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Bird Flu Tips for Backyard Chicken Keepers

04 March 2015

DELAWARE, US - Tips for protecting backyard birds from the avian influenza that has been spreading across the West Coast will be one of the main topics at a free weekend event for small-flock poultry growers.

"It is everyone's responsibility to take basic steps to help keep avian influenza from spreading here," said state veterinarian D. Heather Hirst, who heads the Delaware Department of Agriculture's Poultry and Animal Health section.

"Our commercial poultry industry has a strong and active surveillance program, and we want to help our small-flock and backyard farmers do the same."

The department and the Delaware State University Cooperative Extension will be sharing simple preventative techniques at the annual Cooptastic event in Harrington on Saturday, reports Delaware Online, The News Journal.

Those biosecurity measures include isolating birds from visitors and other birds; keeping shoes, tools and equipment clean when entering an area where birds live, avoiding tracking wild waterfowl feces into domestic bird areas and reporting sick or dead birds.

The event comes just weeks after bird flu strain H5N8 was confirmed in a second commercial poultry flock in California's Central Valley. Avian influenza strains also have infected wild birds and non-commercial flocks California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Washington in recent months.

The Cooptastic event will be held from 10am to 4pm in the Dover Building at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. Attendance is free and registration is not required.

Other topics at the event will include vaccinations, disease, poultry economics and marketing, record keeping and getting started with a small flock.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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