Chlamydia gallinacea, a new chlamydial agent, has been reported in four European countries as well as Argentina and China. Experimentally infected chickens with C. gallinacea in previous study showed no clinical signs but had significantly reduced gains in body weight (6·5–11·4%). Slaughterhouse workers exposed to infected chickens have developed atypical pneumonia, indicating C. gallinacea is likely a zoonotic agent. In this study, FRET-PCR confirmed that C. gallinacea was present in 12·4% (66/531) of oral–pharyngeal samples from Alabama backyard poultry. Phylogenetic comparisons based on ompA variable domain showed that 16 sequenced samples represented 14 biotypes. We report for the first time the presence of C. gallinacea in North America, and this warrants further research on the organism's pathogenicity, hosts, transmission, and zoonotic potential.