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!