30 September 2015

Fowl pox

Apparently, fowl pox is going to be an annual event here.  The past two autumns, I had noticed what looked like fungus growing on some chickens' combs ... last month, Lynn mentioned she had looked up fowl pox because a friend of hers said it was on one of her hens' comb.  So, I looked it up also, and yes, this is what went through the flock last October and the autumn before that as well.

Googling for treatment got me this article on fowl pox, and it pretty much sounds like chicken pox in people.  It's a virus, so antibiotics do nothing for it unless the bird is getting so rundown that a secondary bacterial infection tries to take advantage of the weakened immune system, and yes it is possible for a bird to die from it, although most only catch it once.  I haven't seen anything similar to shingles in chickens (which is chicken pox coming back in later adulthood) but I have seen mention of a vaccine for it like is now currently available for chicken pox.

Fowl pox can get ugly if it gets into the mouth, airways, and/or esophagus ... and that is called wet fowl pox.  The dry version stays on the outside with lesions on the face, comb, wattles, earlobes, and even legs and feet.

We'll be doing what we can: bleach-cleaning waterers, feeding fermented scratch twice a day, Nutri-Drench in the water, and vitamin crumbles on top of the wet scratch.  We have abetter chance of getting snowed in under a blizzard than being able to control the mosquito population here.  The neighbor to the north has a dug pond; the property to the south has a dug pond; the property to the west has a natural pond; and the state land to our east has a swamp.  Emptying buckets and wagons and whatnot here on our property does nothing for the number of mosquitoes.

Oh, if anyone wants pictures, there is Google image search.  Just be aware that "wet fowl pox" will get you some graphic photographs of what it looks like on the inside of dead chickens.

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