Avian Influenza Outbreak Threatening Our Birds


Today, I wanted to share with you something happening here on the farm throughout the United States and the world, and it can be kind of concerning, the avian flu.

0:00 Inside Our Chicken Coop
0:36 Avian Flu
3:18 Immunization Protocol
4:19 How to Prevent Spread


Hi, I’m Lindsey and I’m here at Lynette’s Urban Farm and we are inside the chicken coop. Today, I wanted to share with you something that’s happening here on the farm throughout the United States and throughout the world, and it can be kind of concerning.

If you think that the world is headed in a direction that makes you a bit concerned for the future and you’d like to be as self-sufficient and independent as possible, then you’ve come to the right place. My name is Lynette Zang. Now it’s time to go Beyond Gold and Silver.

So what I’m talking about is the avian flu epidemic that is widespread and is affecting a lot of both commercial chicken growers and livestock growers, as well as backyard farmers who have chicken coops like us. And if you haven’t heard, the avian influenza outbreak is the worst in all of history. At this point, it has claimed over 50 million birds. It’s highly contagious. There’s no known treatment, and once your bird is infected, there’s about a hundred percent chance that it will be lethal. This can affect your entire coop. If one bird gets sick, the others will quickly get sick as well. So you could see why it would be such a huge problem for both people that raise birds for commercial venues and for backyard gardeners that love their chickens and treat them like pets.

This is such a highly contagious disease. It can be spread by wild birds like ducks and other migrating species that perhaps come onto your property. It can be spread by smaller birds, other chickens. We can spread it if we go to an area that has infected birds and then bring it back to our flock. It’s highly contagious and it’s really hard to see symptoms before it’s too late.

Some of the symptoms that you can look out for in both wild birds and in your livestock are swollen face around the beak. It will become swollen. They’ll be more tired. They won’t have a lot of energy or appetite misshapen or especially weak shelled Eggs can be a sign. And then also just death. A lot of times there won’t be any symptoms and you’ll just see one bird or a few birds dead if this is the case. Or even if you go to the park and see wild birds that are exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s really important to call the CDC or the USDA to report it. A lot of times they’ll have to send out specialists to come to your property or to go wherever you see a case of this, and they’ll have to euthanize the birds in order to make sure that this disease cannot spread and further inflict our livestock and the animals we care about. So this is some of the things to watch out for. It can be really scary even for us here on the farm. We obviously haven’t had any cases, but we’re doing things in order to prevent it and make sure that we could keep our birds safe.

Here on the farm, we’re acting in immunization protocol. So we’re giving our birds extra things to boost their health and make sure that they are as healthy as possible to give them all the ability to fight off any sickness regardless of what it is. When we go into these colder winter months, that can be a little bit more stressful for our birds. So we’re doing things like making sure that we have heat lamps to keep them warm. Anything you can do to keep your birds more insulated and cozy in the colder months will make them less susceptible to any kind of disease. Also, making sure our coop is fortified. We a lot of times will get little sparrows that come in and while they might not be the number one carrier of this disease, they can carry other diseases and they can be a threat. So it’s important that we try to close off our area and if you free range your birds and let them out, make sure you’re really, really observant of how they interact in the environment.

This disease can be spread through feces, any kind of nasal discharge. So if a wild bird is in your field and they have excrement or something left behind and it’s diseased and your birds interact with it, they can pick up those pathogens and that virus. So it’s really important to try to limit your bird’s contact as much as possible with the outside world and why that might be a little bit sad for them for a while. Their space might be a little bit enclosed. If it prevents the loss of your entire flock, it’s well worth it.

Here on the farm, we’re adding some things to fortify our chickens, a little bit of apple cider vinegar to help boost their immune system as well as any, a little bit of colloidal silver or oregano oil, anything that you can add to give them a little bit of boost to their immune system and make them as healthy as possible. If you notice any of your birds exhibiting symptoms, even if it’s just a little sneeze, sometimes our ducks sneeze, they just get like food up in their, in their beak and they sneeze. Make sure you’re really observant to be able to tell the differences between maybe perhaps a normal sneeze or something that might be more distinct. If this is the case, isolate that bird and contact local people that might be able to help you identify if that is the avian flu or if it’s something else. But make sure that you’re being really observant of your flock at this time. Make sure that your, your flock always has fresh water, food, and that you’re limiting contamination. I suggest not adding any new birds to your flock at this time. We’ll definitely be waiting a little bit before we add any new chickens just because we don’t want perhaps that introduction of new birds and we don’t know exactly where they came from just to be on the extra safe side right now.

I hope this helps you learn a little bit more about the avian flu and why it should be taken so seriously. It’s definitely something that lives in the back of my mind right now as we go forward and as we hopefully have this pass sooner rather than later with migrating birds in their season. Hopefully this epidemic will come to a close and we won’t have to be as concerned as backyard coop raisers, but at this time it’s just something to think about, something to be aware of. And if we can take those little extra precautions that end up saving our bird’s life, it’s well worth it. So I hope this helps you understand what we’re doing here at the farm and what you can do if you raise birds of your own.

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