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Other Names: Favus, Dermatophytosis, Avian Ringworm
Ringworm, also referred to as favus, is a fungal skin infection caused by a fungus--or more specifically a group of fungi called dermatophytes. The most common dermatophyte species that infect chickens are Microsporum gallinae and Trichophyton megini.
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 their head, causing the skin to thicken and appear crusty and scaly. In long-standing or severe cases it may result in permanent damage to their 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.