Chicken Fanciers Disease?


12 Years
Nov 1, 2010
Northern L.P. Michigan
This is a human disease, has anyone dealt with it before, and what kind of outcome. My son was having trouble breathing two days ago and they said it was asthma. Now after the dr. has seen x ray and blood work he says its Chicken Fanciers. My son isn't allowed near our birds. Let's just say he is heartbroken and I'm not sure what to think. This was one thing that we both love. From the medical reading material it doesn't sound like he will be able to be around them in the future. Anyone have any experience?


13 Years
Oct 31, 2008
West Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
My husband is allergic to parrots and had asthma like symptoms when his roommate had one in college, but he does not have that reaction to chickens. I'm sorry about your son's reaction.


11 Years
Apr 11, 2011
I've never even heard of Chicken Fanciers disease, is it an allergy to bird dander? Or is it like histoplasmosis (which I believe you get from inhaling poop dust- and has symptoms like allergies or a cold)?


B & M Chicken Ranch
8 Years
Jun 17, 2011
Morristown, AZ
From Wiki...'s_lung

Bird fancier's lung is a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by bird droppings. The lungs become inflamed with granuloma formation.

Bird Fancier's Lung (BFL), also called bird-breeder's lung and pigeon-breeder's lung, is a subset of Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). This disease is caused by the exposure to avian proteins present in the dry dust of the droppings and sometimes in the feathers of a variety of birds. It is mainly present in bird droppings, however. Birds such as pigeons, parakeets, parrots, turtle doves, turkeys and chickens have been implicated.

Risk of Infection

People who work with birds or own many birds are at risk. Bird hobbyists and pet store workers may also be at risk.


This disease is an inflammation of the air sacks in the lungs. If someone with BFL has been exposed to bird excreta they will see symptoms with in 4–6 hours. Symptoms include chills, fever, non-productive cough and chest discomfort. In the chronic form there is usually anorexia, weight loss, and progressive interstitial fibrosis which is the most disabling feature of the disease. This condition is occasionally fatal.


BFL symptoms improve in the absence of the birds which caused the disease. An inhalation test and X-ray test are available to confirm whether someone has the disease or not. Steroids are used to treat a person with BFL. However, BFL may reoccur when in contact with birds.


Hargreave FE, Pepys J, Longbottom JL, Wraith DG. (1966). "Bird breeder's (fancier's) lung". Proc R Soc Med 59 (10): 1008. PMC 1901065. PMID 6005979.

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