Erysipelas in Poultry

Small and Backyard Flocks May 05, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Erysipelas is mainly a disease of swine, but it can also affect lambs and turkeys. Among turkeys, it is seen most often in toms with snoods injured by fighting, and more often in range turkeys than in confined birds. This disease is caused by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, which is typically found in the soil. 

Clinical Signs 

Clinical signs include sudden death and swollen snoods.


This disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Prevention and Control

Vaccines are available, but maintaining an effective biosecurity plan is critical to preventing disease.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.