Common diseases affecting racing pigeons. The first of a series - Ornithosis

Posted by Dave Page on

Common diseases Affecting Racing Pigeons. The first of a series.


Ornithosis starts as a watery eye which quickly goes sticky or purulent due to secondary infection.

Ornithosis is caused by a Chlamydial organism.

A large percentage of pigeons in a flock carry chlamydia in their blood stream. The cause of ‘one eyed cold’ is usually due to for example a new pigeon entering a loft will undergo stress, this causes a shedding of the infective chlamydia.

The other birds in the loft are susceptible since they would not have immunity to the newly introduced chlamydia.

Other main stress factors are;

  • Overcrowding
  • Other diseases e.g canker, cocci, worms, salmonella infection, racing especially after a long & hard race & a heavy mite infection.
Chlamydia is spread by an infected bird through minute water droplets, droppings that fall into drinking water, nasal discharge.


We must look to finding what may have been the cause of the infection i.e other diseases, poor ventilation. We need to rectify & then treat.

For individual pigeon treatment, tetracycline eye ointment, for flock treatment, Aureomycin powder via the drinking water. All pigeons must be treated since it is not possible to identify carriers for a period of 5 to 7 days.

Written by Mr S.D Samrai

0121 5056370

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