How vigilant are you?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DreamsInPink, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been reading articles all day... I came across one that talks about keeping your birds safe/protecting your birds... many things in the article made a lot of sense, but at the same time, it kind of takes things to the extreme... and I just wonder, do people actually do these things daily...??

    Such as:
    • If you’ve been near other birds or bird owners, such as at a feed store, pet store, or bird club meeting, clean and disinfect your clothing, shoes, cages, and equipment before going near your birds.
    • Scrub your shoes with disinfectant. This may seem like a lot of work, but your boots and shoes can easily track disease to your birds. Or keep a separate pair of shoes or boots near your cages to wear only when working with your birds.
    • Wear clean clothes that you use only when you feed and care for your birds.
    • This would suggest, every time I go to TSC or any other feed store, I need to clean and disinfect my shoes and clothing.... Uhhh, as I said, it makes sense, but I don't know if it's a little above and beyond what is necessary.

    What are your thoughts??

    • If visitors have birds of their own, do not let them near your birds.
    • Avoid visiting farms or other households with poultry.
    • Do not share lawn and garden equipment, tools, or poultry supplies with your neighbors or other bird owners, but if you must, disinfect them before bringing them home.

    Those are some of the things I read.... but I wanted to ask also, what is an acceptable quarantine time for new birds? If/when I ever decide to add to my flock?

    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    It all depends on how much you want to protect your chickens. I have barn shoes that never go to town. No one ever "visits" my coops. I don't go to other people's coops. I never go to swaps to buy chickens, ONLY to sell. Anyone that buys chickens from me meets me somewhere.

    I pretty much follow all those rules.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'd say that common sense, combined with one's own attitudes should prevail. Like Enola, i only use one pair of shoes to go and deal with my chickens, but any visitors that do come to the house, even if they own chickens, don't arrive in their "chicken" outfits.

  4. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    I keep a pair of shoes at the back door just for the chicken area and have a barn jacket that I use just for the chicken area as well. When friends visit I just make sure they are locked up in the run. That way I don't have to explain any concerns.
    Once in the habit it is easy.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It's certainly something to be aware of, how far you go is up to you.
    Some folks seem to buy and sell birds from all over with very little, if any, concern for 'mixing germs'.
    Other do as you've outlined above.
    Brings to mind a commercial place that disinfected entire trucks, especially the tires, during the AI outbreak last year.

    I don't wear my 'chicken shoes' and coat anywhere offsite.
    But ..... having been trained in a biological clean room I am very aware of cross contamination.
    I do walk across the same floors with both chicken shoes and other there's potential there for contamination.

    I don't visit many other places where chickens are, and when I do I make sure there's no detritus tracked home, but I don't 'disinfect'.
    If I sell a bird, buyers stay in driveway outside of yard. I don't buy outside adult birds and hatch most my own chicks.

    Most birds carry organisms that could kill them if their immune systems are weak.
    Keeping your birds healthy on good basic nutrition and housing is the best defense, IMO.
    2 people like this.
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Good basic nutrition is the key to successful farming of all livestock. That was a very good point to bring up!

    Quarantine if done properly is key to a healthy flock.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What you are reading is pretty standard for commercial operations. Generally people that work at the commercial places are not even allowed to own chickens at home, it’s a condition of employment. Delivery trucks drive through pits of disinfectant to clean the tires. They don’t allow casual visitors. They take biosecurity very seriously. It’s a huge financial blow if their flocks become infected.

    I’m a lot like the others. I don’t wear the same clothes when I take care of the chickens as when I go to town. I don’t worry about visitors because they don’t either. I do not bring in outside chickens except from a major hatchery, and that’s only baby chicks. They take biosecurity very seriously too so I don’t have much concern with their chicks. I will sometimes get hatching eggs from others and hatch them myself to bring in new blood. We all manage biosecurity differently but some things are pretty common. We are not commercial though.

    If you do bring in new chickens quarantine is a great idea. Many people bring in new chickens without quarantine a lot and the worst they have to deal with is mires, lice, or worms. Those are inconvenient but can be managed. But occasionally a flock is wiped out because they bring in a very serious disease. It’s a risk they choose to take. A standard quarantine time is 30 days.
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    The precautions mentioned are downright risky when compared to the precautions of large commercial breeders like Ross Poultry. If you have worked your whole life and been lucky enough to have a few great mutations in your flock that are immensely valuable, you best protect your investment because you may be unable to recreate that blood line. The precautions mentioned is a reflection of how much you value your poultry, not how much you enjoy or love your chickens.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm bad [​IMG]. I try to remember to change shoes when I leave the place. Not especially for biosecurity, but for not having poopy shoes in the van or around town [​IMG]. But I forget. I wear the same clothes, mostly. I do try to remember to change jackets, and that's easier cause my home jacket is bright orange, stained and usually has hay sticking to it. That makes it easier to remember to take it off before I get in the van.

    Mostly, though, I don't have folks come over. I really only know one other person who keeps birds. We don't visit each other a lot, but when we do we track all over each other's places. I don't disinfect after.

    I've been to two poultry swaps over the years, and I did disinfect my shoes after being there.
  10. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    I'm very much in the camp of using common sense. I do basic very biosecurity if/when it makes sense. I'm very happy with my young-ish flock as the dynamic is just about perfect with a young (8 months) cockerel protecting/servicing his 9 older hens wonderfully. My previous roosters each lacked in one way or another leading them both to the dinner table. I do my own hatching and have a very isolated flock so external interaction is minimal. The threat is low so my biosecurity stance is low.

    That said, these aren't prized show-stock worth their weight in gold. I could easily start over again. Most backyard chickens are cheap and easily replaced (in 21 days) so I can afford to adopt a very Nietzschean approach to my husbandry...“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” If something happens to wipe out some of my flock, those remaining are likely better for it as it's made them stronger by fighting off the affliction and/or removing the weaker birds from the breeding pool.

    As with all things chicken, you have to assess what works best for your environment.
    1 person likes this.

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