Biosecurity Question: Working at Chicken Farm and Having My Own Birds

shadow rabbit10

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 3, 2012
6,187
220
296
New Jersey
Don't know if there's anyone out there who knows a lot about biosecurity. I'm a student who lives away from home and works at the poultry farm at my school (once or twice a week, we are a smaller farm), but I also have my own small flock back at home. I only go home a few times a year. Basically my question is how much should I worry about bringing possible diseases between the two flocks. I have my own boots for work that will never be used at home, and I walk through disinfectant pans when entering the pens at work. Similarly, I have my own shoes at home for my coop that never go anywhere else. I was told by my boss that NPIP says 48 hours is the amount of time where it is safe to go from one flock to another, so I didn't know if anyone else could confirm that. There is always around a 5 day period between me working at the farm and going home to my birds. My main worry is that the birds at the farm get bumblefoot sometimes, and I really don't want my birds catching it. Any insight is appreciated.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
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Cleveland OH
It sounds like you're fine. Bumblefoot is an infection, not a disease or virus. It can't be spread from one bird to another any more than someone can "catch" an infected paper cut from you.

If you wanna take it one step further, have specific outdoor clothes for each group of birds in addition to shoes, so a coat you wear to work vs one you wear with your birds. But I wouldn't fret. It sounds like you're already covered.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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I cannot say what NPIP says, especially since it varies from one state to another. The things I would be most concerned about would be transporting mycoplasma (MG, MS,) or coryza, but they only remain alive on shoes, clothing, hair, etc for about 3 days. Infectious bronchitis or ILT, both respiratory diseases as well, are ones I am not as certain about. Mareks disease can remain alive in dust and dander for months to years. With good handwashing, changing clothes and shoes, you should be okay.

I would wonder more about the owners of the poultry farm allowing employees to keep their own chickens. Just from reading, I had thought most poultry workers were not able to keep their own, because of the possibility of spreading diseases to the large farms. They tend to control diseases by having an all-in, all-out policy with chickens. Here are a few articles by poultry colleges about biosecurity:
http://extension.uga.edu/publicatio...&title=Biosecurity Basics for Poultry Growers

http://www.poultryhub.org/health/health-management/disease-prevention-biosecurity/


https://www.business.qld.gov.au/ind...try-producers/biosecurity-risks-poultry-farms

http://animalsciencey.ucdavis.edu/avian/pfs26.htm
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
I cannot say what NPIP says, especially since it varies from one state to another. The things I would be most concerned about would be transporting mycoplasma (MG, MS,) or coryza, but they only remain alive on shoes, clothing, hair, etc for about 3 days. Infectious bronchitis or ILT, both respiratory diseases as well, are ones I am not as certain about. Mareks disease can remain alive in dust and dander for months to years. With good handwashing, changing clothes and shoes, you should be okay.

I would wonder more about the owners of the poultry farm allowing employees to keep their own chickens. Just from reading, I had thought most poultry workers were not able to keep their own, because of the possibility of spreading diseases to the large farms. They tend to control diseases by having an all-in, all-out policy with chickens. Here are a few articles by poultry colleges about biosecurity:
http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1306&title=Biosecurity Basics for Poultry Growers

http://www.poultryhub.org/health/health-management/disease-prevention-biosecurity/


https://www.business.qld.gov.au/ind...try-producers/biosecurity-risks-poultry-farms

http://animalsciencey.ucdavis.edu/avian/pfs26.htm

Great links! I need to read these later. I’m usually on my phone and can hardly see them.:)
 

shadow rabbit10

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 3, 2012
6,187
220
296
New Jersey
I cannot say what NPIP says, especially since it varies from one state to another. The things I would be most concerned about would be transporting mycoplasma (MG, MS,) or coryza, but they only remain alive on shoes, clothing, hair, etc for about 3 days. Infectious bronchitis or ILT, both respiratory diseases as well, are ones I am not as certain about. Mareks disease can remain alive in dust and dander for months to years. With good handwashing, changing clothes and shoes, you should be okay.

I would wonder more about the owners of the poultry farm allowing employees to keep their own chickens. Just from reading, I had thought most poultry workers were not able to keep their own, because of the possibility of spreading diseases to the large farms. They tend to control diseases by having an all-in, all-out policy with chickens. Here are a few articles by poultry colleges about biosecurity:
http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1306&title=Biosecurity Basics for Poultry Growers

http://www.poultryhub.org/health/health-management/disease-prevention-biosecurity/


https://www.business.qld.gov.au/ind...try-producers/biosecurity-risks-poultry-farms

http://animalsciencey.ucdavis.edu/avian/pfs26.htm

Thanks for the links I'll definitely check them out. And I should clarify that the full time staff are actually not allowed to keep chickens. Student workers for some reason are the exception, and sometimes we have classes do things up at the barns. I guess it is because we are not around our birds as much, but some people still are. Also, student workers only work one or two days a week, so maybe the risk is lower? Don't really know. Good to know most of the diseases die fairly quickly with the exception of Mareks. The farm does test frequently though, and if we had something as serious as Mareks we'd be in trouble.
 

shadow rabbit10

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 3, 2012
6,187
220
296
New Jersey
It sounds like you're fine. Bumblefoot is an infection, not a disease or virus. It can't be spread from one bird to another any more than someone can "catch" an infected paper cut from you.

If you wanna take it one step further, have specific outdoor clothes for each group of birds in addition to shoes, so a coat you wear to work vs one you wear with your birds. But I wouldn't fret. It sounds like you're already covered.

Ah interesting I always thought bumble foot was a staph infection and that it could be transferred. And yes I do have certain clothes that I only wear to the barn. Sometimes I wear them other places, but only if they've been washed and I usually wash them in hot water to be safe. First thing I do after work is bag my clothes and disinfect my phone, keys, etc. I'm a bit of a clean-freak lol.
 

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