Avian pox was first documented in brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) by Ha et al. (2013). The lesions were observed in wild brown kiwi on Ponui Island and were confirmed by PCR analysis.
The National Kiwi Hatchery (NKH) is the largest kiwi incubation, hatching and rearing facility in New Zealand as part of the ‘Operation Nest Egg’ kiwi recovery program. NKH had its first confirmed case of Avian Pox in May 2013. The lesions were found midway down the side of the bill, and the bird was sent down to Massey University for treatment. Prior to this, we had two other birds with lesions on their bill showing exuberant granulation tissue formation, but the biopsy could not confirm that the lesion was initially due to avian pox as there was no active infection.
In 2015 we confirmed our second case of Avian pox via PCR testing and were advised to keep the bird isolated and treat on-site, despite the lesion being very close to the right nostril. This presentation will illustrate our clinical observations and detail what we’ve learnt and the associated changes in husbandry since our first case. Using the four case studies, I will consider factors such as bird origin, age, number of birds on-site and seasonality to develop management protocols to help reduce future occurrences.
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Article written and supplied by Emma Bean
The National Kiwi Hatchery