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Other Names: Avian Dermatophytosis, Avian Ringworm
Favus or avian ringworm is a fungal skin infection caused by a group of zoophilic fungi called dermatophytes. Microsporum gallinae (also known as Lophophyton gallinae) is the most common species isolated from cases of favus in chickens.
Affected chickens may initially develop white, powdery spots and wrinkled crusts with scabs along their comb and wattles. As the infection progresses, the fungus will start to spread to other areas of the head, causing the skin to thicken and appear crusty and scaly. In long-standing or severe cases it may result in permanent damage to the beak and eyelids.
Dermatophytes are transmitted to chickens through direct or indirect contact with skin of other infected birds, animals, insects, people, soil, or fomites (equipment, objects, clothes, etc.).
Ringworm is usually successfully treated using basic over-the-counter topical fungicidal medications. The medication may be in the form of a powder, ointment, or cream. It’s applied directly to the affected areas of the bird.