Well, H5N2 to be exact. If you want the low-down, dirty details you can see what the CDC has to say. Let’s just say if one of your flock gets it, you will most likely have to start over from scratch. What’s a bird keeper to do? Here are the top five ways to protect your flock:
1. Restrict Access. Like any good quarantine, now is the time to restrict access to your property and your birds by others, especially other bird keepers.
2. Cleanliness. Wash hands before and after working with your birds. Use a dedicated pair of boots for the coop and keep them close to the coop if possible. If your chicken boots end up in potentially infected dirt, scrub them down with disinfectant if needed just in case. Waterers and feeders should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
3. Keep disease away! When buying new birds make sure it’s a reputable source and that they are healthy to begin with. Separate new birds for 30 days before introducing them to your flock. Show birds should be kept separate for two weeks after an event.
4. Love your neighbors but keep their chicken stuff away. Don’t share anything related to poultry including dirt! If you add any used equipment to your inventory be sure to clean and disinfect it before use.
5. Know the symptoms of the flu. Check your birds frequently. Learn what normal activity is for your flock and when a bird doesn’t act normal separate it from the flock. Early detection can help prevent the spread of disease. If one of your birds is sick or dies contact your local extension office or the US Department of Agriculture (1-866-536-7593), for free testing as soon as possible.
In a word, maintain vigilance and there is much less of a chance of anything happening to your or your neighbor’s flock!