Hen with entire swollen face help


In the Brooder
Aug 16, 2019
I have a 1.5 year old Australorp with a very swollen face. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on but I think she might be allergic to something, or I could be wrong about it and it could be a disease.


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Not to scare you, but if it's pox not only do you need to isolate the bird but you need to practice safe handling methods. Wear disposable gloves when handling the bird, dispose of bedding and waste in a plastic bag, don't wear shoes from one pen to the next so that you don't cross contaminate.

I had a young turkey with pox last year who did not survive it, though most birds do if they are otherwise healthy. There is external and internal pox and they can have one or both forms of it. Internal pox (lesions inside the mouth and airway) is almost always fatal. If the lesions get into it's eyes, your local feed store can provide you with an opthalmic ointment. Your vet can provide you with an antibiotic to add to it's water to prevent secondary infections. Don't do anything with the lesions and they will dry up and fall off. Best of luck to you. (picture of peep peep below)


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I agree it looks like fowl pox due to the black crusty wary looking things on face and comb. I have had this in my flock on and off for months. It moves slowly from one chicken to the next.

Fowl Pox is a virus. Antibiotics will not cure it or lessen the symptoms. They can however help reduce or eliminate and secondary issues but you have to decide if you want to ‘pretreat’ with antibiotics or not.

Dry pox isn’t a big deal usually if the chicken is otherwise healthy. Wet pox is a different story. It causes lesions in the mouth, throat, etc which can hamper food and water intake.

I suggest you give a good look into the chickens mouth and throat for lesions. Usually yellow or black. Take pics of you can so you can study them easier as well as post here for input. I’d suggest getting a good idea of her weight as well so you can tell if she’s losing weight. If she is you may have to feed assist her by placing food into her mouth and making sure she swallows. Same with water. Maybe give vitamin drops too to boost nutrition.

I’m Not going to lie - it’s time consuming as you need to monitor and assist as needed several times a day IF it’s wet pox to try to nurse her thru this.

First things first though - get a good look into her mouth and throat and post pics.

Here’s hoping they are clear and it’s only a case of dry pox!
Welcome to BYC. I am almost certain that your hen has fowl pox. It is a virus soread by mosquitoes, and it last around 3 weeks. Most chickens recover from it, but sometimes there can be yellow patches inside the beak—known as wet fowl pox— that can be more dedly. It make it painful to eat and drink, and there can be lesions down into the airway, the throat, and crop. Most chickens do not get wet pox. Pox can slowly spread through your flock over months, and the dried scabs may remain infectious as they fall. There is a fowl pox vaccine available for those not yet showing symptoms. Here is a good article to read:

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