Who has a biosecurity testing protocal???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by longranger, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Every few weeks or months we hear of friends and strangers both through BYC and the general grapevine with serious issues like MG or newcastle's. That is usually followed by a flurry of phone calls and/or posts on the internet saying this and that but at the end of the day unless you are clean now and move to a bubble exposures will occur.

    So my questions are does anyone know of a reasonable screening protocal for people with moderate sized backyard flocks or small related businesses? What is worth culling your flock for? Other than basic quarantine and buying from people with good reputations can you protect yourself further?

    I have these same questions each time I become aware of someone with serious problems who is at least as cautious and careful anyone else. As a matter of individual responsibility it would make me feel good to know I was following some rational guidelines before exchanging or selling eggs or birds with other people in this wonderful hobby. BYC is a big enough cauldron of knowledge and communication that it would be a shame not to discuss a community standard for it's members, particularly those that regularly sell eggs or started birds.
     
  2. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    I am not sure this is the answer you are looking for but I do raise and sell chickens and I have very strict rules that I abide by like it was law laid down by God. My major rules are that NO ONE under any circumstances can enter my coops for any reason. I do not care if you are on fire and my chickens have the only water on the property. Sorry you must burn. My walkways are bleached down twice a day and the only people allowed inside are me, my husband, and my son with CHICKEN SHOES only. I NEVER ever take in rescues. I used to try to save the world but I have learned over the years that to save one risks losing them all. If someone purchases a bird from me and for one reason or another they have to rehome said bird they can not bring it back here. I don't know where it has been or what it has been exposed to. I don't care if it was kept in a solid gold antimicrobial vaccuum for the past 6 months it can't come back here. I gladly offer healthy options to those people. I will help anyone but not as the risk of my flock. If at anytime anything shows any signs of change it is isolated immediately and dealt with appropriately for example culling, medicating and so on. If that bird is not tip top it can never return to the selling flock and will in turn become part of my personal flock kept on the other end of my property to live out its life happy.
     
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    The first part sounds fantastic, the last line sounds like you keep a source of chronic infection right there on your property. Not sure why you would do that if the first half of the post is so strong on biosecurity, why keep a bunch of sick birds off to the side? I am not criticizing, just wondering. I keep my birds in separate pens, but they are adjacent. I figure if one get sick they are all exposed most likely... I have not figured out the whole biosecure thing yet, or if it is even worth it since wild bird can ruin everything by stopping by for a drink or to poop in the food pan.
     
  4. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most people and poultry businesses can not and will not operate with the level of biosecurity arizonanessa uses. Even if they do, as suggested by onthespot they may be creating a little bit of a false sense of security because wild birds spread the same infectious agents that we try to avoid by strict rules of entry,exit and sanitation. If you house birds outside you run a risk no matter how careful you are.

    I think many of us are up to speed on the above. Problem is if you start talking and asking questions people naturally start to get concerned. After all why all these questions? Do you have a nagging feeling that your birds have something wrong with them? If they are infected with something do you want to know? That last question is really the one I am aiming at. What basic levels of testing, if any, should most of us that trade and sell birds and eggs employ to protect each other. Definitely not a substitute for other common sense practices, however if you don't test for silent disease it remains silent until it disseminates.
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I take my cue from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. He has visitors to his farm all the time.

    Since so much wildlife "visits" my birds even in my suburban backyard, I think biosecurity would be a myth.
     
  6. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't have much experience, but my plan is as follows

    Regarding Visitors & Customers
    1. Avoid having visitors to the farm wherever possible
    2. NO ONE but us in the coops or runs
    3. People are allowed in the surrounding yard which allows them to see inside the coops
    To deal with the shoes issue, a box of surgical shoe covers costs only a few bucks for a hundred, and is pretty easy for anyone to use when they visit
    4. NO returns

    Regarding Internal Practices
    1. Sick birds - I'm pretty sure I'm of the opinion that if it sneezes or get sick I need to cull it, watery eyes, mucus, anything sickly. I haven't read many instances where it would be worth it to me to take ANY chances by treating.
    2. Injured birds - quarantine, topical treatments, clean food & sometimes vitamin water
    3. Unknown Diagnosis - listless or whatever that I don't know what it is... goes to quarantine... same treatment as Injured until a diagnosis can be found or the bird gets better.

    New Poultry
    NPIP sources only
    Quarantine for 4-6 weeks
    Test by adding one or two of my own stock to the new group at that time
    Incorporate into flock after 8 - 10 weeks & "test" went well
     
  7. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    One thing I'd like to point out that I live by is that if you don't ever bring any grown birds in, you eliminate a lot of your risk.

    I think the 30 day quarantine is also a false indicator, because it only shows that that birds has become sick from something it picked up recently that is still in incubation in its system- it won't indicate something that could be lying dormant, like Infectious Coryza, and I have a friend who had to cull her whole flock- her whole business- because of that. A lovely lemon blue Cochin came in healthy as can be, stayed that way for 30 days, so she joined him to the flock...only to have her flock go down in flames while the new guy remained healthy.

    I'll bring in eggs only, and won't even bring in chicks anymore unless they come from a tested hatchery- I don't have any reason to do that anymore, really, now that hatching is going so well.

    No one goes in my coops. Visitors with chickens have to borrow shoes or go barefoot. I have some that are here often and they have $1 flip-flops they keep here.

    I think they are susceptible to wild birds bringing stuff in, but there's common sense caution, too.
     
  8. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What dawnsuiter describes is a solid common sense view shared by many poultry owners. A question I ask myself is when you mix your own with the outside stock and some or all birds get sick in the combined coop and run what do you do? Assume your birds were clean and got infected by the outside stock? Assume that the outside stock was just fine and your birds made them sick? Wonder how could this happen? Question if your entire flock is carrying a silent pathogen?

    If you have not guessed yet I am from the medical field and have some expertise in infectious diseases. The same problems and questions occur with infectious diseases in all animal populations. To some extent disease is inevitable and unavoidable. by definition the larger you get and the longer you have had birds the higher the chances you will encounter problems. Some will be obvious as florid pox and others will be totally silent such as MG in a healthy flock with good immune systems.

    BYC is not and should not try to be a regulatory agency but it has the ear of a great number of hobby breeders and smaller hatcheries etc.. That puts this forum in a great position to educate and suggest some voluntary testing regimens. Biosecurity as it is practiced now is seriously flawed. For what it is worth the level of care and responsibility many on BYC employ far exceeds that practiced in human medical facilities.
     
  9. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I hope that by mixing a couple of mine with the new stock STILL in quarantine, that the answer should be obvious... either the new birds are the carriers or not strong enough to handle being with whatever mine might be carrying. I do plan on participating in the AI testing as well this year.

    longranger... do you have any suggestions for all of us?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  10. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    Quote:Sorry I didn't mean for it to sound that way. The birds that end up becoming my pets are ones that have gimpy problems like a beak or foot issues. It don't happen often but I just won't sell a bird with any issue. For example this year I had one who ended up with cross beak. I don't feel it would be right for me to sell that bird to anyone but yet I don't feel like I should kill it just because it has an issue like that. It was not sick just ugly. My husband did some careful trimming and I decided to keep her. She's not suffering and she didn't have to die simply because she was ugly. The only illness I have ever had is one bout of cocci in a pen of ameraucanas. I treated them. All my birds are not housed together and wild birds have no access to them at all. My personal pets have no access to the birds for sale either. Reading the other posts I think that this might not have been the place for me to post because I do not breed birds but rather just raise and sell them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009

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