APHIS Social Media Toolkit – Biosecurity and High Path Avian Influenza

When it comes to disease threats, you are your flock’s best protection. Biosecurity – practiced carefully and regularly — is key to protecting backyard birds from infectious disease carried to and from farms, backyards or aviaries, by people, animals, equipment or vehicles.

Wild birds, particularly waterfowl like ducks and geese, can carry diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), among others. With spring migration underway, bird owners should be aware of the increased threats and take steps to limit spread of germs and disease by following good biosecurity practices at all times.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) “Biosecurity for Birds” campaign includes social media resources on biosecurity and practices. We hope you will take part in promoting biosecurity during migratory season by sharing these resources on your channels and with your readers. Here are a few ways you can help:

FOLLOW #Biosecurity

 

 

POST

 

Use or customize these sample Facebook posts to increase awareness of the importance of biosecurity practices during migratory season.

 

With migratory season underway, disease threat for bird owners is increased. It’s important to include

#biosecurity practices in your daily routine to protect your birds’ safety. We are the best protection our birds have. Learn how to practice good #biosecurity at: http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Spring migration is underway, which means ducks, geese and other birds traveling for the spring have the potential to spread disease. Keep your flock disease-free this spring by incorporating biosecurity basics into your daily routines! http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Keeping flocks healthy should be a top priority for all backyard bird owners. As part of good biosecurity, you should prevent contact between your birds and wild birds. Check out this video on keeping flocks healthy: http://bit.ly/1TKUUD1

Don’t be chicken! Aim to protect your flock by practicing #biosecurity. Disease can spread from exposure to wild animals, contaminated water and equipment and much more. Learn how you can keep your flock disease-free at: http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Birds are migrating! Did you know migration increases the possibility of disease and virus harming your flock? Protect your birds by taking preventative measures, like keeping them in a screened-in area. Here are tips you can use: http://bit.ly/2d24UI3

 

TWEET

 

Share the sample tweets on Twitter to get your followers involved with #biosecurity.

Spring migration is here. Keep birds disease-free by screening in their coop to prevent contact with wild animals http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Just 6 simple steps can keep your flock healthy during migratory season. Practicing #biosecurity prevents disease. http://1.usa.gov/1NQpx3W

#Biosecurity decreases risk of diseases with your flock, even during migratory season. Your flock counts on YOU! http://1.usa.gov/1QFtJrL

Migratory birds have potential to spread disease in US. #Biosecurity is crucial. Monitor 2017 fall patterns here: http://bit.ly/2dqHiz3

For poultry owners, #biosecurity can spell the difference between health and disease. Protect your flock this fall: http://bit.ly/2cQlgaG

#Biosecurity in migratory season is important because wild birds are likely to carry AI & other diseases. More here: http://bit.ly/2d24UI3

 

Full PDF with graphics ->Social Toolkit for APHIS-B4B Migratory Season (1)-1nacezp

 

High Path Avian Influenza Updates

High Path Avian Influenza has been in the news lately as outbreaks have occurred both in the United States and abroad.

 

