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it's FAIR TIME...and chicken safety

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by imzadi, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    It's fair time!!! And, now that I"m a chicken mamma...I'm looking forward to going to the fair for a WHOLE different reason [​IMG]

    But, I know there are a LOT of issues with "visiting" other flocks and how you can bring diseases back to your girls. Is this also a consideration at fairs?

    I'm thinking I should bring foot covers and then remove/discard before I get home so as to not track anything into my flock.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    bump...now that it's not so early [​IMG]
     
  3. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a geek about biosecurity. It was my job for a while as well.

    And YES, this is something you should consider.

    This year! I refused to go look at the birds at the fair myself. We had a bird break with something just before we went to the fair. I quarantined him before we left, and even though I changed my clothes and shoes and washed, I was afraid I had germs on me. Hopefully we get to look at the birds at the next county fair.

    Ok, but to answer your question. Some ideas:

    Wear different shoes and clothing on your place. Those never leave your property. The barn shoes in particular don't come in the house. You wear different shoes off the property, which you keep in the car.

    Shoe covers, and dispose of them when you leave the show barn.

    Spray your shoes with Lysol BEFORE getting in your car, after leaving the fair. I do this, even though I wear different shoes off farm, because I worry about germs someone's shoes might have had on them at the feed store, the fair, anywhere, that I could have walked through and have now on me. A variation is a footbath, a shallow pan filled with a fresh bleach, Lysol or other chemical solution, that you walk through to enter or exit an area. I have set them up at the entrance/exit of barns, yards, homes and animal hospitals. I have thought about setting one up here for a daily use in my general population area, but the ducks would tryto swim in it, and the amount of biological material that would likely get in it and thus inactivate it makes it unfeasible.

    Change your clothes before going out to handle your birds after you come home from the fair, and make sure you aren't wearing clothing you wore around your birds to the fair.

    If someone lets you handle a bird (because many birds will be for sale at the fair, and you will want to look at them) wash your hands and arms, and definitely change before going to see your birds.

    If you buy anything, quarantine it at least 30 days. When I quarantine a bird, I look after it last, I bring nothing from its pen near anything for the rest of the birds (like I take a bucket of feed and keep that near the pen -- in my garage -- and feed from that instead of bringing the feeder to the feed room every day) . I keep different shoes for handling birds in quarantine, or I use a foot bath in and of the garage. I haven't gone so far as using gloves, but I wash right after handling the quarantined birds.

    Coveralls can be useful.

    You can even spray your tires off with Lysol before entering your property. That is probably extreme in your situation, but I did do it when I was working on some disease outbreak surveillance teams. Depends on how worried you are (and I did it at the bottom of my driveway before we went to the fair so I didn't carry germs from here to there since the sick bird I had here had been free ranging in the days before falling ill.

    Be sensible and think things through first.

    There is quite a lot of information about biosecurity at the APHIS website, or google biosecurity is for the birds.
     
  4. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ths is a wonderful answer!

    I have a pair of "chicken shoes" that I DO bring into the mud room...and have worn in the car when goin no place that I care about (or, not getting out of the car at all...) I think this practice will stop.
     
  5. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, as you could potentially carry germs from your place into your car, where then they get on you and you could spread them. The converse is true as well. You visit the feed store. Farmer Joe was there earlier buying medicine for sick chickens and wore his farm boots and clothing and walked through the store. Your shoes now have germs on them. You get out of your car and walk into your feed room with a bag of feed. And you just carried germs with you, which you now can carry anywhere if they don't die off.

    We did a demo on a depop I was on with a powder that shows up under UV light. You can't see it otherwise. But basically, a "contaminated" person did something like shake a hand and carry a bucket or something like that, and everyone else did their normal work, then we checked. Everyone had lots of "germs" everywhere on them. Made me think about it a lot.
     

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