Fresh, home grown eggs - who could ask for more? Chickens are not only easy to keep, but affordable!
Need help choosing chicks or coop design? Have a sick bird and not sure what to do? Want to learn how to raise urban backyard chickens? Look no further!
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 has been
confirmed in ONE commercial turkey flock in Waterford, Stanislaus County,
California.There have been no confirmed
cases in backyard chickens.
As always, backyarders and fanciers are urged to practice
good biosecurity.Birds that have been
exhibited at poultry shows should be quarantined when owners return home,
before the birds are reintroduced to the home flock.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) was recently
detected in migrating waterfowl in Butte County, California. Fortunately, this
strain does not infect humans. However, commercial and backyard poultry raised
near areas commonly used by migrating waterfowl are at risk.
USDA and HPAI
Since December 2014,
USDA has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5
in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (migratory bird paths). The
disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial
poultry flocks. Here is information to help you be better informed and advise
bird owners, especially about biosecurity, should the need arise.
People want to know if THEY can get the bird flu they hear
about in parts of Asia; NO, the bird influenza we have here in the United
States is not transferable to humans.
So what can you do as a backyard poultry keeper?
First, limit your bird's access to wild birds that migrate.
It is believed that HPAI will be present in wild birds in all of the US flyways
according to Dr. John Clifford, United States Chef Veterinary Officer (Avian
Science Notes, October 2015).
Second, officials recommend that poultry be protected in
their confinement areas by roofs made of a solid material. Most people already
have chicken coops and pens with cage material to protect their chickens from
predators. But by having a solid roof, it limits your flock's exposure to
droppings and materials that could expose them to HPAI.
Third, pay attention to your chickens and know what a sick
chicken looks like. By watching and engaging your flock on a regular basis, you
will be able to quickly notice when one is not feeling well. Quickly isolate a
sick bird and use good biosecurity practices. Contact your closest CAHFS
(California Animal Health and Food Safety) lab with questions and consider
taking your bird there for diagnosis. Their services are often FREE for
backyard poultry fanciers!