Dry fowl pox turning into weird molting and pale combs? Oh gosh...

Daniellebell1

Chirping
May 14, 2020
46
124
89
Hello chickenfriends,
My little flock of 4 had a brief spell of dry fowl pox. All 4 of them got it within a few days of each other, mostly just a couple of white then black spots on their combs, wattles, or ears. We did a major coop and yard clean-up, scoured the coop floor, changed out all the bedding, and picked up any stray feathers we could find.But Ruth's stayed bad, and spread into icky wart-looking things all over her beautiful comb. And now Ruth is looking worse. Her comb has gone pale and sortof stiff, and her wattles and ears are also pale. And worse, she has lost feathers in a ring around her neck. At first I thought she was just molting, but it's a distinct ring at her neck and now around her eyes. She looks like a turkey!!

Other potentially useful info:
As far as I can tell, she does not have wet pox. She is still eating. I suspect she is not laying, but can't tell specifically because all 4 ladies use the same nesting box. We got them in late March or early April. And the lovely folks of this community helped us figure out that she is a Partridge Rock. Below are pictures of her from different angles...she's our shyest bird, so it's a little tough to get a good shot. The last picture is one of my spouse holding Zippy, one of our other hens whose comb is a happy red-pink, for comparison. Oh, and we are in New Orleans...the climate is pretty wet, but not terribly cold. The chickens roost in a coop at night and free-range in our backyard during the day.


Help, dear wise fowl friends? What's going on with my poor Ruthie? And what can I do to help her feel better?
warmly,
Danielle
 

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Daniellebell1

Chirping
May 14, 2020
46
124
89
Uh oh...I just looked it up, and the internet says chickens don't usually have their first molt until 18 months or so. Ruth is only about 9 months old. 😬 🥺
 

Daniellebell1

Chirping
May 14, 2020
46
124
89
OK...I did some more digging on this site, and it looks like a 9-month mini molt is not unusual. Phew!! Y'all...I think she's gonna make it. :D
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,134
35,381
933
Belding, MI
My three 9 month old pullets are all going through a mini molt, mostly their head/neck area, and the "flag" part of their tales. The one who is the farthest along is looking great, so it's worth it!
 

Daniellebell1

Chirping
May 14, 2020
46
124
89
It's crazy because I've seen pics of other chickies molting, but when it was my own munchkin, I got so scared! Thank you both for the reassurance 💜
 

MrsEBear

Hatching
Jul 19, 2021
1
0
1
Hello chickenfriends,
My little flock of 4 had a brief spell of dry fowl pox. All 4 of them got it within a few days of each other, mostly just a couple of white then black spots on their combs, wattles, or ears. We did a major coop and yard clean-up, scoured the coop floor, changed out all the bedding, and picked up any stray feathers we could find.But Ruth's stayed bad, and spread into icky wart-looking things all over her beautiful comb. And now Ruth is looking worse. Her comb has gone pale and sortof stiff, and her wattles and ears are also pale. And worse, she has lost feathers in a ring around her neck. At first I thought she was just molting, but it's a distinct ring at her neck and now around her eyes. She looks like a turkey!!

Other potentially useful info:
As far as I can tell, she does not have wet pox. She is still eating. I suspect she is not laying, but can't tell specifically because all 4 ladies use the same nesting box. We got them in late March or early April. And the lovely folks of this community helped us figure out that she is a Partridge Rock. Below are pictures of her from different angles...she's our shyest bird, so it's a little tough to get a good shot. The last picture is one of my spouse holding Zippy, one of our other hens whose comb is a happy red-pink, for comparison. Oh, and we are in New Orleans...the climate is pretty wet, but not terribly cold. The chickens roost in a coop at night and free-range in our backyard during the day.


Help, dear wise fowl friends? What's going on with my poor Ruthie? And what can I do to help her feel better?
warmly,
Danielle
Danielle, how did this turn out for your chickens? The exact same thing is happening to my 14 month old birds now. Pox, pale combs, losing feathers around the necks. Its like i could have written your post, haha. AND we are in Covington, LA!! Did your birds survive this? We have a couple leg horns acting extremely lethargic. Did you do anything in particular to help them that seemed to work? Appreciate any guidance since you have been through this exact thing. We have a flock of 11 and it seems that all 10 hens have it, rooster seems ok so far.

Morgan
 

Daniellebell1

Chirping
May 14, 2020
46
124
89
@MrsEBear , hello!
Yes, they did all survive (phew!) I was the most worried about Ruth, but she pulled through splendidly. I am not an expert (this is my first little flock, and I have so much to learn,) but here is what I figured out: being ill is stressful. Combine that with this interminable rain we've been having (I know y'all are sick of it on the Northshore too), and that makes for unhappy chickens, susceptible to stress-molting. Dun dun dunnnnn.

So the biggest thing you can for them do is figure out how to reduce their stress. For me, that meant putting extra effort into keeping their water cool, and making sure they got high-protein treats (usually their own eggs, scrambled) Since Ruth was having the worst time, and was the bottom of the pecking order, sometimes I would take her aside and feed her from my hand, just to make sure she was getting enough. I think a major problem this summer is the awful humidity and relentless rain, so I think that's another place to focus--making sure they have plenty of access to somewhere dry and cozy.

It took a month or so to clear up, but Ruth emerged even prettier than she had been before. The only bit in your post that makes me worry is the lethargy. My instinct would be to isolate your two leghorns, since that could indicate something more serious?
 

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