Fowl Pox Vaccine For Chickens

The large DNA virus (an avipoxvirus in the Poxviridae family) is resistant and may survive in the environment for extended periods in dried scabs. Photolyase and A-type inclusion body protein genes in the genome of fowlpox virus appear to protect the virus from environmental insults. Field strains associated with outbreaks and vaccine strains show differences in their genomic profiles, although the strains can be differentiated to some extent by restriction endonuclease analysis, nucleotide analysis of specific genes, and immunoblotting. Molecular analyses of vaccine and field strains of fowlpox viruses have shown significant differences.

The virus is present in large numbers in the lesions and is usually transmitted by contact through abrasions of the skin. Skin lesions (scabs) shed from recovering birds in poultry houses can become a source of aerosol infection. Mosquitoes and other biting insects may serve as mechanical vectors. Transmission within a susceptible flock is rapid when mosquitoes are plentiful. The disease tends to persist for extended periods in multiple-age poultry complexes because of slow spread of the virus and availability of susceptible birds.


The vaccine is recommended for vaccination of healthy chickens aged 8 weeks or older but at least 4 weeks prior to start of lay. When used as indicated, it will aid in preventing the clinical signs caused by the virulent field strains of fowl pox virus.


Tear off the aluminum seal from the vial containing the freeze dried virus. Lift off the rubber stopper. Remove the seal and stopper from the diluent bottle. Each diluent bottle contains 10 ml of diluent. Pour half of the diluent into the vial containing the freeze dried virus. Replace the rubber stopper and shake the vaccine vial. Pour the partly dissolved vaccine into the diluent bottle to mix with rest of the diluent. Replace the rubber stopper and shake vigorously until the vaccine is dissolved completely. The vaccine is now ready for administration by the wing-web method. For administering the vaccine, hold the bird and spread the underside of one wing outward. Insert the double needle applicator into the vaccine bottle, wetting or charging both needles. Pierce the web of the exposed wing with the double needle applicator charged with vaccine. Insert the double needle applicator into the vaccine vial again and proceed to vaccinate the next bird. During vaccination avoid hitting large blood vessels, bones and the wing muscles with the double needle applicator. Do not inject in any other site except the exposed wing web.

Fowl Pox Vaccine Caution

Do not spill or splatter the vaccine. Burn containers, unused vaccine and accessories prior to disposal. Do not over dilute the vaccine or otherwise extend the dosage. Store unopened vaccine vials at not over 45° F or 7° C. Do not vaccinate within 21 days of slaughter or 4 weeks prior to start of lay. The vaccinated chickens should not be placed on contaminated premises. All susceptible chickens on the same premises should be vaccinated at the same time. If this is not possible, then strict isolation and separate caretakers should be employed for non-vaccinated chickens. Efforts should be made to reduce stress conditions at the time of vaccine administration.

Benefits of Fowl Pox Vaccine For Chickens

There is no treatment for fowl pox. The best way to control the disease is through vaccination. Several pox vaccines are available for use in backyard as well as commercial flocks. The wing-stick method of vaccination that uses a two-needle applicator is generally used in chickens and pigeons, while turkeys are usually vaccinated via the thigh-stick method. Although birds can be vaccinated at any age for fowl pox, recommendations listed on the vaccine should be followed as to the age and route of administration. It is important to check vaccinated birds for a “vaccination take” 7 to 10 days after the vaccine is administered. This will be an area of swelling and scab formation at the injection site. Most birds should have vaccination takes to ensure satisfactory vaccination of the flock. Vaccination can be beneficial in limiting the spread of the infection if it occurs in your flock. Because fowl pox is a slow-spreading disease, vaccinating when 20 percent or less of the flock is showing lesions can limit further damage.

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