Avian Flu and Backyard Flocks

With the avian flu outbreak, I’ve gotten a number of questions about how it will affect backyard flocks.

First, this strain of avian flu is not the H5N1 strain, which is deadly to humans. From the CDC’s website: “Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have never been detected among wild birds, domestic poultry, or people in the United States.”

Now, back to the birds. The key to protecting your flock is biosecurity. You can read more about avian flu and protecting your birds on the following links:


Avian Influenza Basics for Urban and Backyard Poultry Owners

Do I need to be worried about bird flu if I keep chickens?

The most important thing you can do is keep your birds isolated from other flocks of chickens. This is the same advice I give to folks for protecting your flock from any disease.

  • Limit travel to other flocks.
  • Do not allow visitors who have chickens to access your birds.
  • Keep a dedicated pair of footwear that you use in your coop only.
  • Prevent contact with wild birds.
  • If you must bring in new birds, take them from reputable sources only.
  • Quarantine new birds for 30 days before introducing them to yours.

More likely than not, your backyard birds will be just fine.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lynn Kiedrow on May 26, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Jennifer, just a fyi Glenwood vllage pet hosp sees chickens!!! The new medical director at hosp is Dr. Parr she came from a specialty hosp. She also has trained Dr Hernandez out of same office. Just nice to know since only one i know of near homewood. Lynn


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