Help With Avian Pox

  • Thread starter Deleted member 94844
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Deleted member 94844

So I am having all sorts of problems with my chickens lately... my barred rock has been suffering with EYP from day one and now seems to weigh a ton. I can barely hold her she is so bloated and heavy. She has laid maybe a half-dozen eggs her entire life and really needs to be culled to make room for productive hens, but I don't have the heart to do it. She also bites me every time I feed them which makes me less sympathetic to her problems. Was hoping she would just shuffle off, but she keeps on keeping on.

My favorite hen Jake was bullied by the others to a bloody pulp and has been living in the house since Thanksgiving. She stopped eating and got wry neck which was so heartbreaking to watch. I managed to nurse her back to health over the past few months. I've been hand-feeding her and supplementing with vitamins and probiotics and she has gotten much better. She is eating on her own and walking around, though she falls down from time to time and still has difficulty with motor coordination. "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!!" Poor thing. I love her and will just carry her around most of the time, which seems to make her very happy.

The dominant black australorp is just annoying and mean.

And today my most productive hen, the runt Rhode Island Red, is showing signs of avian pox. Her comb is suddenly covered with yellow crusty and black blisters. Ugh. So frustrating because she had been so healthy and solid up until now.

I'm tempted to just process the lot (all except Jake, of course), sterilize the coop, and start over again... but these are pets and I just can't do it. Egg production has dropped dramatically the past week (only two were laying already) and is basically down to zero.

So my question is, should I isolate the RIR or is it futile at this point?

Planning to clean and sanitize the coop today and will isolate the chickens while I do (don't want them spreading the virus around the yard if they are carriers). I put some hydrogen peroxide on Red's scabs and will follow up with iodine. Any other topical to suggest?

I also have three baby chicks in the pool house and am worried about them or my ducks catching it. Can this cross over to waterfowl? Will keep the chicks (and Jake) isolated from the other chickens, but I may need to vaccinate them. Does anyone know how long the virus can stay active in soil, etc.?

I was planning to keep Red and Jake and rehome the two problem chickens when the new pullets need to be added to the flock. Unfortunately this is complicating matters.

Any insight and advice appreciated...


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Fowl pox is a virus spread by mosquitoes. It is only spread among the flock by mosquitoes, flies, and if the scabs are scraped or draining. Dry pox is not usually serious, but wet pox can be deadly since it causes lesions in the throat and airway.A picture may confirm fowl pox. Some people have bad cases in their flocks, but I have only had a single scab on one or two chickens, so it all depends on how bad of a case the one chicken has. I'm not sure if pox affects ducks, but it chickens, turkeys, pidgeons, and canaries. Nothing really helps pox lesions, but iodine is commonly used to help dry them out.
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Deleted member 94844

Thanks for the reply. It is definitely avian pox... looks exactly like the top two photos here:

So you don't think isolating the RIR will help?

I have fly traps next to the coop, but we have a pond for the ducks and the bog pump has been acting up – keeps starting and stopping – so the mosquitos seem to be worse this year. I've been bitten a few times myself. Getting some more mosquito eaters to help control it.

Did I already say ugh?? Ugh.
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Deleted member 94844

And it looks like the barred rock with EYP has the pox, too...

Deleted member 94844

And the australorp also has it, just not as bad... so they all have the pox, save for Jake. Will keep her away from the other chickens for the next few weeks.

I cleaned and sanitized the coop, removed all the old straw, sterilized the feeders, bathed all of the chickens, scrubbed their feet, and put iodine on their sores. It looks like the dry kind, so hopefully it will pass by the end of the month. Fingers crossed.
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