Fowl Pox?


8 Years
Feb 10, 2011
Hey all I've got a bantam Cochin hen and I pretty sure she has fowl pox but I wanted to get a second opinion. The rest of my flock had it several months ago but it didn't cause they're eyelids to swell like hers. So is it fowl pox or something else?
No one?
Funny you should post that picture. I have some that are looking just like that. I thought at first it was a respiratory infection, and it still might be both. But I am certain it is fowl pox as it is on the comb and around their beak as well. This is the first time I have dealt with either of these.

Does fowl pox ever cause bubbly eyes? I know it can affect their breathing if it is internal. Do the birds act sick with fowl pox? I am just wondering if I both the respiratory issue and fowl pox at the same time. Poor birdies. They just act a little off, some have raspy breathing, and some have the scabs crusting over their eyes. Luckily I have only had one with both eyes affected. She was in the house for a few days until she could see again.
I would say it's fowl pox. My birds all get those scabs on the comb and wattles (and some get the bubbly eye, and you should be sure to clean your rooster's eye on a regular basis with a wet wash cloth if it gets swollen to the point of closing, because if it closes and is left closed, the lids will eventually fuse), and then it goes away in about a month. They all catch it, since my older birds are carriers, but I've never lost any to it, and it just seems to be like human pox.
I am keeping the eyes cleaned, thank you for assuring me that that is a good thing to do. Unfortunately I have about 40 birds that free range all day and I have no way to confine the sick ones from the not sick ones so it will probably go through the entire flock. A few of them just seem a little more quiet than usual, taking their time to leave the roosts in the morning. Is that normal from fowl pox as well?

Does an antibiotic help at all? Is there a possibility of secondary infections?

It has been very cold here (for Californial at least) the last few days and I don't have a heated coop. I don't have any place to put the sick ones as I just lost my chicken shed in a fire. :( There coop is wrapped in tarps so I know at least they are dry. Some choose to sleep on the hay feeders at night, but again, they are at least dry. I just wish I could get them warmer. I have no garage and I lost the shed from a heat lamp so I am not up to doing that again anytime soon.
I would say it's normal for them to act a little under the weather, since mine do, but some are affected more than others. In my experience, medication does not really help, and the virus usually runs its course in a month or so. So I never do anything about it (unless it has affected the eyes), and it eventually goes away, and then the birds are immune. I don't know if secondary infections are possible, but I will mention that the birds I originally vaccinated against it got the full-blown disease later on anyways, so that's why I don't vaccinate. As for separating the sick ones, I don't think it would make much of a difference (unless the sick ones are getting picked on), since all your birds have been exposed to the fowl pox if even one bird has it, so you can probably expect your other birds to get it (although some seem to be immune or just hardy, so they don't get it). I am just speaking from experience, but I don't think it's something you should worry about. It's true that birds can die from fowl pox, but it's also true that children can die from chicken pox, and it's very rare and would have to be very severe to be life-threatening.
  • We've had a heck of a time here in southern California this year with our chickens. Apparently there is a wet and dry form of fowl pox. The dry form is as everyone else has described, but the wet form gets them internally. We've also got tracheolaryngitis (sp) so it is hard to tell what is actually killing some of our banties. We took the chicks that died originally several months ago to a lab and had them tested. Now we don't know if we should vaccinate or not. Has anyone else experienced two diseases simultaneously?
Most of our chickens that got eyes that looked like yours healed up and are fine now. Hopefully everything turns out ok for your chicken.
According to what I read of First State Vet Supply it is not unusual to have both at the same time. I am thinking that I might. I hope all of mine recover; I just lost about 50 chicks in a fire so I don't want to lose anymore; plus my LGD has decided that she needs to chase chickens. I don't think she means to kill them, as she doesn't eat them, but the results are the same. Chickens are not very hardy when it comes to mauling.
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