Aspergillosis is a respiratory disease caused by a fungus called Aspergillus. Although it is mostly found outdoors such as on farms, this type of fungus can survive indoors. Aside from humans, it can also affect chickens and turkeys, but not frequently on pigeons, geese, and ducks.
If your chickens have a fever, experience difficulty in breathing, and continuously cough (especially with blood), they are likely suffering from this type of fungal infection. Other less common symptoms include sore eyes and skin infection.
There are two types of Aspergillosis – acute, which usually affects young chicks; and chronic, which usually affects adult chickens with weak immune systems. Sad to say, some cases may be fatal and can lead to death.
Aspergillus is usually present on farms, soil, decaying vegetation, even in your chicken coops. Although not contagious, chickens that have inhaled significant quantities are very likely to get infected.
Your chicken might not get sick right away, but the spores will remain inactive inside the lungs and air sacs. However, it can easily be triggered by stress or simple illness, and will immediately spread to other organs.
How To Prevent Aspergillosis
So far, there is still no proven treatment yet for commercial flocks because the spores are very hard to destroy completely. However, there are some antifungal agents available, the treatment is lengthy and offers no guarantee of survival.
But don’t worry; you can still protect your chicken from this deadly disease. The best prevention method is to have proper storage of feeds. You should also avoid wet litter or moldy soil, and increase air ventilation. For the eggs, fumigate them before placing them inside the incubator.