Many diseases can spread through your flock. But none are harder to get rid of than fowlpox. If you have landed on this site, chances are you are looking for answers for your chickens. We will not only talk about 12 home remedies for fowlpox in chickens. But we will also talk more about how to identify and prevent it.
What Is fowlpox?
Fowlpox in chickens is a slow-spreading viral disease. There are two forms of fowlpox, but the same virus causes them. Dry fowlpox affects the skin with sores that form a thick scab. Wet fowlpox is mostly characterized by lesions within the mouth that can cause internal organ damage.
How Do Chickens Get It?
Chickens can get fowlpox in two different ways: the first being a mosquito bite carrying the disease, and the second from other chickens. If you have recently added new chickens to your flock, this is likely the cause. Otherwise, it is probable that a mosquito carried the disease to your flock, and will continue to spread.
The most common symptoms other than noticeable scabs are:
- a decrease in egg productivity
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- and swelling of the face.
If your bird has any of these symptoms, you should check thoroughly for sores on the wattle, comb, and around the eyes. The sores will look more like giant pimples with a thick scab. If your chicken doesn’t have these, you should check in the mouth for yellow sores inside the mouth. These can be hard to find, so grab an extra pair of hands to help secure the chicken.
Now, we can start talking about 12 home remedies for fowlpox in chickens. These remedies can help ease your chickens and make them feel better. In some cases, it might prevent further infection from happening. But none of these remedies will cure the virus. It will ultimately have to run its coarse and heal itself. All you can do is make them comfortable.
Every chicken owner should keep a bottle of liquid iodine in their first aid kits. Iodine for fowlpox can speed up the healing process and prevent a bacterial infection. When applying iodine, dilute a few drops into spring water and apply with a q-tip or cotton ball.
Another great tool to have is Vetericyn. Spraying a little Verercyn on dry fowlpox can help create a barrier that bacteria and dirt can’t penetrate. If your chicken has dry fowlpox, this will be your biggest concern. Always keep the sores clean, dry, and protected with this antibiotic spray.
Don’t forget that if your chicken has wet fowlpox, it can be challenging to eat. Watering down some pelleted food and spoon feeding is a great way to keep them healthy. Your chicken will need all the nutrients she can get to recover. Some owners will even add electrolytes to the water to make sure that they are well-hydrated.
When a chicken has fowlpox, the blisters appear first and then pop. Once they have popped, the fluid and scab is a carrier of fowlpox. Some people have used toothpaste for fowlpox to dry the sores out quicker to prevent spreading.
Vitamins are essential to a sick chicken, especially if they are not eating. Using the proper vitamins, you could increase your chicken’s immune system to fight off the virus faster. Some common vitamins that you should give are vitamins A, D, E, and B12. For lethargic chickens, a boost of D3 can have excellent results. Poly-Vi-Sol is a vitamin D3 supplement for babies that comes in a convenient dropper. Adding a few drops of this to their water or directly in their mouths could perk them up some.
Essential oils are a natural healing and antimicrobial method used for thousands of years. Some of the most common essential oils for fowlpox are lavender, oregano, and thyme. All of these oils have healing elements to them that help with inflammation. Oregano and thyme are also immune-boosting and a natural antibiotic. If you combine a few drops of these oils with coconut oil, you could create a salve that heals the sores faster.
While fowlpox is a viral infection, some chicken owners treat with antibiotics as well. The reason for this is to prevent more harmful diseases from entering into the open sores. But there is a word of caution to this. Giving too many antibiotics will build up a resistance should you need them later.
If you are looking for a natural antiviral, you need echinacea. Echinacea is packed with antioxidants to improve the immune system. And in recent studies, it is thought to be a natural antiviral. Just add some dried petals and leaves directly to their food for some added immunity.
Not to be confused with essential oils, edible oregano oil can be great to heal from the inside out. Oregano oil can be soothing to internal distress and is anti-inflammatory. Oregano oil is also thought to increase immunities and a natural antibiotic. And you don’t have to worry about your chickens building up immunities to it.
Turmeric is antioxidant-packed and can have a calming effect when ingested. Using Turmeric for fowlpox can be beneficial to calming a stressed chicken. Mixing a little turmeric powder into their water or food can improve your chickens’ health and boost immunities.
For sores in sensitive areas, Neosporin without pain-killers is the way to go. You can easily dap Neosporin in the corners of the mouths and around the eyes without fear of hurting your chickens. It can also be used on all skin sores. Neosporin can keep bacteria out of the sores and help to heal the wounds faster.
And our final cure in the 12 home remedies for fowlpox in chickens. Licorice has a naturally occurring element called glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin is known as an antiviral in homeopathic remedies. Because of this, some chicken feed brands have started adding small amounts of licorice to prevent diseases. But if you have access to natural licorice, you can add it directly into your chicken feed yourself.
The only way to successfully prevent fowlpox in chickens is by vaccinating. You can give the fowlpox vaccine to chickens by eight weeks old with the first booster. If one of your chickens is showing fowlpox symptoms, but the others aren’t, you might be able to vaccinate still.
But for this to work, you will have to catch the disease in very early stages. Since fowlpox is so slow-moving, your other chickens probably already have it but show no signs.
Another way to prevent fowlpox is to quarantine any new birds for at least 30 days before adding them to your flock. If, after 40 days, there are no signs, they are safe to add once vaccinated. If your new chicken starts showing fowlpox signs, it is easier to treat one chicken rather than an entire flock.
Next, natural bug repellents will help keep mosquitos at bay. Using plants like basil, thyme, rosemary, peppermint, and marigolds are excellent repellents. And you can use these herbs for yourself or your chickens. Chickens love to eat these plants, and it gives them excellent foraging opportunities. In addition to repellents, you also need to make sure you aren’t attracting mosquitos. Clean the water dishes daily and drain any standing water in the area will help immensely.
Once any chicken comes down with fowlpox, you should remove them from the flock. Disinfecting the entire coop and run should also be done immediately to prevent it from spreading. Most flocks become infected with fowlpox by ingesting the contagious scabs of sick birds. You will need to take extra precautions to get all possible areas clean.
Can FowlPox Kill Chickens?
It’s not common for chickens to die from fowlpox. It is such a slow-moving disease that most owners catch it before it progresses. Most chickens get better within 3-5 weeks, but occasionally it can last longer. Keeping the sores clean is a vital part of getting over this disease to prevent a bacterial infection along with it.
If your chicken has wet fowlpox kills on average 50-60% more. Wet fowlpox can create lesions in the respiratory and GI tracts that can get infected. Once these lesions develop, it can be challenging for a chicken to come back from it.
What About The Eggs?
Can you eat eggs from chickens with fowlpox? Fowlpox cannot transmit to humans, so the eggs are technically safe for you to eat. But, if you are medicating, sometimes the eggs are inedible. This is most common in antibiotics and some pain killers. But if you are treating only topically or with natural homeopathic remedies, your eggs should be OK to eat.
Recovering From FowlPox
It can seem like a long hard road to recovery with fowlpox in chickens. But with these 12 home remedies for fowlpox in chickens, your chickens will feel better sooner. And with the fowlpox vaccine, you can prevent this from happening ever again.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!