Illinois vet offers advice on bird flu prevention – AgriNews

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Check your chickens and sit your chickens. This is the advice of Dr. Mark Ernst, an Illinois veterinarian from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

As neighboring Indiana, Iowa and Missouri deal with confirmed cases of bird flu, also known as HPAI, or highly pathogenic bird flu, in commercial flocks of broiler chickens, Ernst offered some tips for breeders, large and small, indoors and outdoors. .

“They need to start thinking about their biosecurity, and if they have birds on the street, if there’s a way they can bring them in to reduce any potential impact, it won’t be a bad idea,” he said.

Ernst stressed that with confirmed cases in neighboring states, chicken owners in Illinois need to step up vigilance and monitor changes in livestock.

“It’s close. I would say the hosts need to be vigilant. If any producer notices that the birds have reduced water supply or feed intake, it seems to be an early indication that something is going on with the livestock. It could be in a backyard pack – or in any pack, for that matter, you may see some kind of sudden death before you start seeing a lot of clinical signs. It can hit so fast, ”he said.

Late winter and early spring are the times when bird flu usually appears in the Midwest, when birds begin to migrate north.

“It seems that when migrations start, we start to observe their growth. This is combined with the type of weather we get at this time of year, wet, overcast and cool days as opposed to a warm, dry, sunny day. If the days are warm, dry and sunny, it is less conducive to the spread of the virus, ”Ernst said.

The virus can spread in a variety of ways from wild birds to manual birds.

“It can be airborne, by contact with litter or by close contact with birds. Of course, in 2015, when we had the last outbreak, we saw the flock spread. We saw the spread, which had to be by airborne droplets, because there were no signs of direct contact between infected and uninfected birds, ”Ernst said.

Due to the fact that spring is also the time of year when people buy chicks and ducks at farm shops or order chicks in the mail, Ernst said it is important to double check the source of these new birds.

“It is assumed that all arriving birds come from incubators and herds of the National Poultry Improvement Plan. I would be very careful if I brought birds. The first thing I would like to do is make sure to source from one of these herds of the National Poultry Improvement Plan. I know that there are probably birds that are sent by mail from flocks that do not carry out tests for any diseases, and I would certainly stay away from that, ”he said.

Ernst said isolating new birds from established flocks could help protect both groups of birds.

“Every time they bring new birds, they always have to isolate them for a certain period of time. They should also be concerned not only with bird flu, but with any other organism that may already be in the flock that could pose a threat to new birds if new birds have never been exposed to that organism, ”he said.

Once the virus enters a flock of birds, it can be difficult to stop even when moving to warmer and drier days.

“The problem is that if it really starts and you get it into a lot of birds and flocks, it will save itself even if the weather changes and the migration patterns change. If it is already sown, then we have a battle, ”Ernst said.

Illinois vet offers advice on bird flu prevention – AgriNews

Source link Illinois vet offers advice on bird flu prevention – AgriNews