Avian Influenza Update
Mohamed El-Gazzar, DVM, MAM, PhD, DACPV
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on March 5, 2017 the detection of H7 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the state of Tennessee. The affected flock is a Broiler Breeder, 30 to 45 weeks of age, located on an 8 house farm (~10,000 birds in each house) in Lincoln County, located in South Central Tennessee, 2 miles from Alabama border. On Thursday March 2nd, mortality increased to 132 dead in one house. On Friday March 4th, mortality jumped up to 500. Positive samples from only one house out of 8 were determined to be H7 by Tennessee NAHLN and confirmed by National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) late Saturday. By Sunday March 6th afternoon, all houses had been depopulated and onsite burial operations were underway. A control zone of 10 miles (not 10 Kilometers) was immediately started and the initial surveillance of commercial and noncommercial poultry premises within this zone (which extends into the state of Alabama) is near completion. No further positive samples within the zone have been detected thus far.
On March 7th, USDA’s NVSL confirmed that the complete subtype of the Tennessee virus is H7N9 based on the full genome sequence of all 8 influenza genomic segments. They also emphasized that based on the sequence the virus is of North American (NA) lineage and “is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia”. As NVSL explains, while the Tennessee and China viruses have the same designated subtype, they belong to genetically distinct lineages. What is referred to as the North American lineage is the genetic lineage that can be found in migratory wild birds of North America. Wild birds are suspected to be the source of this outbreak as well. While there is no identified direct link between wild birds and this particular farm in Tennessee so far, the H7 NA lineage was detected in wild birds multiple times this year. We don’t know how this virus could have jumped from wild to domestic birds, but it is important to note that Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) can transform into HPAI after they circulate in domestic poultry.
On March 9th, the Tennessee State Veterinarian confirmed another H7N9 influenza case in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Giles County, Tennessee, which is the county immediately to the east of Lincoln County, where the initial H7N9 virus was detected. However, this case in Giles County is Low Pathogenic Influenza (LPAI). No mortality or clinical signs were reported and it was detected during a routing surveillance testing. On March 14th, Alabama announced investigation of 3 potential cases of H7 in Jackson, Lauderdale, and Madison counties in north Alabama, all low pathogenic, one in a commercial breeder and two in noncommercial flocks. Latter on March 16th a second case of H7 HPAI was confirmed in another broiler breeder flock just one mile away from the index case in Tennessee with high mortality. On March 18th a commercial breeder flock was confirmed to be H7 positive in Christian County, Kentucky with no clinical signs suggesting that it is low pathogenic. Then two more cases were confirmed in Pickens and Madison counties in Alabama on March 22nd. And finally on March 22nd a flock of commercial poultry in Cullman County has tested positive for H7 with no clinical signs.
All in all, we had two highly pathogenic H7 cases, both in Tennessee, 1 mile apart. Also, we had several low pathogenic H7 cases in commercial and noncommercial poultry in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky, in addition to one detection of H7 in wild birds in Kentucky. These findings highly suggest that we have a low pathogenic virus given the chance to circulate in domestic poultry until it was transformed into a highly pathogenic virus. This is similar to the Indiana H7 HPAI outbreak of last year.
Meanwhile, another reportable influenza virus was detected in a commercial turkey flock in the state of Wisconsin. A 6-house farm containing 84,000 market turkey toms with 3 houses at 16 weeks of age and 3 houses at 6 weeks of age was confirmed to be positive for H5N2 North American Lineage virus, which is different from the 2015 virus. This virus was classified as LPAI, mild signs of depression prompted the testing of the flock. But because it’s an H5 virus, and has the capacity to transform into a HPAI, it is reportable to international organizations. This flock will not be depopulated, it will be sent to the processing plant through a controlled marketing process. The flock will be tested using PCR weekly to ensure the cessation of viral shedding before they are moved to the processing plant.
For the second year in a row, an influenza virus was able to jump from wild birds to a commercial poultry population and turn into HPAI. In our view, this points to a significant weakness in our influenza surveillance systems. Our inability to detect these viruses while they are circulating in domestic poultry, allowing them to blindside us and showing as HPAI outbreaks, invites a revision to our surveillance methodology. A review of “Testing Protocols for Disease Surveillance in Poultry” was written last year (http://vet.osu.edu/sites/vet.osu.edu/files/documents/extension/Vol%2042%20No%205.pdf) detailing the decision making process as it relates to improving surveillance methodology.
FULL PRINTABLE UPDATE INCLUDING DETAILED BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS –> HPAI news updates 3-27-17-1r1h4ax

 

USDA Confirms Second Case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a Commercial Flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 03/16/2017 11:15 AM EDT

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee.  It is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia.  The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Expert: Bird flu outbreak nation’s worst since 2015

March 22, 2017 by Jay Reeves

A bird flu outbreak that has led officials to euthanize more than 200,000 animals in three Southern states already is the nation’s worst since 2015 and new cases are still popping up, an expert said Wednesday.

 Agriculture officials are trying to limit the damage, but it’s unclear whether quarantines, transportation bans and will stop the spread, said Joseph Hess, a science professor at Auburn University.

The disease was first confirmed in southern Tennessee earlier this month and has since been detected in northern Alabama and western Kentucky.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-expert-bird-flu-outbreak-nation.html#jCp

OSU Youth Poultry Workshop

NEW OPPORTUNITY! OSU YOUTH POULTRY WORKSHOP

An OSU Youth Poultry Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 22 at the OSU Columbus campus Animal Sciences Building. A link to the flyer is posted at www.poultry.osu.edu on the Calendar of Events page. The cost is $10.00 per person if postmarked by April 10, and $20.00 per person same-day registration. Participants will learn how to evaluate and select birds for meat and eggs, how to quality grade meat carcasses and eggs, basic handling and showmanship techniques, as well as prepare for the Ohio State Fair youth poultry events – judging contest, skillathon, and avian bowl.

