, post-mortem examination and laboratory testing can help confirm the presence of the bacteria in the flock.

Salmonella Enteritidis Treatment

There is no specific treatment for Salmonella Enteritidis in chickens, but supportive care can help infected birds recover. Sick birds should be isolated from healthy ones, and proper biosecurity measures should be implemented to prevent the spread of the disease.

Salmonella Enteritidis Prevention

Preventing Salmonella Enteritidis in chickens involves implementing effective biosecurity measures, such as proper cleaning and disinfection protocols, restricting access to the flock, and testing feed and water sources for contamination. Vaccines are also available to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis infections in chickens.


Salmonella Enteritidis is a serious disease that can have significant impacts on the health of chickens and the safety of chicken products for human consumption. Chicken owners should prioritise implementing effective biosecurity measures and consider vaccination to prevent and manage outbreaks of this disease.

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