Q. What is crop mycosis?

A. The crop is the site where the bird temporarily stores its food before it progresses down the digestive tract. The crop can become invaded by a fungus called Candida albicans, and this disease is known as crop mycosis.

Crop mycosis is often seen when the birds are raised under unsanitary conditions; have been kept on prolonged antibiotic therapy; have another ongoing disease; or are immune compromised.

Normally, a healthy bird can suppress Candida albicans and infections are rare. When one or more of the above mentioned conditions are present, one will begin to notice crop mycosis more frequently in the flock.

(Teresa Y. Morishita is director of the Avion Disease Investigation Laboratory and the Laboratory for Wildlife and Environmental Health at Western University. She is also the director of the Poultry Health Management School, a multistate educational program. Send your questions to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University, 309 E. Second St., Pomona, CA 91766 or e-mail her via Farm and Dairy, at editor@farmanddairy.com)