Fowl Pox in Chickens: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Fowl Pox in chickens is a viral disease that affects chickens and other poultry birds worldwide. It is caused by the Avipoxvirus and can lead to significant economic losses in commercial poultry operations. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Fowl Pox to help poultry owners effectively manage this disease.

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Understanding Fowl Pox in Chickens

What is Fowl Pox in chickens?

Fowl Pox, also known as Avian Pox or Avipoxvirus infection, is a viral disease that primarily affects chickens but can also infect turkeys, quails, and other bird species. It is characterized by the development of distinct lesions on the skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract.

fowl pox in chickens

Causes of Fowl Pox in Chickens

Fowl Pox is caused by the Avipoxvirus, which belongs to the Poxviridae family. The virus has two main forms: the cutaneous form, which affects the skin and feather follicles, and the diphtheritic form, which affects the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive tracts.

Transmission of Fowl Pox in Chickens

Fowl Pox is primarily transmitted through direct contact with infected birds or contaminated materials. Mosquitoes and other blood-feeding insects can also act as mechanical vectors, transmitting the virus from infected birds to healthy ones.

Symptoms of Fowl Pox in Chickens

Cutaneous Form

The cutaneous form of Fowl Pox is characterized by the development of wart-like growths or lesions on the unfeathered parts of the chicken’s body, such as the comb, wattles, eyelids, and feet. These lesions can range in size and may become dry, scaly, and crusty over time.

Diphtheritic Form

The diphtheritic form of Fowl Pox affects the mucous membranes, particularly those lining the respiratory and digestive tracts. Chickens with this form may exhibit symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and the presence of yellowish-white plaques or lesions in the mouth, throat, and trachea.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Veterinary Examination

If Fowl Pox is suspected, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance for a proper diagnosis. A veterinarian can examine the affected birds, evaluate the symptoms, and collect samples for laboratory testing to confirm the presence of the Avipoxvirus.

Supportive Care

There is no specific treatment for Fowl Pox. The disease is self-limiting, and affected chickens will usually recover on their own within a few weeks. However, supportive care measures can be taken to ensure the well-being of infected birds, such as providing a stress-free environment, offering nutritious feed and water, and keeping them protected from secondary infections.

healthy chicken cock

Prevention and Control


Vaccination is an essential tool in preventing and controlling Fowl Pox outbreaks. Commercial vaccines are available and can provide immunity against the disease. It is recommended to vaccinate chickens at a young age to establish protection before potential exposure.

Biosecurity Measures

Implementing strict biosecurity measures is crucial in preventing the introduction and spread of Fowl Pox. These measures include controlling access to the flock, practicing good hygiene, preventing contact with wild birds, and disinfecting equipment and facilities regularly.

Vector Control

Controlling the population of mosquitoes and other potential vectors is vital in reducing the transmission of Fowl Pox. Measures such as eliminating standing water sources, using insecticides, and employing physical barriers can help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne infections. Use a good chicken waterer.

Managing Fowl Pox Outbreaks

Isolation and Quarantine

During an outbreak, infected birds should be isolated from the rest of the flock to prevent further spread of the virus. Quarantine measures should be implemented to prevent the introduction of the disease to unaffected flocks.


Thorough disinfection of the premises, equipment, and materials is essential to eliminate the virus and minimize the risk of reinfection. Use appropriate disinfectants recommended for viral pathogens and follow the instructions for effective disinfection.


Fowl Pox is a viral disease that can affect chickens and other poultry birds, causing significant economic losses and health issues. Understanding the causes, symptoms, prevention, and control measures is crucial for poultry owners to manage and minimize the impact of Fowl Pox outbreaks in their flocks. By implementing appropriate biosecurity measures, vaccination, and proper care, poultry farmers can protect their birds and maintain a healthy flock.


  1. Can humans contract Fowl Pox?
    • No, Fowl Pox is not known to affect humans. It is specific to poultry birds and does not pose a risk to human health.

2How long does it take for chickens to recover from Fowl Pox?

  • The recovery period for chickens affected by Fowl Pox can vary. Generally, it takes a few weeks for the lesions to heal and for the chickens to fully recover. However, the duration of recovery may depend on various factors, including the severity of the infection and the overall health of the birds.
  1. Can Fowl Pox be spread through eggs?
    • No, Fowl Pox is not transmitted through eggs. The virus is primarily spread through direct contact with infected birds or through insect vectors.
  2. Is there a cure for Fowl Pox?
    • There is no specific cure for Fowl Pox. The disease is self-limiting, and infected chickens typically recover on their own. Supportive care measures can be taken to ensure the well-being of the affected birds during the recovery period.
  3. Can vaccinated chickens still get Fowl Pox?
    • While vaccination provides protection against Fowl Pox, breakthrough infections can still occur in some cases. However, vaccinated chickens generally experience milder symptoms and recover more quickly compared to unvaccinated birds. Vaccination plays a crucial role in reducing the severity and spread of the disease within a flock.
About the Author
The Poultry Feed Team

The Poultry Feed Team

I am Ehsan from The Poultry Feed Team. We all started out as poultry novices ourselves, so we know just how confusing it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. That's why we're here! We want to help you become the best caretaker of these lovely feathered animals.