Aspergillus or Brooder Pneumonia
Aspergillus is a fungal infection in poultry caused by Aspergillus fumigates. It affects the lungs so the typical chicken is going to be gasping for air and might have eye lesions. Signs of infection are low appetite, weakness, gasping for air, rapid breathing, unusually thirsty birds, drowsiness, eye discharge, weight loss, and on rare occasions nervousness.
There is no real treatment for Aspergillus unless the bird has considerable value then Amphotericin B and Nystatin can be used or any antifungal medication recommended by your vet. Medication usually isn’t going to work and culling is the cheapest option. The best preventatives are dry litter, good sanitation, and in areas where the disease has been a problem you can use Thiabendazole or Nystatin in the feed. Remove wet litter and any signs of mold. Clean the feeders and waterers often.
The spores aren’t passed bird to bird or bird to human but the spores can be inhaled. The mold grows when the litter is wet and the spores spread and are inhaled when it is dry.
Individuals report that garlic ground up and added to the water helps birds survive mild cases of Aspergillus but there haven’t been any scientific studies that we are aware of.
Prevention appears to be the best method of dealing with the disease and culling any infected birds. Keeping good ventilation and .keeping the litter as dry as possible will prevent the mold from ever growing and producing spores.