Information on Fowl Pox, Coccidiosis (Cocci/Coxy) and Mareks Disease

Fowl Pox
Fowl Pox affects birds of all ages, although rare, it can be a serious problem, particularly for a breeder. It is a slow spreading viral infection found in chickens, turkeys and some other forms of poultry. It is spread my mosquitoes.

Signs- Yellow or black warts developing on the comb, wattles and around the face. Sometimes they also cover the feet and legs.

Cause- A viral infection, spread by the bite of a mosquitoe. It is found in birds of all ages, but most particularly those of 6-12 months of age.

Treatment- Fowl Pox is a rare disease, and there is no cure, the scabs will fall off eventually, but can be treated with iodine, to help speed up the healing. Within a few weeks the scabs will fall off, and the disease will run its course.

Found a quote on the Forum from speckledhen:
'Fowl pox will run its course in a couple of weeks and is not a carrier disease. They were probably mosquito bites since that is how fowl pox is spread. You can treat the lesions with iodine, but eventually, they'll heal up anyway.'

Prevention- This disease is cause by poor management. Good hygeine is the key to the prevention of this disease.

Sources- Poultry and Waterfowl Problems by Michael Roberts.

A disease caused found in young stock, who are particularly vunerable at 3-8 weeks, but can affect any bird, of any age. All chickens carry some of these in their gut, but allowed to multiply can result in death.

Signs- White diarrhoea, sometimes with blood found in it, mopey birds, thirsty, sudden death, slow and poor growth, death normally occurs during the night.

Cause- A protozoan parasite, up to 34 different kinds. The eggs are passed out through droppings of an infected bird. The eggs then take residence on another hen in the small intestine, and multiply. High stress and a low immune system, causes rapid death of the stock.

Treatment- A medication called Baytox will usually clear it up, but you may still oose some birds. In some chick started crumbs you will find a coccidiostat, which helps prevent young birds from catching the disease in the future. Some people and major organisations use Paracox in water for the chicks at around a week old, and will be given for a further week.

Prevention- If your birds have access to grass, there isn't really much you can do, but just make sure they hatch early in the year, for Autumn (fall) as the parasite thrives to be in wet grass. Late birds can be raised on concerete or slat to help prevent this problem occuring.

Sources- Poultry and Waterfowl Problems by Michael Roberts

Mareks Disease
Also know as Fowl Paralysis, Mareks Disease affects birds of around 16-20 weeks.

Signs- It is difficult to diagnose without a post-mortem examination. Birds unable to walk, using their wing as a guide, and birds looking off colour and unable to grow.Sometimes they will eat plenty, and very thin, sometimes gaping. According to some research, hens are mainly affected.

Cause- Stress, and the herpes virus cause this disease. Sometimes Mareks disease affects wings and legs, other times it affects the liver kidneys, lungs and heart, making it difficult to diagnose, and diffrentiate between them. The disease is spread by feather dust with is inhaled by the chick/ grower. The incubastion period of the bug is very long, meaning that osme birds die at 18 weeks. When a hen starts laying eggs, and becomes sexually matured, it uis unlikely to catch the disease.

Treatment- There is no treatment once a bird contracts the disease, but vaccination at day old can help prevent this, but is not 100% affective. With a good hygeine it can be prevented though. Using Marexine is a proven vaccination.

Prevention- Dont mix adults and growers or chicks and adults or growers and chicks- it spells trouble. Once vaccinated, chicks should be separated for around 4 or 5 weeks. Dont swap feeders and drinkers. Clean the brooder and building regularly from cobwebs and dust. . If a bird is immune or resitant to the disease, it is still a carrier for life.

Sources- Poultry and Waterfowl Problems by Michael Roberts.

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