Salmonellosis in pigeons: symptoms, treatment and prevention of the disease

Domestic pigeons are subject to the same diseases as their wild counterparts. Salmonellosis is a common disease in these beautiful birds. It can cause great damage to the herd of the pigeon’s inhabitants while ignoring the signs. Consider what the disease is, what are its symptoms and causes, how to deal with it.

Description of the disease

This is an infectious disease caused by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Salmonella, as a result of which the disease got its name. It can be called in another way - paratyphoid.

Salmonella quickly multiply, and within a few hours (from 6 hours to three days), the disease can take an acute form, and sometimes proceeds in an implicit form. In the latter case, the pigeon looks healthy, but is a source of infection for other, weaker individuals.

Did you know? Sun rays (ultraviolet) or heat cause Salmonella to die. These bacteria die in 1.5 hours when the environment is heated to 55 ° C, and at a temperature of +75 ° C within 10 minutes. They also die in an alkaline environment. But freezing in the freezer does not help to get rid of them.

Salmonellosis is contagious to humans, birds and pets. Its pathogens live in the intestines and primarily affect the gastrointestinal tract. The toxin secreted by salmonella negatively affects the blood vessels and nervous system. Gradually, damage to other organs (liver, brain) occurs, and the disease takes various forms.

Salmonella - resistant bacteria that maintain vital activity in the environment outside the body of living organisms for several months.

Reasons for the appearance

Due to the good resistance of Salmonella, the route of infection can be different - from a sick animal, through contaminated water and food, feces, shells, bedding, even through inhaled dust containing these bacteria.

Typically, Salmonella becomes the causative agent of the disease by drinking contaminated water or food. The development and course of salmonellosis is also affected by the state of the bird and the environment.

It will also be useful for you to find out what infections and diseases pigeons carry and how to protect yourself from them.

The causes of salmonellosis can be:

  1. Contaminated water. Salmonella bacteria enter the feces of a sick animal. Therefore, it is important that domestic pigeons do not have access to sewage or polluted waters. The blueberry should have a drinker with clean water. From a hygienic point of view, small drinking bowls are suitable in which dirt would not fall.
  2. Contaminated food. Often the source of infection is grain, which is given to feed pigeons. It is infected by rodents. Their feces enter the feed and cause salmonellosis in the dovecot.
  3. Weak immunity. Pigeons, whose body is weakened by a lack of vitamins, malnutrition, fatigue, and other diseases, are more prone to salmonellosis.
  4. Violation of the conditions of detention. Non-observance of hygiene of dovecote leads to salmonella ingestion in food and drink. Therefore, it is important to monitor the cleanliness of bedding and equipment: to clean, wash and disinfect feeders and drinking bowls, the room and equipment on time, and to change the bedding. The lack of proper ventilation contributes to the development of bacteria - they develop well in a stuffy room.
  5. Sick pigeons transmit salmonellosis to their offspring. Infection occurs through the pores of the shell on which salmonella has fallen. Chicks are born already sick and weakened.


The symptoms of salmonellosis depend on the form and extent of the lesion. The disease can be hidden, but transmitted to offspring, according to which it can be understood that Salmonella infection has occurred.

Important! In 90% of young pigeons, the acute course of the disease can be fatal. The chronic form of salmonellosis takes about 10% of lives.

Such chicks die during the first two weeks of life. The hatchability of chicks during salmonellosis decreases, so they often die, while still in the eggs.

The obvious form of the disease has the following symptoms:

  • diarrhea;
  • increased thirst;
  • poor appetite;
  • weakness, low mobility: adult individuals stop flying;
  • ruffled feather cover;
  • twitching of limbs.


The course of the disease and its symptoms depend on which organ is most affected by salmonella.

Depending on this, the following forms of salmonellosis are distinguished:

  • intestinal;
  • articular;
  • nervous.

This division is conditional, since the infection penetrates many organs and often has a combined character. Its symptoms are similar to other diseases, and is confirmed by laboratory tests in the study of feces or opening of a dead bird.

Did you know? Wild pigeons are most often affected by salmonellosis. After all, they drink water from contaminated sources, have frequent contact with animal carriers of this infection. It is estimated that about a third of the wild relatives of domestic pigeons are infected with Salmonella.


It occurs more often and is characterized by the most typical symptoms - severe diarrhea with a splash of blood and mucus, often greenish in color, tail feathers are contaminated with feces, weight loss and weakness.

It can occur in acute and chronic form. Abundant bowel movements pollute the habitat of birds, and serve as a source of infection. Young animals and weakened adults are susceptible to it.


This form often appears with a latent course of the disease or if a sick pigeon was not treated. The musculoskeletal system is affected, which leads to impaired motor function, loss of ability to fly, decreased activity.

The limbs twitch, the muscles tighten, and then are exhausted, nodes appear on the joints. Running cases of the articular form of salmonellosis lead to the death of a sick pigeon.


