What's wrong with my chicken? Fowl pox? [pictures]

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RRLaney, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. RRLaney

    RRLaney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Round Rock, TX
    So we've stumbled on a new one...seems like there's always something! Let the hens out of the coop this morning to find one of my favorite girls covered in giant bumps on her face and comb. I didn't see anything unusual on her legs. I watched her for a while and she seemed to eat and drink normally this morning. After further inspection of the flock I found one more of her coopmates with a couple bumps on her comb. And one other hen from the other coop (they don't sleep together but they interact during the day together) with one or two bumps on her comb. I've done a little research but I'm busy at work today so I wasn't hoping to get some opinions and basic info from y'all.
    Is it fowl pox? Or something else?
    Do most breeders vaccinate for that? Is it too late for me to vaccinate my flock?
    Is there any medication I can give her?
    What is the prognosis generally? Will my babies be okay?

    As an extra precaution I also cleaned the coops extra good and sprayed for mites and such and put out lots of DE sand baths in case this is a pest issue.

    Please help!

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    My poor Margaery!
    (Sorry i know they aren't the best pictures!)
     
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    Yes, appears to be dry fowlpox. Here's a basic list of things you need to know:
    1. Open the affected birds' mouths and check for cheesy white material in the throat. This is a sign of wet fowlpox, which can be more hazardous to the birds' lives.
    2. Good news is, if it's dry pox only, the birds are almost certain to survive. They will not get the disease again, but could become carriers. You'll need to make sure the open wounds on the comb do not become infected. Your birds immune systems will be compromised during the disease, so secondary infections (such as respiratory diseases) are possible. Keep their immune systems strong with probiotics, extra-clean coops, and apple cider vinegar.
    3. Egg production in your flock will drop. Each bird will have the bumps for around 2-3 weeks.
    4. Expect every single bird in your flock to get the disease-it's highly contagious. The bumps will, within a week or so, rupture and become scabs. The scabs will then fall off. The scabs contain the disease and can be contagious to new birds up to a year. Also, the disease is transmitted through mosquitoes and an infected bird's dander.
    5. You vaccinate for the disease when the chickens are around 10 weeks old. There is a vaccine that can be administered to day-old chicks, but you'll still need to do a booster shot when they're around 10 weeks old (I'm not sure if this is a vaccine on breeders' vaccination schedule). Since your current flock will be immune to the disease, you won't have to vaccinate them. However, you should vaccinate all new birds that come onto your property.

    Fowlpox is a menace! Where I live, the disease is prevalent (we've got lotsa mosquitoes, which carry the disease) and I have to vaccinate all chickens. If you need advice on vaccination, I can give you a few tips I've learned. Hope your birdies are feeling better soon! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  3. RRLaney

    RRLaney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @beetandsteet
    Thank you so much, that's incredibly helpful! :bow
    I did put ACV in all the water bowls this morning (normally it's only in the coop waterers).
    I am so glad to hear that it's probably not fatal! I'll keep a close eye and double my cleaning efforts during all of this!

    We are in central Texas, so like you we have tons of mosquitos! (I got bit 8 times just taking care of the girls this morning!) I had read that's a problem with spreading fowl pox. Thinking about growing citronella near the coops maybe...

    I'm going to text my breeder and ask if she vaccinated for fowl pox (the one that has it the worst we adopted from a friend so not sure where she came from), but hoping the rest of the flock is! I think we are at max chicken capacity for now but in the future I'll definitely vaccinate my new chickens. If you have any info or advice thats awesome. Otherwise I'll research more about that when the time comes.
     
  4. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to help!
    Yes, good old fall mosquito problems. It's so dry where I live, we haven't had the usual fall invasion, but some birds in my flock are carriers, so my 25 new lil dudes will still need their 10 week shot.
    The important thing to understand about the Fowlpox shot is that it's a live virus. Overdosing the vaccine, giving it to less-than-healthy birds, or not correctly handling the vaccine can actually cause the illness in the birds. It's a wing-stab vaccine, and the little stabber comes with the vaccine. Make sure you have a stab that is for chickens, not turkeys (the chicken one is much smaller). Vaccinate when the chickens are 10 weeks, and only if they're healthy. Monitor the injection site 5-7 days after to see if there are any "takes" (if the vaccine is working, it will look like they have a little fowlpox under their wing.) Here's a picture of where to inject the vaccine:
    [​IMG]
    Dip the stabber in the diluted vaccine, stab it completely through the wing web of the bird (make sure it's not in the bone or muscle), then wipe the stab tool off for the next one.
    Good luck with your flock! :)
     
  5. RRLaney

    RRLaney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're the best! Thanks again!

    Also I confirmed with my chicken breeder that she vaccinates as long as they were old enough when we got them. All of the chickens we got from her were at least 12 weeks old so hoping they're good.
    Just confused cause I think I saw a a few bumps on one of the ones we got from her. Can a chicken still get it if they've been vaccinated? Or maybe a mild case of it?
     
  6. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vaccination is not 100% effective, but it does certainly make their cases much milder. Some breeders may not vaccinate until a little later than 10 weeks, or perhaps the birds may not have responded to the vaccine. Lots of variables.
     
  7. RRLaney

    RRLaney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gotcha, that makes sense. I confirmed with the breeder that all the hens I got from her were vaccinated. She said she's had a nasty outbreak of it this year too, maybe a different strain of fowl pox. She also said I can revaccinate the rest of the flock that's not showing symptoms yet if I want. Is that a good idea? Or worth it?
     
  8. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
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    You can certainly do that, or you can just let them all get the disease which will have the same effect--they won't ever get it again. The vaccine is going to run you around $30, including 2-day shipping. It doses 1000 birds (waaaaay more than what we need!). Some people have managed to stop an outbreak of fowlpox by vaccinating the birds that haven't gotten it yet.
     
  9. RRLaney

    RRLaney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome, thanks for all your advice. I think I'll just do that, let it run its course through the flock and hope the vaccinated ones don't get it or only get a mild form of it. Just gonna get some vitamins and electrolytes, keep using ACV, and have a little antibiotics on hand in case of secondary infections caused by their weakened immune systems. We already have a second chicken covered in bumps. Poor things. Hope they're not too miserable during the pox...
     

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