The U.S. poultry industry is one of the largest in the world and an important sector of our agricultural economy. Keeping birds safe from infectious disease is a top priority and responsibility for all owners, growers, workers, and enthusiasts involved in raising poultry. Disease outbreaks, such as Avian Influenza (AI), Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) and Salmonella, lead to devastation of our flocks and result in job and financial losses, quarantines limiting trade, and affect prices on eggs, prepared poultry, and other staples.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is committed to helping everyone protect our poultry – from commercial enterprises that raise the poultry and eggs that we consume, to individuals who raise chickens and other breeds in their backyards, to poultry fanciers who participate in shows and fairs.
APHIS continues to expand the Defend the Flock education program, providing the information, tools, and resources you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your birds healthy and reduce the risk that an infectious disease will spread from your property to other flocks.
Through the Defend the Flock program, APHIS is encouraging and preparing all poultry owners, including backyard growers, to maintain biosecurity practices at all times. Biosecurity is the key to keeping our nation’s poultry healthy. It’s a responsibility that we all share. Working together, we can defend all flocks from avian influenza and other infectious diseases. Visit the Defend the Flock Commercial Biosecurity and Backyard Biosecurity pages to learn more.
The Defend the Flock Resource Center has 24/7 access to checklists and other tools, videos, webinars and educational resources to help you keep your flocks safe and healthy. Materials are available for download or print to share with friends and family, staff, partners, students and other current and future “Flock Defenders.” Connect with Defend the Flock on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and information, including notice of new resources.
Defend the Flock reflects the knowledge, insights, and experience of USDA, veterinarians, professional owners and growers, scientists, and other poultry management experts about the practice of good biosecurity. By committing to making biosecurity an “every day, every time” practice, all growers are partners in keeping diseases, and the pathogens that carry them, away from birds, property and people.