It is less common and appears in chronic salmonellosis. This form affects adults. Gradual damage to the nervous system in the absence of timely treatment leads to death.

This form is characterized by typical signs of damage to the nervous system - convulsions, tipping the head back, lethargic and inactive behavior, lack of ability to fly and poor appetite. In advanced cases, the bird falls on its back and dies.


Salmonellosis can be defeated, but it is better to carry out complex treatment, since it is difficult to get rid of salmonella, and the disease can return. Along with taking medications, preventive measures are taken. Timely diagnosis and proper treatment help cure sick pigeons in 90% of cases.

Important! Before treatment, a complete disinfection of the dovecote is necessary. An excellent tool for this purpose is Virkon S (safe for pigeons and humans). The solution for processing is prepared as follows - dilute 50 g. in 5 liters of liquid. It helps against bacteria, viruses, mold and fungus.


Salmonellosis in pigeons is treated with antibiotics. The degree of the disease affects the choice of how and how to treat sick pigeons.

Consider the medicine for pigeons from salmonellosis:

  1. Baytril 10%. A solution of the drug is added to the drink in a ratio of 0.5 ml per 1 liter of liquid. This is the daily rate. The drug is taken from 3 to 5 days.
  2. "Metronidazole" 1%. The drug solution is added to the drink in a ratio of 10 mg per 1 kg of bird weight. The course of admission is 5 days.
  3. Gentamicin. Add to the liquid for drinking in a proportion of 9.5 g. for 1 liter The drug is taken within 7 days.
  4. Amoxiclav. Mix in drinking water at a ratio of 9.4 g. for 1 liter With a severe stage of the disease, the intake rate is increased. Take at least three days.
  5. "Parastop." The most effective medication. Dissolve in drinking water according to the proportion of 1 ml per 1 liter. Take 10 days.
  6. "Streptomycin". Applied in the form of injections in a proportion of 50, 000 units per 1 kg of weight 2 times a day with an interval of 12 hours.
  7. Kanamycin. The medicine is produced in tablet form and in capsule form. It is crushed and added to bird food. The daily norm is 5-10 mg. Reception is made within 7 days.
  8. "Furazolidone." Grind into powder and add to the feed at the rate of 3 mg per 1 kg of weight. Accepted within 5 days.

Less commonly used are Enroflon, Enteroseptol, Biomycin, and Teramycin.

Important! All drugs and dosages for the treatment of salmonellosis are prescribed by the veterinarian. Self-medication is not worth it.

Folk remedies

There are recipes for folk remedies for the treatment of salmonellosis in pigeons.

Let's consider some of them:

  1. Camomile tea. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Recipe for use - 1 teaspoon of a dry plant is poured with 250 ml of boiling water and insisted. Use as a drink during the day.
  2. Propolis infusion or shredded bee bread. Strengthens the immune system. Method of application - during the laying period, add to the liquid for drinking.
  3. Decoction of pine needles. The product is a source of vitamins and has a disinfecting effect. Method of preparation - a glass of pine needles is brewed with 1 liter of boiled water.
  4. Vegetable oil infused with garlic or raw pumpkin seeds. An all-strengthening remedy, which is also a prophylaxis against parasites.

These recipes are used as an addition to the main treatment. Without the use of antibiotics, salmonellosis cannot be cured.

Learn also how to treat pigeon twirls.

Dove care after illness

After medical treatment, the recovered pigeon should be carefully cared for, as his body is weakened after an illness. To restore the intestinal microflora after taking antibiotics, it is recommended to purchase food at the pet store with the addition of bifidobacteria or the appropriate drugs that are added to drink or food.

To improve the digestive tract, you can turn on the vitamin supplement “Felucen”. In addition to the necessary vitamins and minerals, it includes gravel, which helps in the digestion of food.

They thoroughly disinfect the premises, provide dryness and good ventilation, constantly replace the water and regularly inspect the bird. In the period after the disease, only high-quality feed is necessarily given.

To maintain weakened immunity, vitamin-mineral complexes are being taken - the drug Aminovital, Chiktonik. Such complexes contain vitamins, amino acids and minerals that strengthen the body's protective functions against diseases.

For feeding pigeons in the recovery period after the disease, it is better to give sorghum. It is a cereal crop that has excellent energy value and also contains vitamins and minerals.

Preventative measures

The course of the disease largely depends on the conditions of detention, feeding and drinking, so it is important to be involved in prevention. Do not lose sight of the vaccination of pigeons.

Vaccine use

The use of the vaccine can significantly reduce the appearance of salmonellosis in poultry. The vaccination result will be considered excellent if only 1-2 susceptible individuals are removed from each hundred pigeons during the year.

So-called “live” vaccines have shown good results. In Europe, the most popular Chevivac - S and Salmo PT are German-made. These drugs are of high quality and most effective.

