Salmonella in Pigeons – How To Disinfect Loft

Salmonella in Pigeons is a disease of birds caused by infection with Salmonella typhimurium (also known as S. enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium).

Salmonellosis has one of the highest mortality rates of any infectious bacterial disease of pigeons. There are more than 2,000 different species or subspecies of Salmonella that have been found across many species of animals.

Salmonella Droppings in Pigeons - Pigeon Diseases

Transmission of Salmonella Disease

Salmonellosis is transmitted by the accidental ingestion of Salmonella bacteria in contaminated food or water, and/or exposure to contaminated equipment (e.g. bird feeders). Other factors include transmission from the hen to the egg, feeding the chicks with infected crop milk and inhalation of dust containing the pathogen.

Clinical Signs of Salmonella in Pigeons

Acute form (mainly affects young pigeons):

Enteritis with pulpy, mucoid, greenish droppings; once organs (liver, kidneys, spleen) have become infected, there is growth retardation, emaciation and (in isolated cases) death. Embryos infected with salmonellae frequently die in ovo or during the first few days of life.

Salmonellosis in Pigeons

Chronic form (mainly affects adult pigeons):

Inflammation causes a thickening of the joints, especially the elbow joint, wing or leg lameness, disorders of balance and torsion of the neck. Recognition of the disease: Bacteriological examination of faecal and/or organ samples.

Salmonella Disease In Pigeons And Management

During a known outbreak of salmonellosis, remove bird feeders and baths until warmer spring weather to reduce the likelihood of transmission.

Clean your bird feeders and bath two times a month with hot soapy water followed by a 3 minute soak in a 10% solution of domestic bleach (1 part sodium hypochlorite in 9 parts water) for disinfection. Clean the feeders with cold water and dry well before use.

Keep separate brushes and equipment to clean bird feeders and baths only. Keep them outside and away from food preparation areas.

Wear rubber gloves when cleaning feeders and thoroughly wash hands and forearms afterwards with soap and water, especially before eating and drinking. Avoid handling sick or dead birds directly.

Avoid using tube feeders that require birds to stick their head inside openings to feed as infected birds may leave discharge containing Salmonella bacteria.

Treatment of Salmonella in Pigeons

Always start the treatment with chloramphenicol-N if the symptoms appear. In some cases it is necessary to change the treatment (e.g. to doxycyclin-t or ampicillin-t)

Do not give pigeons any feeds containing calcium (e.g. grit) during treatment with doxycyclin-t. Since calcium binds doxycycline and thus reduces its efficacy.

If your bird is recovering from treatment of salmonella, keep his environment clean, especially food and water containers. Your bird may feel the cold with being unwell, so a little added heat may help.

Use of Multivitamin EB12 for three days during the treatment of Salmonella is very important. It will help to boost the immune system of your pigeons. Use of apple cider vinegar in water is very useful.

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