Backyard flocks and bird flu

By Connie Orcutt • Published: June 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves

Avian influenza, or the bird flu, is making news worldwide and takes many shapes and forms. The variety that’s found its way to our shores doesn’t affect people, but it can be deadly to backyard flocks.

The virus migrates with wild birds, especially ducks and geese, and spreads via droppings or nasal discharge. Domesticated birds, like chickens and turkeys, are most at risk. Signs of illness can vary widely, but sudden death of any bird should sound an alarm.

To help keep backyard birds safe, prevent their contact with wild birds or contaminated soil by housing them in a coop that’s shielded overhead. You should also keep your flock closed to any new birds. And don’t forget to keep some separate shoes and tools just for your work in the coop.

Practicing biosecurity will help you keep your birds of a feather soundly flocking together.