How to translate text using browser tools
1 March 2007 Pathologic Findings in Racing Pigeons (Columba livia domestica) With “Young Bird Sickness”
Francis T. Scullion, Mary Geraldine Scullion
Author Affiliations +

“Young bird sickness” is a term used by racing pigeon fanciers to describe a condition that has occurred regularly in recent years and affects pigeons (Columba livia domestica) in their first year of life. It is characterized by slow crop emptying, regurgitation, diarrhea, weight loss, poor performance, and occasionally death. Little scientific information is known about this syndrome to differentiate it from other diseases that occur in young pigeons. In this study, 1 bird from each of 9 lofts where “young bird sickness” was reported was euthanatized for cytologic and postmortem examination. Lesions of the lymphoreticular system, alimentary tract, and respiratory system were the most common findings. Lesions of the lymphoreticular system were present in all birds examined, and 3 birds had histopathologic findings consistent with circovirus infection. Combinations of protozoal, fungal, and mixed bacterial infections were associated with ingluvitis in 7 birds and enteritis in 6 birds. Pneumonitis was found in 5 birds that tested positive for Chlamydophila by polymerase chain reaction. Although “young bird sickness” appears to be a multifactorial condition, a pattern of lesions that involved the lymphoreticular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems was evident, whereas diseases of other organ systems were uncommon. These findings suggest that “young bird sickness” may have a common etiology, and circovirus infection is proposed as a possible initiating cause of this syndrome in young racing pigeons in Northern Ireland.

Francis T. Scullion and Mary Geraldine Scullion "Pathologic Findings in Racing Pigeons (Columba livia domestica) With “Young Bird Sickness”," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 21(1), 1-7, (1 March 2007).[1:PFIRPC]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 March 2007
Columba livia
racing pigeons
young bird sickness
Get copyright permission
Back to Top