HEADS UP AVIAN INFLUENZA ALERT

cibula11

Songster
7 Years
Mar 13, 2013
84
20
111
Iowa
I have a dozen laying hens that do free range on our 2 acre property. The nearest located to be effected is about 35 minutes south of us. As we are more centrally located in Iowa, just outside the Des Moines metro area. Is there anything I should or should not be doing? Should I be keeping them from free ranging? What about feeding song birds....should I stop that too? Any other ideas for backyard/small flock owners?
 

cibula11

Songster
7 Years
Mar 13, 2013
84
20
111
Iowa
So, this might seem like a dumb question(s), but I'll ask anyway....If I use a deep litter method for my coop on a compacted dirt/clay floor, how do I disinfect? I mean I can clean feeders and waterers...I guess free ranging keeps things cleaner because they are out instead of in, but then I run the risk of them picking it up somewhere else.

We also don't live next to any wetlands nor do I see any wild fowl on my property, but do have plenty of sparrows, black birds, owls, etc. that could bring it in.

Maybe my main question is how OCD do I need to be on this sanitation thing?
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
13 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,786
1,154
522
central Ohio
So, this might seem like a dumb question(s), but I'll ask anyway....If I use a deep litter method for my coop on a compacted dirt/clay floor, how do I disinfect? I mean I can clean feeders and waterers...I guess free ranging keeps things cleaner because they are out instead of in, but then I run the risk of them picking it up somewhere else.

We also don't live next to any wetlands nor do I see any wild fowl on my property, but do have plenty of sparrows, black birds, owls, etc. that could bring it in.

Maybe my main question is how OCD do I need to be on this sanitation thing?

You just have to do the best you can. I know you can't disinfect dirt, but if I were you, I'd get some Oxine and make a solution with it. I don't know about those other disinfectants mentioned in that link, but I know that with Oxine, you can make the solution and mist the birds with it, and also put a few drops of the solution in their drinking water. It does help. If you can close your birds in, or even make a covered run, that will help too, but ideally so that they are comfortable, because overcrowding, stress, and dust, can create other problems. If I were you I'd definitely be scrubbing and spraying my shoes with disinfectant several times a day, too., and have all your household members do the same. Keep delivery trucks away from your house, and off your property, too. That was a good link that Chicken Canoe posted. Not everybody can practice OCD biosecurity, but do remember that you're right in the middle of the affected area, and do as much as you can, at least until things settle down.
 
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chicknmania

Free Ranging
13 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,786
1,154
522
central Ohio
Also, we already have not been feeding songbirds, but just as a precaution. Probably not a bad idea to stop for a bit, again til things settle down. Although birds will still be everywhere, anyway.
Weather is warming, and hopefully that will help to knock this down for a while.
 
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Lady EE

Songster
8 Years
May 10, 2011
142
0
101
Earth
Another fairly dumb question... We have a wetland very close to where our chickens live. The wetland usually has wild ducks and a pair of wild geese, who frequently visit the yard where the chickens free-range. Would it be safer to keep the chickens in a covered tractor where the geese don't go? Should we just lock them up in the coop, or would the tractor option be safe enough? We are located in SE Wisconsin.
 

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