Wildfowl in pond and avian flu risk...

IdahoMichelle

Hatching
May 6, 2015
8
0
7
Hello!

We're about to move onto our new property. One thing that concerns us is that we have this fantastic retention pond that we will pump our irrigation water from. There are wild ducks, a heron, quail and with the hawks I see flying nearby, they probably use the pond for hydration, too.

It's a fantastic setup, but, we're worried about the risk of avian flu being transferred to our chicken flock. The coop is currently located about 200 feet or so from the pond. We have a covered run, but we'd like to let them free range, too.

In the future, we hope to do an intensive rotational grazing with cows followed by chickens. The pond is located on the side of the pasture area.

We're not in a high-risk area, but avian flu has been found in our state.

I'd love to hear feedback on what we should do: try to keep the wildfowl away (not sure how practical that would be), fence the pond (wondering how far away we'd need to fence from the shoreline) to keep the domestic birds away, or something else?

Thanks so much!

Michelle in Idaho
 

jtn42248

Crowing
7 Years
Hello!

We're about to move onto our new property. One thing that concerns us is that we have this fantastic retention pond that we will pump our irrigation water from. There are wild ducks, a heron, quail and with the hawks I see flying nearby, they probably use the pond for hydration, too.

It's a fantastic setup, but, we're worried about the risk of avian flu being transferred to our chicken flock. The coop is currently located about 200 feet or so from the pond. We have a covered run, but we'd like to let them free range, too.

In the future, we hope to do an intensive rotational grazing with cows followed by chickens. The pond is located on the side of the pasture area.

We're not in a high-risk area, but avian flu has been found in our state.

I'd love to hear feedback on what we should do: try to keep the wildfowl away (not sure how practical that would be), fence the pond (wondering how far away we'd need to fence from the shoreline) to keep the domestic birds away, or something else?

Thanks so much!

Michelle in Idaho
While Idaho has not had an outbreak to the proportions that some other states have it has confirmed exposure to the current avian flu outbreak. In January of this year a 6 mile quarantine was imposed on Parma on the western border of Idaho adjoining Washington state. In addition that have been confirmed outbreaks within backyard flocks.

At this point I would suggest that you may want to limit your poultry investment and placement to the smallest number possible to provide eggs and perhaps meat for your family and not go much beyond that. Any investment in poultry would be a risky one in my opinion until they either have abated the current outbreak or at least have more information about its spread.

Even if you had only a few chickens that you kept in a coop and covered run area where their exposure would be minimal there would always be the risk that, as you go about your daily routine, you could track the virus into the chicken enclosure on your shoes. So far, based on what I have read, there is no risk of human exposure with this current strain of avian flu. But, since they are not even sure of its bird-to-bird trasfer method I would not be willing to risk my health or that of my family.

I am in West Central Texas and we have been fortunate to not have significant exposure as yet. However, we are on a migratory path for certain geese and ducks and our migration season has just begun. So, we are keeping our birds as isolated as possible and using warning shots to discourage any migrating birds we see from landing.

Good luck on your new home and farm. Just sort of take it slow and play it by ear at this point.
 

IdahoMichelle

Hatching
May 6, 2015
8
0
7
Thanks for the input. We definitely want to take it slow.

The plan is to take bio security very seriously, but, as noobs, we have a bit of a learning curve. :)

Thanks, again.

Michelle in Idaho
 

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