Fowl pox is a viral disease spread by the bites of mosquitoes. The infection leads to warty nodules on the bare or non-feathered parts of the head and legs and sometimes lesions in the beak, nostrils and throat. It depends on location, but pox is referred to as either skin pox or 'wet' pox.
The most common outbreak is the skin form, showing warty-like eruptions. Pale lumps form yellow bumps which may enlarge and run together forming masses of yellow crusts. It takes about a week for these scabs to darken and fall off.
The 'wet' pox form shows up in the beak, nostrils and throat as cheesy masses which interfere with eating and breathing.
Treatment is of little value. Lesions normally heal within 4 weeks. In severe cases it may be necessary to remove scabs and treat with antiseptic washes. Adding water soluble vitamin tonic powder to the flocks water source will help them fight this off.
Warm salt water can be used to clean off nostrils and beaks. The addition of 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar to each gallon of water can help reduce mucus but must not be mixed with the vitamin tonic.
Prevention by reducing exposure to mosquitoes is the best defense. Screening sheds and coops and by dealing with mosquito habitats. Vaccination is effective and warranted
once you are aware that this is prevalent in your area. Consider this when adding to the flock in subsequent seasons.
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