Ohio chicken farmers urged to take biosecurity action


As a mysterious bird disease continues to kill wild birds, poultry farmers are warned to take strict biosecurity measures.

Authorities fear the disease could spread from wild birds to chickens if action is not taken.

“Prevention is the best strategy at this point. Maintain good biosecurity practices to reduce the risk to your herds,” said Dr. Dennis Summers, interim state veterinarian for Ohio in a Department of Health statement. ‘Ohio Agriculture. “Biosecurity refers to anything owners do to keep disease away from their flocks. It is an active effort that owners can do every day.

Ohio counties with most of the outbreak, so far, include: Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery and Warren counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources from Ohio. The disease, which causes birds’ eyes to swell and emit a crusty discharge, can also cause neurological problems and become fatal. The disease has been detected in birds in seven other states.

No definitive disease has yet been identified by the researchers. Last month, residents of Ohio were asked to take down bird feeders and baths to prevent the disease from spreading.

For farmers protecting chickens, biosecurity practices include minimizing visitors, ensuring workers wash their hands before and after contact with live poultry, and using disposable boot covers or boots. disinfected regularly.

The state’s agricultural agency also recommends cleaning and disinfecting feeders, waterers, and other equipment. Farmers should be diligent in monitoring dead or dying wild birds on their property and take the necessary steps to reduce potential exposure by discouraging wildlife that might carry dead birds to the property. It is also recommended to keep chickens in a fenced area and confine them to the hen house or barn when possible.

“It is essential that flock owners look for signs of illness and report any unusual illness in your birds,” Summers said.

Farmers can report sick birds by calling a local veterinarian, a cooperative extension service, or the state veterinarian’s office at 614-728-6220. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sick Birds Hotline is 1-866-536-7593.

To report sick or dead wild birds, the ODNR can be contacted at 1-800-945-3543 or emailed to [email protected]

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