Good Afternoon! Sorry I have not posted in a while. But I am going to be catching up and starting to write every Tuesday, so be watching for my posts. Five weeks ago when I fed my chickens I noticed one of my frizzled red roosters standing out in the middle of the walkway not going after the food. This was strange since when I feed them they normally go straight for it. As I approached him to see why his behavior was not normal, he turned his head to look at me, and I noticed a bunch of odd lesions on his comb and wattle. Oh no, it looks like we have Fowl pox in the pen again.
I immediately went to create a “sick pen” for him in the garage. I reformed the small pen out of book cases and feed sacks that we made months ago. I filled the floor of my makeshift pen with the normal pine shavings then I added a small roost, food and water feeders and a door. Then I worked with my brothers to catch him. I gingerly put him In the temporary pen and put the wire covers on top.
I had been researching this virus and it is transmitted through mosquitoes which have the disease, the only other way it is transmitted is by getting in contact with another bird with the disease. Although it is not transmittable to anything but other birds it is still reasonable to to wear safety gloves when touching or treating the bird. At first my research brought up “If you leave it alone in about 1-2 weeks it will go away” after two and a half weeks I knew that my big boy had caught a severe case of it. By then it had covered both of his eyes and he could not see to drink or eat. We regularly set him on a plastic bowl similar to what he regularly ate out of so he just knew what was in the bowl so he pecked down and ate food. But after it had come to three and a half weeks he mostly slept.
But then I discovered something scary… if his eyes stayed closed for too long, he could go blind. The only treatment for the pox was to put drops of Saline solution on the pox via q-tips (being very careful not to get it in or around his eye) and Triple Antibiotic ointment for his eye. I also started spoon feeding him yogurt. After about a week his pox started shrinking!
Then we started the wait to see if his eyes would open. In three days one of his eyes opened and he could see out of it! Then the lesion fell off his other eye, but the eye had remained closed. Today when I went out to check on him, his closed eye is cracked (as in cracked open, barely)!! Hallelujah! So he might not go blind after all! He only has a few more lesions but it is still there so he will stay in his temporary pen a bit longer. Please pray for my rooster to get better 🙂
Update: ~~A week later~~ Les is now free of fowl pox! Another small issue arose when we put him back in the pen. All the other chickens wanted to pick fights with him. After being around him for a few hours, everything seemed to calm down, and was able to be around them without being picked on. Then 2 days ago, I went out to find him with a bloody comb and acting very shy toward the other chickens. He was all by himself standing in the chicken house door instead of out with them. I dropped what I was doing, grabbed my baby and ran back to the garage (where his makeshift brooder pen was) I gave him clean water and more food immediately. Then, when all was taken care of, I had to sit down and think of what to do, he could not stay in the sick pen in the garage, nor could he stay in the big chicken pen because Rocky our rooster didn’t want him in there. Nor could he stay in the little chicken pen with the newly nicknamed “rooster attack force”. Then yesterday my answer came as our oldest rooster who was in the big chicken pen passed away. He was over 6 years old! Now my big boy Les can move in and take his spot as “the boss”. Thank you all for praying for my big boy!!!
I decided to name him Les because of a man named Les Stroud who is best known for his television series Survivorman.
See ya soon!