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Fungal Diseases of Poultry: Symptoms, Control, and Treatments

A disease is an unhealthy or abnormal physical state and/or appearance. It can be caused by living organisms (infectious agents) or faulty environments due to poor management. Chickens, like human beings, are subjected to many diseases and parasites.

There are even some poultry diseases with the same names like cholera, pox, typhoid, hepatitis, etc. Chickens are also known to suffer from internal and external parasites. Some poultry diseases and parasites can be prevented while others cannot be prevented.

Some cannot be controlled and cause death when contracted; others can be isolated and controlled. Some are present in the country and others are from foreign sources.

Unless diseases and parasites are accurately identified and prevented or controlled, they can cause huge losses of chickens and consequently loss of money.

 Fungal Diseases of Poultry: Symptoms, Control, and Treatments
Person vaccinating chicks before sending to market

The key is to prevent rather than to control. Poultry farmers need to be familiar with the causes and symptoms of the various common poultry diseases in order to plan an effective control program.

Fungal Diseases of Poultry

These are poultry diseases caused by fungi e.g. aspergillosis, favus, and mycotoxicosis.

1. Aspergillosis (Brooder Pneumonia)

This is an infectious disease of birds caused by Aspergillus fumigatus. It affects the lungs in chicks, and air sacs in old chickens causing respiratory distress. Wet litter and mouldy feed are common sources of aspergillus infection. Infection may start from the penetration of the eggs by the fungus and incubator contamination.

Symptoms – Noticeable symptoms are difficulty breathing, dyspnea, loss of appetite, and loss of weight.

Control – The most effective control of the disease is by eliminating the sources of infection like wet litter, mouldy feed, and poor hygiene at the hatcheries. House must be well cleaned and disinfected between broods. The house should be well ventilated.

Treatment– There is no cure for affected birds.

Read More: Viral Diseases of Poultry: Symptoms, Control, and Treatments

2. Favus

This fungal disease is caused by a fungus Achorion gallinae or Trichophyton gallinae. It is an infection of the superficial layer of the skin of birds, especially comb and wattle.

Symptoms – While encrusted scabs develop on comb and wattles and it spreads to other parts of the body. The feathers fall out and break off.

Control– Maintain high hygienic standards.

Treatment – Isolate affected birds and treat them by washing the scabs and applying ointments to the affected parts.

Read More: Farm Management Practices and Hygiene in Poultry Production

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