|What is avian influenza?||Consumers & Food Safety||Biosecurity||FAQs||Small & Backyard Flocks||Wild birds and hunting||Bird shows/sales|
How to protect your flock
Cleaning and Disinfecting Checklist for Backyard Poultry Owners (English & Spanish. USDA-APHIS)
Protecting your birds from disease has always been important. However, taking biosecurity to the next level is now more crucial than ever. As we work together to prevent HPAI and add strength to North Carolina ’s poultry industry, there are small steps you can take that will have a big impact.
- Eliminate opportunities for your birds to interact with wild birds. We know that wild waterfowl are carriers of disease, including HPAI. The best way to avoid diseases that wildlife carry is to keep domestic animals separated from the wild.
- If you have birds at home, do not visit another farm, home or facility that also has birds. If you must visit another premises, be sure to shower and put on clean clothes and shoes beforehand.
- Remember that vehicles can be vehicles for disease transmission. Before you drive down the road, consider where you are going. Will you be heading to the fair, another farm or a live bird market? If the answer is yes, be sure your vehicle is clean and free of dirt, manure and other organic material.
- Early detection can help prevent the spread of disease. Knowing the signs to look for and monitoring the health of your birds on a regular basis is very important. Signs include nasal discharge, unusually quiet birds, decreased food and water consumption, drop in egg production, and increased/unusual death loss in your flock.
- Report sick and dead birds to state health officials immediately. If your birds appear sick or you have experienced increased mortality, contact the Office of the State Veterinarian immediately at 919-707-3250. All persons practicing veterinary medicine in North Carolina shall report the following diseases and conditions to the state veterinarian's office by telephone within two hours after the disease is reasonably suspected to exist.
What to do if you suspect AI
If highly pathogenic avian influenza is suspected, pertinent information should be immediately reported by telephone to NCDA&CS Animal Health Programs at 919-707-3250. Veterinarians will discuss the symptoms and next steps.
Samples will be tested by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory system. Please refer to the Lab User Guide for sample information or refer to the USDA avian influenza testing and diagnostics Fact Sheet.
Samples will be tested at the Rollins Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Raleigh.
Links to other resources
- NCDA&CS biosecurity poster for feed stores & bird shows (PDF)
- USDA-APHIS Biosecurity guide for poultry and bird owners (PDF)
- USDA Avian Influenza page
- North Carolina Poultry Federation
- North Carolina Egg Association
- International Poultry Expo
- National Chicken Council
- National Turkey Federation
- U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
- Food and Drug Administration
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control