Avian Influenza Update as of 9/28/22

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Chicken in yard

Attention backyard flock owners. As we welcome fall and move into winter I would like to give a few reminders and updates before wild birds begin to migrate from their summer homes up north back to the south, taking with them not only themselves but potentially HPAI. For a quick recap of what HPAI is- High Path Avian Influenza, which is a respiratory illness in both wild and domestic birds that is highly contagious and generally causes death in poultry, mainly chickens. 

When wild birds begin to migrate HPAI could be transmitted to your backyard flocks. There are several symptoms to keep an eye out for over the next few months: Reduced Energy/Appetite, Swelling of the head/eyelids/comb/wattle & shanks, Purple discoloration of comb/wattle and legs, Sneezing, Runny Nose, Difficulty breathing, Stiffness, Diarrhea, Circling, and Tremors.  

What are some things you can do to keep your flocks safe?

Keep a check on your flocks and what is normal for them. Make note of any signs of illness they may be displaying. If they exhibit any of the above symptoms, reach out to the extension office, the NCDA&CS, or the USDA to report your birds if there is more than one bird affected. Ensure some safety precautions for yourself and your flock like the following:  Wash your hands before and after handling the poultry, keep neighboring flocks away from yours, keep neighbors with other poultry away/ to a minimum with your flock. Be sure to provide fresh clean water and food away from where wild birds will have access to it. 

There has not been a reporting of the Avian Influenza yet in North Carolina this summer, but there has been a report in Western Tennessee as of September 15th. Please keep a check on your flocks and monitor their health as we move into this next migration season. If you have any questions or are wanting any more information please contact Bailee Perkins at 336-694-4158 ext 5. Or email at bailee_perkins@ncsu.edu