How to Prevent Salmonella in Chickens

Written by herman cruz
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How to Prevent Salmonella in Chickens
Protecting your chickens from getting salmonella also protects your family. (many chickens on the farm image by Ivonne Wierink from

Raising chickens has gained popularity among people who live in both rural and urban areas. Whether you are raising your chickens as pets, or to get safer meat and eggs, you must take precautions to prevent a salmonella outbreak in chickens. Generally, chickens infected with salmonella don't appear sick. However, the bacteria is shed in their droppings and spread to their body and where chickens walk. There are several steps you can take to prevent salmonella in your chickens and protect your family.

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    Call your personal veterinarian and explain that you want to protect your chickens from getting salmonella. Depending on the amount of chickens you have, you may be able to bring your chickens to the vet, or the vet will have to come to your farm or residence -- this will depend on your vet.

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    Inform your vet that you want to give your chickens vaccines that prevent salmonella. The Food and Drug Administration doesn't mandate that you vaccinate your chickens against salmonella. However, it supports people that do it voluntarily. Typically, laying chickens are vaccinated when they are between 10 and 16 weeks old. However, this is for chickens that are being put into production. If your chickens are pets only, their age should not be of concern.

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    Decide the type of salmonella vaccine you want to give your chickens. The spray vaccine uses live bacteria that is inhaled by the chickens. The other type of vaccine consists of dead bacteria that is injected in the chickens.

Tips and warnings

  • Even if you vaccinate your chickens, it is important to clean the area where chickens are kept on a regular basis. For instance, you should take measures to control rodents, flies and other vermin. Plus, you should clean and disinfect their area as well as clean the chicken coop and nests three to five times a year. Keeping the area clean won't keep the chickens from getting salmonella, but it will protect you. Salmonella isn't usually deadly, but people with weak immune systems, children and elderly people have a higher risk of becoming infected.
  • Using salmonella vaccines doesn't guarantee salmonella immunity in your chickens because there are various types of salmonella strains. Therefore, good farming and hygienic practices are key to protect your family.

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