Have a Poultry Farm or Backyard Flock?

Have a Poultry Farm or Backyard Flock?

March 21, 2022 in News, Public Health

Brought to you by Delaware County Public Health

Avian influenza is a viral disease mainly affecting wild and domestic birds. Poultry are very susceptible to this disease and can die in large numbers. Unfortunately, this virus has been detected in Iowa. If you have a poultry farm or backyard flock, it is very important that you monitor your birds for illness. Symptoms may include but are not limited to:

  • Decreased food and water intake
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Decreased egg production
  • Gasping for air
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb, legs
  • Sudden death

If your birds have any of these symptoms, immediately contact your veterinarian and State (515-281-5305) or Federal (866-536-7593) Animal Health Official. A laboratory test is needed to confirm if a bird has Avian influenza.

Avian influenza rarely infects people but can happen. Infected birds shed the virus in their saliva, mucous, and feces. Everyone around birds needs to practice proper biosecurity and hygiene measures:

  • Ensure wild birds do not have direct or indirect contact with poultry
  • Clean up feed spills to avoid attracting wild birds
  • When entering a poultry building, ensure nothing is tracked in that could have been from or in contact with a wild bird or another poultry facility
  • Wear protective clothing such as masks, gloves, and safety glasses
  • Avoid touching your eyes or mouth until hands have been washed with soap and water

Visit bit.ly/HPAI-Resources for more information on Avian influenza. If you need additional support or information, reach out to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship at 515-242-0247 or Delaware County Public Health at 563-927-7551.