Fowl pox is a contagious viral disease of various bird species including chicken, turkey etc, that causes skin lesions around the comb, wattle, ear lobes, and eyes.
There is also the wet form associated with lesions in the oral cavity and the upper respiratory tract, especially the larynx and trachea.
Fowlpox lesions, when in the respiratory tract can cause difficulty in breathing and even death
Wet pox is more serious and results in higher mortality.
Fowl pox if introduced in a flock can remain up to 10 weeks causing lesions on affected birds.
Fowl pox can cause decrease in productivity in terms of egg and weight.
While the wet form can cause mortality of up to 60% in an unvaccinated flock.
The virus contained in the scabs contaminates the environment and remains infective for several months.
Infection can occur through injured or lacerated skin and through mechanical transmission by biting insect vectors such as mosquitoes.
Flies may deposit the virus in the eyes of susceptible bird.
The wet form seems to be spread by air when birds inhale the virus.
Prevention and control
There is no specific treatment for fowl pox, therefore prevention is the best option.
Employ strict biosecurity measures in your farm.
An effective insect control program should be in place.
Chicken houses and equipment should be well disinfected.
Sharp objects that may cause injuries should be removed from chicken pens.
Vaccinating your flock will certainly introduce the virus to your farm.
Usually vaccination starts after you have had a first case of fowl Pox.
It has been observed that vaccinating birds during a fowl pox outbreak can lead to reduction in losses due to the disease.