Quail Disease (Ulcerative enteritis)

Quail disease (ulcerative enteritis) is an acute or chronic infectious disease characterized by listlessness, ruffled feathers, arched back, brownish-yellow diarrhea and ulcerations of the intestinal tract, and focal or diffuse hepatic necrosis.

  • Quail disease is caused by the bacterium clostridium colinum. This bacteria is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacillus and the spores are oval in shape and subterminal in position.
  • The organism is very resistant to disinfectants. It can persist in soil for many years. The disease may recur in successive broods on the same premises.
  • Quails, pheasants and other game birds are susceptible to this disease. Young chickens, turkeys and other domestic fowl are also prone to this disease.

Susceptible hosts

  1. Qualis and other game birds (pheasants and partridges)
  2. Young chickens, turkeys and other domestic fowl.

Clinical signs of quail disease

  1. In acute form, there is sudden death in birds while they are in good flesh.
  2. Chronically affected birds show signs of
    • Anorexia,
    • Depression,
    • Ruffled feathers
    • Humped up poster
    • Whitish watery diarrhea
    • Emaciation and death.

Postmortem lesions of quail disease

  1. In acute cases there is evident inflammation in small intestine.
  2. Blotchy necrotic areas in liver having circular or oval, pinhead to several millimeters size and shape.
  3. Spleen is usually enlarged and haemorrhagic.
  4. Yellowish-white, button like ulcers with haemorrhagic borders are found in the lower intestine portion
  5. Ulcers coalesce and penetrate deep into serosa and may cause perforation.
Quail disease (Ulcerative enteritis)
Ulcerative Enteritis (courtesy by https://tvmdl.tamu.edu/2018/04/20/multiple-cases-of-ulcerative-enteritis-diagnosed-in-quail/)

Differential Diagnosis

  1. Coccidiosis
    • The droppings may be confused with those birds having coccidiosis. Droppings of birds with only ulcerative enteritis never contains blood.
    • Sometimes, coccidiosis and ulcertaive enteritis may be observed in the same bird
  2. Necrotic enteritis

Prevention and Control

  • Regularly clean and disinfect the premises.
  • Maintain standard management and cleanliness.
  • Keep young birds isolated from old birds
  • Raising birds on wire is effective preventive measure.
  • Bacitracin or penicillin fed at low levels to control the disease.