Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I think we have Avian Pox.

Ugh. I'm so stressed. I went out to let the girls into their run this morning and I noticed that Maggie's comb and wattles looked dirty. I picked her up and noticed that it wasn't mud - it was little black scabs. I immediately wondered if it was Avian Pox.



So far Clementine and Sookie aren't showing visible symptoms, but they may have the disease since it's very highly contagious. I am not sure if I should quarantine Maggie or just let the disease run its course. I read that it can take weeks to months to run its course and that seems like a long time to keep Maggie in solitary.

I'm new to Avian Pox, but learned a bit about them when Dani (from Gardening Under the Florida Sun) recently dealt with it with her backyard chickens.

I've since read up a bit more on it and have learned a few things about Avian Pox:

1) It's usually transmitted by wild bird or mosquitos. We're very buggy and swampy here so I'm voting for skeeters as the culprit.
2) It's a virus, so you can't do much about it. Antibiotics won't help unless the birds get secondary sores.
3) It's usually not fatal, but can be very uncomfortable for the birds.
4) There are 2 types of this pox. Wet pox and Dry pox. The dry pox is usually survivable for mature birds. The wet pox gets into the mouths and makes it hard for the birds to eat and drink, so you definitely don't want the wet pox. Both are often deadly for chicks.
5) Once the birds recover from Avian (or Fowl) Pox, they're immune.
6) Birds may still lay while sick, but many lay much less or stop completely until recovering.
7) You can put iodine on the scabs to make them dry up quicker.
8) Humans and other furry pets can't catch it.
9) There are some sort of vitamins you can add to their water to help them fight the pox, but I've yet to figure out the details of this one.
10) It just plain sucks.

So here I am converting my chicken coop into an Avian MASH unit and trying to learn what I can about this to try and get my girls through it. If any of you are Pox Pro's, please feel free to leave me any advice or tips in the comments section. Thanks!

21 comments:

Susan said...

Oh dear, I do hope they do not have the pox. Good luck to you.

Dani said...

Hey Kate. It looks just like the pox. :( If you have a feed store near by, call and ask them if they carry Tylan. My vet gave me some and it helps the girls from getting any secondary infections from the sores.

It took The Girlz every bit of a month before they were back to normal.

Email me at dsdorso@msn.com if you need a shoulder. I know it's very scary, but they will pull through no doubt.

Robin said...

Sorry to hear about Maggie. Hopefully she will have a speedy recovery.

Prairie Chicken... said...

why is it strange to me that chickens get chicken pox? lol

sorry about your sick chickens

Ribbit said...

Oh yuck. Poor girls. Hopefully they can recover soon.

Erin said...

Oh, that sux Kate! Wishing you the best in your battle, bad time of year for all this in the heat!

Kelly said...

If you can find a good mineral supplement that may be the best thing. Anything plant derived is great, and it will help the vitamins they are supplemented with or ingest from other sources be absorbed and put to good use.

Maybe try a natural foods store, anything fit for humans should be chicken approved too one would think.

gardeninginheels said...

OMG i think my chicken has this too! There are these stupid big bush turkeys who come around who would have probably given it to her! Oh no!!

Darla said...

i remember reading about dani's experience with this, good luck.

Tricia said...

Oh my, do you know how to KEEP them from getting the pox?

I am sure with your loving care she will pull though with flying feathers.

Dani said...

Don't be surprised if it spreads to their legs. Vera seemed to have more on her legs than the rest of The Girlz.

How are they doin' today?

Kate and Crew said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone!!

Dani - going to the feed store today or tomorrow morning and will ask about Tylan. Thx so much for tip! Today I noticed Sookie has some pox on her, so we've only got one chicken left who still looks "clean" - sigh...

Tricia - apparently you can get your chicken vaccinated against it. I wouldn't know where to go around here to vax a chicken though.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry Kate!

meemsnyc said...

That's terrible news! Hopefully they will be better soon!

Kristen said...

Hi. My husband used to raise all different kinds of birds. He encountered this problem and here is what he did: He mixed Boric Acid and Eucalyptus oil, both from the local drug store. He then applied it directly to the pox. Some of his birds also had the pox in their eyes and he used the same solution as an eye drop. hope this helps...

Cheryl said...

So sorry. Hope they're better now.

TS said...

Fabulous blog and good luck with the chickens. I would love to have chickens in my garden! Not only are they wonderful, but they would horrify my HOA, which would be an awesome bonus!

Stefaneener said...

Poor babies. I hope all goes well. What a thing to deal with.

Danai said...

Hope your chickens are getting through alright! Read your post cause I was googling for pox, my parrot seems to have it :-( and I'm really frustrated.
From what I've read so far after 2 days search over the internet, applying iodine solution on the nodules is the best way to go. Although I'm gonna try the Tylan you've mentioned as an additional support. Hope everything goes well!!

Melissa said...

How are the chickens, Kate?

Anonymous said...

:(i feel the same way! my hen has avian pox and i dont know what to do about it. i hope that your chickens are better soon!!!

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