Biosecurity Basics: Protect Your Birds

Protect Your Birds

Protecting your birds is the best defense against AI and END. The following preventative measures can help your birds stay healthy if practiced regularly.

Keep It CLEAN.
If you practice these steps and make them part of your bird care routine, you will be doing a lot to help the health of your flock. These are a few important things to remember:

Keep it AWAY.
Restrict access to your property and your birds. Wild birds or new birds you’ve just purchased could carry diseases that could spread quickly to your flock. Here are some things you can do to keep disease away from your birds:

Have your birds been to a fair or exhibition? If so, keep them separate from the rest of your flock for at least two weeks after the event. If you’ve bought new birds, they should be kept separate for at least 30 days. Buy birds from a reputable source so you know you are getting healthy animals.

Do not share lawn and garden equipment, tools, or poultry supplies with your neighbors or other bird owners, but if you must, disinfect them before bringing them home.

Fencing Area Consider fencing off the area where you keep your birds and make a barrier area if possible. Allow only people who take care of your birds to come into contact with them.

Wild birds should not have contact with your flock because they may carry germs and diseases.

Properly dispose of dead birds. Bird deaths are a fact of life. But if one of your birds dies, call the county extension agent, State department of agriculture, or your veterinarian for guidance.

Precautions For Cage-Free Poultry
It is recommended that poultry producers who raise birds in outdoor, non-confinement systems should try to prevent contact with wild birds and wild bird droppings. Protective measures include:

  • Identifying high risk areas that include wetlands along migratory flyways or other areas where wild waterfowl or shorebirds congregate, and high-density poultry production areas.
  • Implementing preventive measures for these high-risk areas:
  • Keeping birds indoors or
  • Restricting outside open access by maintaining outdoor enclosures covered with solid roofs and wire mesh or netted sides.
  • Keeping outdoor enclosures covered with wire mesh or netting in lower risk areas (solid roofing not required).
  • Providing feed and water for all non-confinement-raised poultry in an indoor area. Birds should not be allowed access to surface water that could potentially transmit AI or other avian pathogens through contamination with wild bird excrement.