 

CLICK HERE FOR PDF OF APPLICATION AND AGENDA

Avian Influenza and Biosecurity

Mohamed El-Gazzar, DVM, MAM, PhD, DACPV

Assistant Professor and Poultry Extension Veterinarian, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University

It has been a little bit over 2 years since the beginning of the largest Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in North America (NA). The virus that caused such outbreak was genetically identified to be a mix between North American and Eurasian Avian Influenza (AI) viruses. Wild migratory birds are thought to play a prominent role in bringing that virus to NA. While the last case of commercial poultry from that outbreak was reported in late spring of 2015, AI continues to be a threat to the poultry population (commercial and noncommercial) in NA. The clearest evidence of that threat materialized in another HPAI outbreak in January of 2016 that affected the commercial poultry industry. Different from 2015 outbreak, the 2016 outbreak evolved from a purely NA virus. It also seems that the Eurasian virus did not disappear from NA; as it has been isolated from wild mallard ducks in two different occasions from two different locations (Alaska, August and Montana, December) in 2016.

Click Here to Read the Full Article —>  HPAI and Biosecurity 1-20-17-22o8w7a

Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Associated with Live Poultry, United States, 1990–2014

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal,  Centers for Disease and Prevention, Volume 22-Number 10, October 2016

 

BACKGROUND:  Backyard poultry flocks have increased in popularity concurrent with an increase in live poultry–associated salmonellosis (LPAS) outbreaks. Better understanding of practices that contribute to this emerging public health issue is needed. Most chicks sold for backyard flocks are produced by a network of mail-order hatcheries. Disease control guidance for hatcheries is provided by the US Department of Agriculture National Poultry Improvement Plan, which is a voluntary state, federal, and industry cooperative program aimed at eliminating certain diseases from poultry breeding flocks and hatcheries.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Author credit:  Basler C, Nguyen T-A, Anderson TC, Hancock T, Barton Behravesh C. Outbreaks of human Salmonella infections associated with live poultry, United States, 1990–2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Oct 

Save the Date: Small Scale Poultry Production seminar at Farm Science Review 9/20/16

Debbie Brown, Ph.D, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Shelby County,  will be presenting on Small Scale Poultry Production in the Small Farm Center programming track on Tuesday September 20th at 1:30 pm at the  2016 Farm Science Review.

CLICK HERE for more information about the event.

 

New York Times Article on Avian Flu

This article was shared by Poultry Team member Dr. Mohamed El-Gazzar.

The New York Times recently did an article on High Path Avian Flu.  The content of this article is not from the Poultry Team but shared due to the serious nature of the disease, all opinions and content are their own.

The Poultry Team will continue to monitor High Path Avian Flu and will provide update and content as soon as necessary.

NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE

Breed Selections of Chickens

Breed Selection of Chickens

By: Sabrina Schirtzinger, Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Educator, Knox County

There are various reasons people raise chickens for eggs, meat, and exhibition or simply just for the caring and watching chicks grow. For some raising chickens is a hobby; and others see it as a sustainable part of living.

So, what are your needs? What is your end goal for raising chickens? These questions will help you to determine what category of poultry you are leaning towards.

Is your goal:

Egg Production– These chickens will lay eggs; however, what color egg would you prefer white, light brown, dark brown or colored?

Egg and Meat Production– These chickens are referred to as dual purpose breeds that tend lay an adequate amount of eggs and get large enough for meat production. American chicken breeds where developed for this purpose.

Meat Production– Chickens that are bred solely for meat production. Chickens reach 4-5 pounds in 6 weeks and 6-10 pounds in 8-12 weeks. The best growth rate will come from a Cornish crossed with a White Rock called a Cornish Cross.

Exhibition of Poultry– Showing chickens have becoming popular in the Midwest. The American Poultry Association (APA) has a publication called, The American Standard of Perfection. This book gives you a complete description of all the breeds and varieties of domestic chickens.

