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Contributions From Awesome Silkie Bantam Chat - A Yahoo Group,
Peter Brown First State Vet Supply
And Alan Stanford, Ph.D.
January 2007

Peter: Maria and I say thanks, you've "kept 'em healthy again."

My Silkie Oscar had a white film on his comb and face.

Peter Brown's first reactions was, "The white film on the face could be Favus which is a contagious fungal disease. You can also get this as well, so be careful and use gloves and a respiratory as a precaution. I would apply Iodine directly to the affected area and see what that does for you."
Response by Kay St Amour

A good friend of mine had Favus in some of his birds. His vet recomended the use of Lotramin which is a human preparation for use on fungal problems. It worked well. Maybe this is what you need.

Oscar's Comb
Response by Peter Brown First State Vet Supply

"It sure looks like Favus to me. This is the best picture that you have sent. I could not really tell from the others."

I would go with the Iodine at this point. You might get some relief if you can find Absorbine Jr. and apply it liberally to the affected areas. This is quite contagious so I would isolate those that have it.
Response by Alan Stanford, Ph.D.

I have seen Favus like the picture of Oscar's comb and, if it spread, it spread slowly. Usually it just looked like a few white spots on the comb which my daughter Alice would pick off.

Another presentation was a white flakey powder on the ear of my hen Maria. (Although I describe it as powder, it clings well and does not flake off.) I didn't know what it was and couldn't do anything about it. About a year and a half later I discovered it had spread to several birds, and worse that that, poor Maria had it all over. It was on the skin of her head down her neck to her back. It was on her comb. It was all over her butt. The skin on the back of her neck was puffy and leathery.

Poor Maria was not very happy and stayed by herself.

Thanks to Peter Brown's input I finally knew the cause. With a show flock, I hesitated to turn the feathers orange with iodine.

I did a lot of research on the internet. The only cure I saw was tolnaftate (the active ingredient in Tinactin.),

I am happy to report that tolnaftate does indeed cure Favus. All of the flock has been cured except Maria and she is getting better day by day. Maria no longer hangs out by herself and clucks like the happy hen she now is.

Yoshiko (wife and chicken mama) discovered that a bath in dandruf shampoo clears off the white powder/gunk of Favus. It doesn't cure Favus, but I think the fungus can hide and survive hidden under the gunk.

Yes, people get Favus. My experience, however, says that in the conditions I keep my flock (clean, dry, and not over crowded) it spreads slowly. I did not (silly me) use special care to avoid spreading it to myself. Perhaps it is not very contagous or perhaps simple precautions like washing hands with soap and water suffice. An aside: Science News reported that, compared to commercial hand sanitizers, washing with soap is more effective.

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