How To Raise Healthy Poultry

Raising poultry has become very popular, from backyard owners keeping chickens as a hobby and for food, to breeding show birds, pet birds, quail, pheasants and other exotic breeds. You may even be raising birds at school or as part of a supervised agricultural experience project. Keeping birds healthy should be a top priority for bird owners of all ages. There are many infectious poultry diseases that can cause serious problems. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, (HPAI), and Exotic Newcastle Disease, (END), are caused by viruses and can strike and spread quickly, sometimes without warning.

Size:69% These poultry diseases are not normally a threat to people, but they can make birds very sick or even kill them. The best insurance against these and other diseases involves three simple steps we call “backyard biosecurity”. Backyard biosecurity means doing everything you can to protect your birds from disease… similar to what we use every day to protect ourselves from human infections. We wash our hands, wash our dishes and try to avoid contact with people who are sick with colds or flu. Following these three backyard biosecurity steps will help you protect your birds and even those of your neighbors, family and friends. The first step is to LOOK. Look over your birds each day. While it may be hard to tell if your bird has a disease, you’re ahead of the game if you know the warning signs of bird diseases such as HPAI and END.

Line:0% A qualified veterinarian can also recognize these diseases and will know the correct actions to take. Your local extension agent can help too. Here are some general things to look for: Birds are listless, Another warning sign is sudden death or an unusual number of birds dying in your flock. Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease, so keep your eyes open.

Size:78% Teach these signs to your fellow members, instructors, friends and family. The second important step is: REPORT. If your birds are sick or dying, don’t wait. State and Federal veterinarians will want to know, and you’ll want to tell an adult who can help you immediately. Call this toll-free hotline: 1-866-536-7593 to report the incident to the USDA. And the third step to Backyard Biosecurity is: PROTECT. In this step, there are two things to keep in mind: KEEP IT CLEAN and KEEP IT AWAY. First…how do you KEEP IT CLEAN? Thoroughly wash your hands before entering your bird area and handling your birds.

Line:0% Your cleaning supplies should include water, disinfectant, and a brush to clean the soles of your boots, tools or other materials you might carry in. Remove and clean your shoes, paying particular attention to the soles. Be sure to remove mud and manure to ensure the disinfectant will work. It may seem like too much trouble, but you want to keep your birds germ-free, because germs can be picked up on shoes and moved from one place to another.

Line:0% Keep a separate pair of shoes or boots near your bird area to wear only when working with your poultry. The same goes for your clothes. Put fresh clothes in a clean container nearby, and wear them only when working with your birds. Because germs can be spread by aerosol droplets, you should even blow your nose and clean your ears with tissues… of course discarding the tissues before you enter your bird area. Clean and disinfect equipment that comes in contact with your birds or their droppings. Feeders, waterers and cages should be cleaned daily. Remember, if there is mud and/or manure on shovels or other equipment, remove it before you scrub and disinfect the area so the disinfectant will work properly.

Line:0% If you remove your birds from their enclosure, it’s a great chance to do a thorough cleaning. For best results, take out all the old litter, manure, and other debris, and then clean and disinfect the area. You should leave it empty for at least 10 days. If you have friends or family help with cleaning, make sure they know it is important to be thorough. The second part of the Protect step is… KEEP IT AWAY. Help keep diseases away from your birds. Control access to your property or school pens, and limit access to your birds. If visitors, even family, friends and neighbors have birds, don’t let them near yours. If visitors just want to see your birds, they should wash up and clean their shoes before entering the bird area.

Line:0% The best solution is to provide clean clothes for visitors. If you’ve been near other birds or owners, such as at an exhibition or a feed store, clean and disinfect your clothing and shoes before going near your birds. It’s also a good idea to keep your poultry away from game birds or migratory waterfowl because they can carry germs and diseases. If your birds are outside, try to keep them in a screened area. And if your birds have been at a fair or exhibition, keep them separate from the rest of your flock for at least two weeks after the event.

Align:start When you get new chicks or birds, they should be isolated for at least 30 days. Remember, buy your chicks and birds from a reputable dealer, and have your parents or advisors help you with the purchase. Finally, don’t share equipment and tools with other bird owners. If you must share a tool or any equipment, disinfect it before bringing it home. Another tip that can help provide protectio will make a big difference in ensuring you have healthy and productive birds at home or your school farm. Remember, YOU are the best protection your birds have. Educate your fellow club or chapter members, as well as your family or friends who own birds.

Just recall these three simple steps for Backyard Biosecurity: LOOK…REPORT… PROTECT. [cock-a-doodle-do] ♪♪.

As found on Youtube