The CCCH-type zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP), a host antiviral factor, plays an important role in innate defenses. Although the anti-viral mechanism of ZAP has been elucidated, however, the tissue specificity and the viral infection correlativity have not been fully understood. Here, we tested the dynamic distribution and localization of chicken ZAP (chZAP) before and after avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) infection. The results showed that chZAP was highly expressed in adrenal gland and testis before ALV-J infection, and significantly upregulated in liver, kidney and bursa of Fabricius, and extremely overexpressed in spleen after ALV-J infection. The results indicated that chZAP is an inducible protein and showed specific overexpression in spleen after ALV-J infection. Furthermore, we demonstrated that chZAP, as a host intracytoplasmic factor, accumulated and migrated to the periphery of nucleus in DF-1 cells post-infection with ALV-J. Taken together, chZAP characterized as an inducible antiviral protein and specifically overexpressed in spleen after ALV-J infection.