Avian Bird Flu, other maladies and free ranging


10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
When I first became a BYC type I read with concern about ABF and other illness' that can afflict my small flock via transmission by wild birds. I read here on BYC and other places how to contain my flock in ways to reduce their exposure to possible illness. This past week I have spent a dozen hours on screen reading how to medicate chickens. Three of my birds have died in the last week. I have spent a couple of hundred dollars on medicines and adding further safeguards to my system, linoleum floors, trying to sterilize the house, etc..

In the process I rethought this whole thing and I'm wondering, am I exposing myself, my family, my friends unknowingly to God knows what? My birds run free, a lot in my large yard, there is an abundance of wild birds here, everyone around has multiple feeders, even us. How safe are we from exposure? I'd blow my brains out if my grand kids got something from eating my eggs. The chicken system is very self contained, chainlink sections with chicken wire against that all the way around with corrugated tin to offer shade, keep it dry and keep wild bird poop off my birds stuff. Industrial food has its drawbacks, huge ones, but I don't believe I've ever worried about contracting ABF, or what ever, from pasteurized commercial eggs.

Is it enough or is it a leap of faith?


Easter Hatch!!
10 Years
Jul 17, 2009
Where are you located? I saw one of your earlier posts, and I think it was mentioned it is HIGHLY unlikely your flock has been exposed to ABF, depending on your location.

Few diseases are communicable from the chickens to humans. Very few. You are more likely to pick up salomnella from their poop than some respiratory infection. I doubt you are eating the chicken poop, so as long as you was your hands, you should be ok.

OK- I just saw you are in ST. Lous.....Why are you worried about contracting ABF?

Here is the site from the CDC:

We have a small flock of chickens. Is it safe to keep them?
Yes. In the United States there is no need at present to remove a flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian influenza. The U.S. Department of Agriculture monitors potential infection of poultry and poultry products by avian influenza viruses and other infectious disease agents.

For additional information about avian influenza visit pandemicflu.gov.​
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13 Years
May 23, 2009
I'm sorry, but I've never heard of anyone contracting Avian influenza from eating a chicken egg. Why do you think this is a possible mode of transmission? And by the way, eggs you buy in a carton at the grocery store aren't pasteurized. You can buy pasteurized liquid eggs if you're worried about salmonella when you're not going to be cooking the eggs, like with mousse or Caesar salad dressing.
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Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
a) commercial eggs are not normally pasteurized


b) why are you worried about getting it from YOUR chickens? Honestly, I can think of things that one might worry about regarding the health ramifications of keeping chickens, if one was so inclined, but avian flu would not be in the top 10 or 20 of them

Either read more so that you UNDERSTAND the situation, or if you feel apt to freak out about germs and all that, just forget about it altogether, practice sensible sanitation (don't lick your chickens' feet, etc) and YOU WILL BE FINE, honest

Good luck, have fun,



In the Brooder
9 Years
May 23, 2010
First, may I suggest, quit reading the news! Remember the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak? Now switched to H1N1 because the Egyptian Govt went over the deep end and killed all the pigs in the country? H1N1 killed less than half of what the normal Flu Virus kills every year.
ABF, though a Major Illness, is relatively new so the news got a hold of it and blew it WAY out of proportion. Only around 9,000 +/- deaths have been reported in the past 6 years. (1500 +/- a year), you have a better chance of being killed in car accident so are you going to abandoned your vehicle and head for the hills?
Now I have only had live (Not frozen) chickens for a few months now and I see all there mannerisms and issues. If they start acting funky or weird just ask the group and they can help direct you.
I do understand your concern though, we had a thunderstorm roll through so I rounded up my chicks and put them in our living room. My point? Don't worry to much until you see the storm coming :-D


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
Said it before and I'll say it again. Go overboard on killing germs around kids and you're not doing them any favors. Can't build up an immunity to things you are never exposed to.
I'm clean, wash my hands after handling my chickens, their eggs or their poo, but I don't go overboard.
DH had systemic e.coli back in 2007. Got it from his gallbladder being blocked up. We all have e.coli in our bodies, but normally our immune systems handle it just fine.
Pat's advice was spot on.


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
16 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Stop worrying about stuff like that. First of all, we don't even have the bad H1N1 strain here in the U.S. as far as I know. I never worry about catching anything from my birds and I don't even worry about them catching anything from wild birds as long as they aren't inside my coops eating with my chickens. These scares come and go and the media makes it so much worse than it is so folks will stay glued to the TV, biting their fingernails in fear.

And, as Pat said, commercial eggs are not pasteurized. Just use normal sanitation practices like washing your hands and keeping the nests loaded with clean materials so eggs are laid in a clean environment. Don't buy started birds from anyone, but if you do, quarantine them and cull at the first indication of respiratory illness. That's it. That way, you don't spend big bucks on meds that won't fix the problem anyway.

The best thing to do with respiratory illness in birds is to euthanize rather than treat them. Then you won't have illness running through your flock, hence none for you to worry over yourself. Most diseases are not passed from birds to humans anyway.

I agree with gritsar about germs. The sickest kids are the ones whose parents are always running after them with hand sanitizer.


There is no H or F in Orpington!
14 Years
Jul 13, 2008
Braymer Missouri
The only two bird disease that are supposed to harm people are pullorum and typhoid right? I thought that was why the N.P.I.P. which was started for food safety tests for those two regularly. Am I wrong

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