Fowlpox is a poultry disease, which is usually caused by viruses of the family Poxviridae and the genus Avipoxvirus. It is a viral disease in birds characterized by wart-like lump on the skin and diphtheritic necrotic membranes lining the mouth and upper respiratory system. These viruses mostly affect chickens, turkeys, quail, canaries, pigeons, and many other species of birds. The viruses causing fowlpox are different from one another but similar antigenically.
This disease can easily spread through from one bird to another in the following ways:
• It can easily be contacted from fowl pox wounds on affected birds.
• Biting insects (especially mosquitoes) can carry the virus from one bird to another.
• It can also spread through the air (if the birds inhales’ it).
The disease may occur in any age of bird, at any time. It usually spreads slowly.
Symptoms of Fowl Pox
• Affected young birds are retarded in growth.
• Laying birds experience a drop in egg production.
• Birds of all ages that have respiratory system involvement have difficulty eating and breathing.
• Dry pox starts as small whitish foci that develop into wart-like lumps. They are mostly seen on the featherless parts of the body (comb, wattles, ear lobes, eyes, and sometimes the feet).
• Wet pox is associated with the oral cavity and the upper respiratory tract, particularly the larynx and trachea.
Fowl Pox Prevention:
• Mosquitoes serve as carriers of this disease. You have to reduce mosquitoes in your environment, because regular supervision and sanitation practices will not prevent the disease.
• Fowl pox is mostly prevented by vaccination. However, vaccination is recommended for long-lasting chickens, like the egg layers and breeders.
• Always clean the poultry.
• Safety measures should be taken when administering the vaccine, because the pox vaccine usually produces a mild form of the disease. The vaccine should be given to only healthy birds.
• It is strongly recommended that all chickens in a house be vaccinated on the same day.
• The vaccine must be applied only to the vaccination spot, and precautions should be taken to prevent contamination of other parts of the chicken, the premises and the equipment.
I’m sure these will provide protection to your chickens against this disease.