Minding the Flock
To date, Colorado has not had a confirmed case of avian influenza. Thirteen other states have with losses to producers in the millions. Whole flocks of chickens and turkeys have been decimated.
GRAY: The Colorado Department of Ag and the Colorado Egg Producers have been urging flock owners to take steps to protect their poultry. According to Colorado State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr, (roe-ur) the best practice is to increase disease prevention practices. Most of the threat to flocks come from migratory birds traveling though their regional flyway.
MARTIN: Vaccines are not usually used to control avian influenza outbreaks since that can limit trade with other countries as well as the fact that there are a number of strains of the flu that no one vaccine can handle. So it’s a much more “hands on” approach to increasing biosecurity.
GRAY: Measures include limiting on-farm access to essential employees; domestic poultry should be housed indoors to limit access to wild birds; use foot baths as well as keeping tools and equipment clean and disinfected. Wear protective gear to be used at all times and avoid contact with sick or dead birds.
MARTIN: Risk to humans is relatively low but precautions should be taken. You need to report and sick or dead birds immediately to the state veterinarians office. CSU also has a helpline for producers with sick birds.
And that’s Colorado Ag Today. I’m Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.