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Healthy Flocks Rock!

Biosecurity for BirdsBiosecurity is important!

Since December 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in parts of our country. The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from these specific HPAI strains to be low, with no human cases detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally.

One of the most important things you can do to protect your birds is to follow good biosecurity. If you see signs of illness in your birds, report it immediately. Together, these actions will help keep HPAI from infecting new flocks.

Report Sick Birds! Watch for These Signs of Illness:

  • Sudden increase in bird deaths in your flock
  • Sneezing, gasping for air, coughing, and nasal discharge
  • Watery and green diarrhea
  • Lack of energy and poor appetite
  • Drop in egg production or soft- or thin-shelled, misshapen eggs
  • Swelling around the eyes, neck, and head
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs
  • Ruffled feathers, listlessness, lethargy

Biosecurity Basics

  • Allow only essential personnel to access your property and your birds. Disinfect any
    vehicles that enter your farm.
  • Don’t lend or borrow equipment from other farms. Bring only cleaned and disinfected
    items into your bird area.
  • Avoid contact with other poultry. If you cannot avoid contact, change clothes and
    shoes before working with your own birds.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before entering your bird area.
  • Use footbaths when entering or leaving your bird housing (change disinfectant
    frequently)—or wear disposable boot covers.
  • Keep poultry separate from wild birds. Don’t let them share water sources or have access
    to common areas frequented by wild birds.
  • Eliminate standing water on your farm and clean up feed spills to avoid attracting
    wild birds.

Biosecurity for Birds Basics

For more information about good biosecurity practices, contact your industry association or visit USDA’s Web site:

If you have sick or dying birds, please report them to USDA
or your State veterinarian right away!
USDA Toll-Free Number: 1-866-536-7593