In vitro studies of the interaction between pathogenic bacteria and the chicken intestinal epithelium are hampered by the lack of a host- and tissue-specific in vitro model. Therefore, a reproducible method for isolation and cultivation of chicken primary cecal epithelial cells was developed. Cecal crypts were isolated and cultured in vitro to form a semiconfluent layer of epithelial cells. Incubation of Salmonella enteritidis with these cells resulted in invasion. Pretreatment of the Salmonella bacteria with butyric acid resulted in a significant decrease of invasion of the bacteria in the chicken cecal epithelial cells, whereas pretreatment with acetic acid increased invasiveness. These interactions of S. enteritidis with primary chicken cecal epithelial cells were similar to the interactions with other epithelial cell types.