Monday, May 11, 2015

Should I get my backyard chickens tested for avian flu?

Our chickens are not tested for the bird flu.

My reasons are:

-It takes at least 10 days to two weeks to get the results back. In this time the flock could become infected.
-If your birds become infected they will die in 3 to 5 days.
-Most outbreaks are in very large flocks.

Symptoms include a swollen comb and wattle, not eating or drinking, listlessness.

The experts say two things will stop avian flu:
Eighty degree air temperature will kill the virus.
The virus is spread by migrating waterfowl. The migration is almost over.

The best thing to do is practice basic biosecurity measures and don't go into anyone’s coop or let anyone into yours.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection issues regular bulletins about the bird flu. You can find them and frequently asked questions here.

If your flock is one of the 19,000 registered with the state of Wisconsin, you will get automatic updates from the state about the flu. Wisconsin requires livestock registration. More information can be found here.

Read an article in the Janesville Gazette about the local impact of avian flu here.
We offer further common sense information in the Wisconsin State Journal and UW-Extension program here.

As always, post further questions in the comment section.

--Dale, aka Turkeyman

photo credit: Bird flu via photopin (license)