Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Pox

So, I'll tell you something you might not know.  Chickens can get an illness called 'avian pox'; literally, chicken pox!  About 2 years ago, a flock of young chicks we had here got it and we had 2 chicks die.  

Yesterday, I noticed a turkey of ours had a badly scabbed and bleeding beak and the others were really pecking at it, so I separated it out.  This morning, I saw that several other chicks had similar scabs around their faces, also
 getting pecked badly.  By this afternoon, all but 2 of the chicks had the scabby bleeding sores, and I knew it just wasn't a coincidence or bored bully chickens.  It looked too much like the pox I had dealt with previously.  

The turkeys were really bullying the smaller chickens so I separated them out so hopefully the chicks will be able to heal a bit.  One of the turkeys still looked fine last I checked, but two others were in sad shape; one was missing almost half of the top of his beak.  :(  It will grow back fine if he makes it, but it will really make it hard to eat until it does and so it will likely die.  

I am bummed; I hope we don't loose too many birds to this.  Last time the symptoms lasted almost a month so it will be a while before we know what the total damage will be.  I hope they pass it along to the pigeons that roost under my roof....