Fowl Pox in Chickens

Scabby skin, fever, and a decreased appetite are symptoms of the viral illness known as fowl pox.

There are 2 types of fowl pox that affect chickens and other poultry:

  • Dry pox: This is the most common type of fowl pox, and it affects the skin (cutaneous form)
  • Wet pox: Affects the upper respiratory tract’s mucous membranes (diphtheric form)

Wet pox is significantly more deadly and can occasionally result in death, but dry pox is typically temporary and disappears on its own.

Survivors in both dry and wet pox typically recover in 4 to 5 weeks.

Symptoms of Dry Pox

Among the signs of dry pox are wart-like bumps on skin without feathers. For example, bumps may appear in the following:

  • Comb
  • Wattles
  • Earlobes
  • Eyelids
  • Beak
  • Feet and legs (occasionally)
  • Around the vent (occasionally)

The lumps eventually combine to form scabs, which can leave scars as they come off.

Transmission of Dry Pox

Typically, dry pox strikes in the warmer months when mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects are active and spread the disease.

Additionally, dry pox spreads through wounds, including:

  • Fighting
  • Dubbing (a cockerel’s comb, wattles, and ear lobes being surgically trimmed)
  • Cannibalism
  • Injury caused by equipment or facilities with poor design.

Symptoms of Wet Pox

Wet pox causes yellowish curd-like bumps in the mouth and windpipe, which often accumulate until they affect the bird’s ability to breathe and swallow, causing suffocation or starvation.

Transmission of Wet Pox

Wet pox produces lumps in the mouth and windpipe that resemble yellow curds. These bumps frequently build up until they impair the bird’s ability to breathe and swallow, which can lead to starvation or suffocation.


By managing mites and mosquitoes, this disease may be managed.

A vaccine is also available, but it should only be used if a flock, or the region in which the flock resides, has a problem with chicken pox. In this case, all the chickens must be vaccinated and get boosters every year.