Biosecurity measures vs teaching others


11 Years
Jan 11, 2009

I was thinking about how important biosecurity measures are for keeping a flock healthy. I think it is very important for people to be able to keep their girls healthy and to protect their flock from illness. It occured to me that while this is very important, it is in conflict with my goals of teaching others about the joy of having chickens.

In the next few years, I am guessing there will be a huge increase in interest about chickens. As the economy is going to be bad for a while and people would benefit from having a food source close by, I think many families will become open to the idea of having chickens as pets and/or egg source. Also, people seem more interested in healthy foods that are fresh and organic or chemical free.

So, how should we, as chicken owners, proceed? Should everyone be using biosecurity measures, especially because chickens are going to become more common in urban areas? Or, should we be open to showing people how to care for chickens and raise them in a healthy way?

I suspect that there must be a middle ground. I was hoping to hear from people who have thought about biosecurity and the extent they plan to go to protect their flock. Also, have you considered the impact you may have on your city by teaching others how to care for chickens and raise their own food?

Anyway, I would love to hear what you think.


11 Years
Jun 24, 2008
My neighbor and I just had a very scary issue our new neighbor in formed us her chicken are vaccinates against New Castle and LARYNGOTRACHEITIS which I guess they shed in thier poo so they can give it to other chickens well this is after my older neighbor had already taken some of her roo to slaughter thank goodness she did this away from her coop because she never new about it she sell eggs at farmers markets and such and has over 100 hens this just came up because we are ordering hens together and thought we inclued our newest neighbor which she uses them to rid her horse yard of ticks so always ask anyone who comes in contact with your coop or chicken yard please change your shoes I always have muc/rubber boots for all now.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Quote:I guess I am not clear on how there is much of any conflict there?

Do you mean that the more people in your area have chickens, the more likely that diseases will be tracked around? That's the same as with gardening -- the more people have gardens around you, the more pests and diseases there will be goin' round. But it seems to me that is just the way it goes, the value of having lots of people gardening (or keeping chickens) vastly outweighs any minor disadvantages to you personally in terms of having to be more careful about cleaning shoes etc.

Or do you mean that you would like to be able to bring people to your house and *show* them your chickens but are concerned about disease/biosecurity issues? In which case, have them bag or disinfect their shoes and not actually fondle the chickens, and you should be pretty much fine.

Personally I'm heavily in favor of more people keeping chickens, particularly if they are educated as to how to keep them healthy




11 Years
Jul 31, 2008
I teach bio security when i teach about chickens...

I have a foot bath for their shoes...OR they can wear a pair of my coop shoes if they dont want to dip their shoes in a bleach solution

Sierra pachie bars

Queen of the Lost
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
I have been protective of my girls even telling family members to keep boots to wear here and only here in my coop. I agree with things going as there are more and more people are going to have chickens as a food source.


11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
Olympia WA
I guess I don't really see an issue--if they don't have chickens, they won't have chicken bacteria or viruses on their feet. I would not have any problem with them going up to the coop, and holding a chicken for them to pet. They probably would not want to go into the coop or run anyway, if they weren't chicken familiar. I don't see the point in freaking out someone who doesn't have a clue about chickens, by demanding they put booties on or spray their feet, especially if they do not go in the run.

If they do have chickens, then they should have some idea that there are diseases and that you want to protect your birds. You can explain biosecurity to them and have them either stay away from the chickens or wash shoes, or whatever. Hopefully they won't be freaked out about it.


11 Years
Jul 31, 2008
Quote:if they walk on outside ground with those shoes on there is a potential to spread disease. the parks and sidewalks are a bio nightmare with seagull droppings where I am there is also canadian geese droppings..i would rather be safe then sorry when it comes to keeping the chickens healthy ...but then again my chickens free range ans they have the run of the whole yard and not just a run so i need to be extra careful


Resistance is futile
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
I understand what you're saying. No easy answers.... we love our birds and we love to share our love of them with the people around us! I worry that super strict bio security limits my birds ability to build up resistances etc. I free range mine during the day..... the neighbors dogs come down and trek across our property... and they have chickens running around... so who knows what they could end up getting exposed to. I plan to get NPIP tested regularly to ensure the health and safety of outgoing eggs and birds..... but the rest I think of as akin to my mother always nagging me to spray everything in my house with Lysol!
But, to each his/her own.... we all have the right to take care of our birds as we see fit. I would never fault someone for asking me to disinfect my shoes or simply not go to their coops
I respect everyone's right to own healthy happy birds

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