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CHICKEN POX OR FOWL POX (SOREHEAD)
A disease affecting chicken, pheasants, guinea fowl, turkeys and other game birds
Cause: Simple coryza, the common cold, is usually caused by improper management in which birds are subjected to undue exposure. Infectious coryza is caused by a specific microorganism and its severity is increased in birds subjected to resistance lowering factors.
Common Symptoms: Respiratory distress accompanied by watery and swollen eyes and poor condition.
Treatment: Simple coryza responds to correction of undue exposure. Antibiotics are beneficial. Infectious coryza sometimes responds to erthyromycin, streptomycin and sulfonamides, if treated early.
Control: Depopulation of farms and starting with clean chicks. Consider vaccination if exposure risk is high.
Cause: A virus.
Symptoms: A disease affecting chickens clinically under 6 weeks of age. Incoordination of gait, staggering, falling to one side, occasional tremors of the head. Excitement intensifies symptoms.
Treatment and Control: No treatment except isolation of affected birds. Vaccinate breeder flocks to provide immunity to chicks.
Cause: A virus of the leukosis-sarcoma complex. Occurs mainly in laying hens between 4 and 10 months or age.
Symptoms: Tumors in the bursa of Fabricius will spread to many other internal organs, especially the liver, spleen and kidney.
Control: Development of resistant strains of chickens by Poultry geneticists.
Cause: A virus. Highly infectious, severity varies.
Symptoms: Sudden death is common. Clinical signs include sudden drop in egg production. depression, loss of appetite, blue combs and wattles, diarrhea, blood-tinged discharge from nostrils.
Control: Monitoring, strict quarantine and rapid destruction of all infected flocks. Poultry producers should practice strict management control.
* From Diseases of Poultry, a paper by Dr. Gary D. Butcher, DVM, PhD., Poultry Veterinarian, College of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville. From publication PS-5, Florida Cooperative Extension Service.