Selecting the best breed of chicken can be difficult as there are many to choose from. Understanding their differences will help you to increase you production, reduce your time and save you money. Within in article you will find a chart highlighting a few aspects producers look for in their flocks. This chart is designed to help you come to a decision about which breed is best for your needs.

Breed Varieties Egg Color Egg Size Characteristics Meat
Ameraucana Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, White Blue/Green Large Medium sized chicken, colorful feather patterns. Excellent egg layers No
Anconas Single Comb and Rose Comb White Extra Large Known for being excellent large egg layers, non-setting and No
Australorps Black Brown Large Popular breed for light brown eggs, heavy bird used for meat as well. Yes
Brahmas Light, Dark, Buff Brown Large Heavy breed will brood and gentle natured. No
Buckeye Only one variety Brown Medium Originated in Ohio. Heavier and wide breed making them an excellent dual purpose breed. Yes
Buttercups Gold, Silver White Medium Mainly used for egg production. No
Campines Silver, Golden White Medium Smaller breed better as an egg layer. No
Cochins Buff, Partridge. White, Black, Barred, Silver Laced, Golden Laced, Blue, Brown Brown Small Fluffy feather, broody breed, and considered one of the largest breeds. No
Cornish Dark, White, White Laced, Blue, Brown Excellent meat chickens Yes
Delawares Only one variety Brown Extra Large Founded in the state of Delaware. Heavier breed that can be used as meat. Mostly white with barred on the tail and hackle. Yes
Dominiques Only one variety Brown Large An American white and black barred breed (also known as cuckoo pattern). Adapt well to climates. No
Dorkings-Single Comb Silver Gray, Colored, Cuckoo, Red, White White Medium Versatile breed used for meat and egg production. Has red ear lobes, but produces white eggs. Yes
Faverolles Salmon, White Light Brown Medium Dual Purpose breed, mainly used for exhibition and has 5 toes. Yes
Hamburg Black, Golden Penciled, Golden Spangles, Silver Penciled, Silver Spangled, White White Medium Known for being excellent large egg layers and good foragers. No
Jersey Giants Black, Blue, White Brown Large Large, heavy breed used for egg production and meat. Yes
Leghorn Light Brown, Dark brown, White, Buff, Black, Silver, Red, Black Tailed Red, Columbian White Extra Large Prolific egg layer No
Maran Black Copper, Wheaten Dark Brown Extra Large Known for their very dark brown eggs. Excellent egg layers and may be used for meat. Yes
New Hampshire Red Red Brown Extra Large Originated in New Hampshire. Dual purposes breed used more for meat production. Yes
Orpington Black, Blue, Buff, White Brown Large Heavy dual purpose breed and an excellent egg layer. Good winter layer. Yes
Plymouth Rock Barred, White, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Blue, Columbian Brown Large Dual purpose broody chickens that will make good mothers, and do not mind the cold. Yes
Polish-Bearded and Non-Bearded Golden Silver, White, Buff Laced, White Crested Blue, Black, Crested White White Medium Prolific egg layers, similar to Leghorns. No
RedCaps Only one variety White Medium This breed is a good egg layer, meat chicken and exhibition breed. Yes
Rhode Island Reds Single Comb and Rose Comb Brown Extra Large Known for being the best egg layer as a dual purpose breed. Yes
Sussex Speckled, Red, Light, Brown, Silver, Buff Brown Large Dual purposes breed. Yes
Welsummers Only one variety Very Dark Brown Large Good egg production chicken, cold weather hardy with a docile temperament. NO
Wyandottes Silver Laced, Golden Laced, White, Black, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Columbian, Blue Brown Large Dual purposes breed. Cold weather hardy and also make a good exhibition bird. Yes

 

Resources:

Akers, D., Akers, P., & Latour, M. A., Dr. (2002). Choosing a Chicken Breed: Eggs, Meat, or Exhibition. Animal Science Poultry, AS(518), w, 1-4. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/as/as-518.pdf.

Breeds of Livestock. (1995, February 22). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/poultry/chickens/chickens.html#h Information on breeds.

Murray McMurray Hatchery. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html Information on breeds.

The American Standard of Perfection. (2015, April). Retrieved April 18, 2016, from http://www.amerpoultryassn.com/ Presents the official breed descriptions for large fowl, bantams, waterfowl, and turkeys.

 

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF——->Breed Selection of Chickens