Defeating Dermatitis

Learn the causes of dermatitis in poultry houses and how you can help prevent it.

What comes to mind when I mention the word Dermatitis? Today we are going to shed light on a word that has struck many a grower with fear.  No doubt it’s a devastating disease but the scariest thing is that it can come on you fast without much warning.  

Watch below for more on this devastating disease.


It happens like this...You begin walking to your house in the morning and as you make the turn at the end of the house you see 5 dead birds in the corner.  The next day in that corner there are 20 birds.  The next day there are 70 birds. Depending on how bad the outbreak of  Dermatitis is, you could lose up to 500 birds in a house in one day!

An even more frustrating issue with Dermatitis is that it's actually a secondary issue and the result of underlying causes in the house and bird.    

The factor of bacteria: Clostridium is a nasty bacteria that is the main culprit in causing this disease.  Surprisingly it is EVERYWHERE, the gut of the bird, the litter, dust in the air, feces, etc…  When the skin of the bird is damaged, it is like opening the door for these bandits to get into places that can do damage.  I’m sure many of you have picked up your dead birds and felt the spongy fluid filled skin.  This comes from gas that is created by the bacteria between the muscle and the skin. If you can detect this happening in your flock before the mortality begins to increase then you have a good chance of minimizing the damage. 

No matter what you do to deal with the bad bacteria, it is impossible to get rid of all of it. The goal is to manage the load levels. That is why helping your birds build their immune system is crucial.  Giving your birds probiotics will help them fight off harmful bacteria, like Clostridium, in the gut. Probiotics also help with nutrient uptake. When birds pass feed, that's not just affecting their feed conversion, it's depriving them of the nutrients in the feed. If your integrator allows you to run vitamins and electrolytes, try running those as well for added immune support. Along with keeping them hydrated, by inhibiting bad bacteria from overpopulating inside the gut, your birds have a better fight against Dermatitis.  

If you have any questions or if we can be of any help, feel free to call 800 608 3755 or email 

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