New resource released to help chicken flock owners protect the health of their birds

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Cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPAI, have circulated in the beginning months of 2024, it reminds us that the health of the flock should always be one of the top priorities for bird owners. Bird owners should increase biosecurity practices and remain vigilant in monitoring their birds’ health.

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread directly by infected wild birds/animals or indirectly through any items that have come into contact with the virus such as equipment, vehicles, feed and the clothing and shoes of animal caretakers. Implementing biosecurity practices can help reduce the risk of exposure and infection.

New information “Keeping You and Your Flock Healthy – Information on Avian Influenza” has been released by Michigan State University Extension that has specific practices back yard poultry owners and other poultry enthusiasts can implement to help reduce the risk of disease transmission to their home flocks. This information highlights what HPAI is and how it spreads, symptoms for infected birds and humans, simple methods farmers can use to reduce the risk of disease in their flock and what to do if you suspect that birds are infected with HPAI.

As a reminder, properly prepared and cooked poultry products remain safe to consume. The chance of infected poultry or egg products entering the food chain is extremely low due to the rapid onset of symptoms of HPAI and the USDA flock monitoring and inspection safeguards that are in place.

Source: Michigan State University