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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Breast Buttons in Poultry

By Frederic J. Hoerr, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DACPV, Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology, LLC

Breast buttons develop in a location similar to that of breast blisters (see Breast Blisters in Poultry). They have a localized, hard crust on the surface and a core of dead skin and chronic inflammation extending into the subcutis. The cause is not well defined, but a breast button may start as a chemical burn due to prolonged contact of poorly feathered skin with wet litter containing ammonia or toxins. The presence of good quality, dry litter is associated with a reduced number of affected turkeys.