Other, more inexpensive drugs are no longer so effective, they are worse perceived by birds and can give side effects - they badly affect the immune system, reduce egg production, and resolve for a long time.

Vaccination is carried out as follows - young animals are first injected with serum 14 days after vaccinations from a twirl at the age of 2–2.5 months. Re-vaccinated with adults also in 14-21 days after vaccination against vertices. Such vaccination is carried out in the future for adults once a year.

Important! Vaccination is carried out after the end of the molting period in birds - in late autumn or early winter .

Compliance with the temperature regime

An important factor is maintaining the recommended temperature regime in the pigeon. It should be no more than +20 ° C in the summer, as bacteria are very fond of a hot and humid environment. Humidity must be maintained within 65-70%.

Conditions of detention

It is necessary to provide the necessary conditions of detention:

  • monitor the cleanliness of the room and equipment;
  • fight rodent pests that are carriers of Salmonella pathogens;
  • provide good ventilation. Poor ventilation, especially during the hot season, contributes to the creation of favorable conditions for the growth of bacteria;
  • keep bird food (cereals) in a tightly closed container in a dark place, inaccessible place for insects and rodents ;
  • monitor the quality and cleanliness of feed and drink. Water should be clean and feed should be complete. They should not contain the feces of rodents and the birds themselves;
  • choose closed feeders and drinking bowls, as Salmonella pathogens from diseased birds (for example, with feces) can get into open containers. Therefore, feeders are better to take the bunker type, and drinking bowls - nipple;
  • twice a year, on the eve of molting and before mating, give litter for research in the laboratories of veterinary institutions to detect the presence of the pathogen;
  • pigeons after long flights to plant for 20 days separately. If signs of the disease appear, treat with antibiotics;
  • monitor the cleanliness of the litter in the dovecote and timely replace it. It is imperative to remove wet and rotten litter so as not to provoke the appearance of infectious diseases. Twice a year, make its full replacement (in autumn and spring) with a complete disinfection of the dovecote.


You need to choose high-quality feed. Saving on good feed can lead to medication costs. Food should contain vitamins and minerals necessary for birds. Indeed, the lack of nutrients leads to a decrease in the protective functions of the body to infectious diseases.

You need to feed the pigeons twice - in the morning and in the evening. Feed rate for pigeon 25–35 gr.

The diet consists mainly of cereals - wheat, barley, oats, corn, millet, buckwheat, sunflower. It is useful to give sprouts of sprouted wheat, which contain many trace elements useful for poultry.

As an additive to the main nutrition, they are fed with potatoes, apples, carrots, as well as green plants - lettuce, cabbage, nettle, clover. As mineral additives, chalk, limestone, fish or meat-bone meal, grated shells or egg shells are suitable. In this case, the shell should be rinsed with boiling water for disinfection.

To prevent the appearance of a pathogenic environment in the pigeon's body, which will contribute to the development and reproduction of harmful bacteria, apple cider vinegar and yeast for birds are recommended as food additives to the main food.

Do not forget to give a vitamin-mineral complex to maintain immunity, especially during molting and reproduction.

Important! Feathered pets can not often be fed with bakery products, and frequent feeding of such products leads to impaired gastrointestinal function. It is necessary to exclude rye (can cause diarrhea), limit the consumption of potatoes and seeds. Food from our table, especially meat waste, is completely unsuitable as pigeon food.

It is forbidden to feed birds with spoiled and damp grain feed.

Cleaning and disinfection

Regular cleaning and disinfection of the room prevents the emergence and development of infectious diseases. Complete disinfection is carried out 2 times a year - in spring and autumn. Once a quarter, they are treated with a disinfectant solution of perches and nests.

Feeders and drinkers are treated every 7 days. If an infection is detected, an unscheduled disinfection is performed using special solutions that destroy the causative agents of the disease.

Disinfection is carried out in a previously cleaned room, that is, the day before it should be mechanically cleaned - wash all walls, floors and equipment with hot water. As a disinfectant, an alkaline solution, a 5% solution of bleach, formalin solution are used. After disinfection, the dovecote is aired for 2 hours.

Once a month (at least) a general cleaning of the dovecote and cleaning of the inventory are carried out. If the content of pigeons occurs on the floor from the soil, then 1-2 times a year the soil layer of 5-10 cm must be changed and slaked lime put in its place, based on the ratio of 1 kg per 1 sq. m floor.

Then lay a new layer of soil. A solution of potassium permanganate, bleach, formalin is periodically mixed into the drinking water for disinfection.

Did you know? The solution of potassium permanganate was also used by our grandmothers for medical and household purposes, and it was sold freely. Now its sale is limited due to the fact that this substance is used to obtain drugs. The border services of some countries qualify the transportation of potassium permanganate as drug smuggling.

Salmonellosis is a common disease among pigeons. This infection is transmitted to the offspring, and causes its early death or weakening. The disease is contagious to humans and other animals. It is important to detect its symptoms in time and begin treatment.

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