Ensuring the safety of your home flock from communicable diseases.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kate1, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Kate1

    Kate1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Pensacola, FL
    How do you ensure the safety of your home flock when you visit poultry shows, swap meets, state fairs and poultry farms? Changing your clothes (including shoes) on arrival home before going to your chickens seems like a start. Is this enough?
     
  2. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2012
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    #7 talks a little about biosecurity.

    Chickens may be livestock or they may be pets, but they deserve and desire attention and care. If you are going to maintain a healthy backyard flock, there are certain rules that should be followed. For those of you who frequently PM me for advice, or for those of you who are new to chicken-keeping, here is the "Speckledhen Method" in a nutshell.

    Speckledhen's Ten Commandments of Good Flock Management

    1) Keep a clean, dry environment...change bedding as needed, watch out for leaky waterers/windows/roofs, etc.

    2) Fresh air/ventilation is essential..poop and respiration add moisture in the air. Ventilation overhead, not at roost or floor level.

    3) Provide fresh water, daily. Would you take a sip out of the waterer? If not, clean it.

    4) Give fresh, nutritious food, formulated for the age/function of the birds

    5) Provide a safe, predator-proofed, uncrowded coop and run...they depend on you for protection

    6) Periodically, check over each bird in the flock for lice, mites, wounds, etc.

    7) Practice good biosecurity..disinfect shoes before and after visiting the feed store and shows, quarantine new birds, etc Under no circumstances, sell, trade, or give away a bird that shows sign of infection or has contacted another bird who shows signs of infection, or comes from a flock that has shown signs of infection, now or in the past.

    8) At the first sign of contagious respiratory illness, i.e., discharges from nose or eyes or bad smell, cull, cull, cull...birds don't get colds, per se; they contract diseases, many of which make them carriers for their lifetime. That means they are able to infect others even if they seem to recover themselves. See Rule #7.

    9) Do not medicate unnecessarily, including wormers and antibiotics

    10) DO YOUR RESEARCH! There are numerous books and articles profiling poultry management and poultry disease. Read, study and then formulate a plan of action, should the worst happen, before it happens.


    Happy Chicken-Keeping! [​IMG]
     
  3. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I too am looking for answers to this topic. Anxious to get some advice! ;)
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
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    My Coop
    My DH and I each have a pair of old shoes that are strictly backyard/chicken run shoes. We don't wear them anywhere else (they're not quite fit for the public any more, anyway [​IMG]). We don't wear any other shoes out to the run.

    When we visit swaps/meets/shows/etc. and actually touch/handle any birds or equipment in contact with birds, we'll change clothes and wash hands well before visiting our flock. If we didn't touch anything (which is rare), then we just wash hands and change shoes.

    We've only done one flock integration so far (our new cockerel), and we quarantined him for two weeks and had him checked by a poultry vet as well as had a fecal sample analyzed for worms before he had any contact with our flock. We changed shoes/clothes between handling him and our flock the same as if we'd visited a swap.
     
  5. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
  6. Kate1

    Kate1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Pensacola, FL
    Very helpful article. I went to the APA website to find their suggestions and this article is similar but more comprehensive. This is the time of year when we are out at the shows, fairs and swaps looking for new poultry or just looking to see what others have and we need to be very careful. The point about the feed store is well taken. Not something I would normally have been concerned about but should be. The APA recommends disinfecting the soles of your shoes and the mats of your car with a phenol product like "One-stroke Environ", formaldehyde or a hypochlorite- bleach. I lived in England during the hoof and mouth crisis and every farm had disinfecting pans at every entry and exit. Since so much livestock was being killed by the government, people were religious about observing bio-security measures.
    I plan on carrying a pair of Crocs in a plastic shopping bag to wear outside the car and will toss them in the wash on the way into the house when I visit the poultry show at the county fair this week. There is always a pack of hand wipes in the car.
     

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