A few days ago, an up and coming chicken friend of mine messaged me about chick questions and a pale comb on the mother hen. When she sent me a picture of the hen, I knew immediately the signs of Dry Fowl Pox. Dry Fowl Pox is a viral infection that affects featherless parts on the chicken or other foul, the comb and waddles, legs/feet, characterized by scab-like lesions. Although dry pox is not considered deadly, it is concerning and contagious, this virus does not transfer to other animals or humans. Biosecurity is extremely important, meaning birds should be quarantined to prevent spreading to the entire flock. Although, if caught when the lesions have already started scabbing over, it is probably too late and your entire flock should be treated. Prevention of dry pox includes eliminating mosquito breeding habitats and limiting wild birds (ex. crows/black birds) access to the same free ranging area as your chickens. Birds can transmit the virus through feces/droppings. Honestly, I don't have many wild birds around, some mocking birds and doves in the front part of my property, but my chickens very rarely go further than my front yard.
The link below can provide further information on both dry and wet fowl pox from Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.
Figure 1 – Numerous pox lesions on the comb. Courtesy of Dr. H. John Barnes, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.
Figure 2 – Coalescing pox lesions of the eyes, comb, and nares. Courtesy of Dr. H. John Barnes, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.
Figure 3 – Pox lesions in the mouth. Courtesy of Dr. H. John Barnes, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.
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Tagged With: Avian, fowl, Gonzales, poultry, poultry diagnostics, TVMDL, Virology, virus