If a chicken gets sick, you’ll know, these animals will be lethargic, be disinterested in eating food and drinking water, and may even start to look different.
If you think your bird is sick, because it has white spots on its head, you’d be right. This article explores why this happens
If your bird has white spots on its head then the likely culprits is pox. If your bird does have pox, this condition will progress and the white spots will turn into black scabs.
White spots on chickens head: Pox
Your chicken developing white spots on its head can be because the bird has Pox.
If there are mosquitoes in the area then your bird likely has pox. Pox is a viral infection that is highly contagious among chickens. This infection causes sores to develop on the chicken’s skin.
Other names for this ailment include fowl pox, avian pox, and sorehead. This viral infection will develop on the non-feathery parts of the bird’s body namely the head, including the face, wattles, eyelids, comb, and the legs
The first sign of pox in chickens is white, or ash-colored, spots or sores, on your birds’ body. These spots will turn into larger yellow blisters, and then they will burst leaving dark-colored scabs that resemble warts.
Your chicken will be left with scars after the scabs have disappeared.
Other symptoms of pox in chickens include lesions in the bird’s throat and mouth, a drop in egg production, a loss of appetite, and as a result, weight loss.
How pox is transmitted:
This virus can be transmitted through mosquitoes but you can also infect a healthy flock if your shoes, clothes or equipment come into contact with infected birds from another flock, then come into contact with healthy birds in your flock.
Birds transmit this infection to each other through sloughed off scabs, feather debris, skin dander as well as from skin secretions and blood, this is collectively called ‘hot debris’
The hot debris can keep this infection in your flock for a long period of time, months to years in some cases. When birds eat, inhale or make contact with the hot debris, they become infected.
Stress can cause some birds to have a reoccurrence of this infection while other birds can acquire immunity,
What to do:
Don’t panic, this ailment is non-transmissible to humans. Unfortunately, this infection is life-threatening but thankfully, it won’t kill your bird if treated.
The symptoms of this ailment can be treated, prevention in the form of vaccination early on will prevent this virus from infecting vaccinated chickens.
If you do have an outbreak you’d need to clean and sanitize your bird’s waterers daily. You’d also need to clean and sanitize your chicken’s coop using oxine once a week for a month at least.
You can also offer your birds a mix of water and oxine to limit the spread of the virus. Mix in ¼ teaspoon of oxine to one gallon of water and serve this mixture to your birds
Limiting secondary infections is also a must. Do this by adding tetracycline antibiotics to your bird’s water. Add 300mg of this antibiotic to a gallon of water and feed this to your birds over three days.
Also, try to get a chicken vitamin supplement and add this to your bird’s water as well
The scabs that your bird will eventually develop can be treated with an iodine solution.
You can also make an ointment for the scabs using 2 tablespoons of sulfur powder and ½ a cup of Vaseline. This mixture needs to be used on the bird’s scabs until the bird is healed
Getting rid of mosquitoes:
Mosquitoes transmit this viral infection to your birds, thus, it is important that you try to get rid of them, or at least control the population. Planting marigolds and mint in and around your chicken’s coop can help keep mosquitoes away.
In conclusion, if your bird develops many white spots on its head, or on any other non-feathery part of its body, then the bird likely has pox. This ailment will progress over time and the spots will turn into black scabs.
This viral infection will develop into scabs but it can be treated and managed.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Chick Broke Shell But Not Membrane, Chick Pipped But Didn’t Break Membrane, Bump On My Chickens Head, Chicken Has An Abscess On Its Face, My Baby Chick Keeps Falling Over