Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
Backyard biosecurity means doing everything you can to protect your birds from disease. As a bird owner, keeping your birds healthy is a top priority. Your birds can become sick or die from exposure to just a few unseen bacteria, viruses, or parasites. In a single day, these germs can multiply and infect all of your birds. By practicing backyard biosecurity, you will help keep your birds healthy.
If you follow some basic tips and make them part of your routine, you decrease the risk of disease entering your flock and persisting in soil, droppings, and debris. Practicing biosecurity is an investment in the health of your birds.
What Can I Do To Protect My Birds?
Keeping Your Poultry Healthy
Bird Flu poster available, includes warning signs and prevention, along with who to contact.
Backyard Biosecurity Checklist
- Poultry pens are bird-proofed against wild or free-flying birds.
- Measures are in place to prevent the accidental entrance of wildlife and to remove them from poultry pens and other areas should they gain entrance.
- Dogs and cats are not allowed in poultry areas.
- Feed bins are secured to prevent contamination by wild birds or rodents, and spilled feed is cleaned up promptly to prevent attracting wild birds and rodents.
- Water is drawn from secure sources that cannot be accessed by free-flying birds or rodents.
- Dedicate footwear only to be worn in pen or coop to prevent tracking infected material in from outside. Consider double-booting with disposable footwear, otherwise.
- Footbaths are used, and they are changed if the footbath collects excessive dirt, egg contents, or manure.
- Hand washing or hand-sanitizing stations are available.
- Equipment and tools brought to the farm are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to use.
- Chicken transport equipment (carts, crates, etc.) is cleaned and disinfected prior to use.
- Only clean, sanitized, and disinfected plastic egg cartons, or new disposable cartons, are allowed on the farm.
- Cleaned and disinfected equipment is held under conditions that prevent exposure to wild birds.
Lew Strickland, associate professor with the Department of Animal Science and UT Extension veterinarian, talks about avian influenza.
Melissa Kennedy, a veterinary virologist and associate professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about Avian Influenza.