STATE VETERINARIAN Shuts Down Movements of Chickens in North Carolina

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A deadly bird flu is threatening our chickens called Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Please take this notice seriously. On April 5, Tuesday, our state veterinarian shut down most avian movement. This includes exhibitions, farm tours, shows, sales, flea markets, auctions, swaps & meets for feathered fowl. This includes no private sales or movement from farm to farm. Water fowl can carry the disease without symptoms while it is deadly for all poultry.
No human sickness from HPAI cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States and does not present an immediate public health concern. HPAI is also not a food safety issue. But as a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses.
Catawba County has many chickens raised in our backyards AND large farms. All bird owners are encouraged to know the warning signs of Avian Influenza and implement steps to protect their flock.
THE WARNING SIGNS OF HPAI ARE:
•       1)Reduced energy, decreased appetite, and/or decreased activity
•       2)Lower egg production and/or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
•       3)Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb and wattles
•       4)Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb and legs
•       5)Difficulty breathing, runny nares (nose), and/or sneezing
•       6)Twisting of the head & neck, stumbling, falling down, tremors and/or circling
•       7)Greenish diarrhea

           IF YOUR BIRDS ARE SICK OR DYING, REPORT IT RIGHT AWAY TO YOUR:

1)local veterinarian,

2)the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division at 919-707-3250, or

3)the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System at 919-733-3986.

      PROTECT YOUR BACKYARD BIRDS BY:
1)Keep all domestic birds away from ponds where they might encounter migrating          birds.
2) Covering the top of any open or screened runs with metal and/or plastic to                    prevent wild bird droppings from falling into the bird area, water, or feed.
3)Remove wild bird feeders or keep them nowhere near backyard flocks.
4)Wear plastic disposable shoe/boot coverings when walking in your flock and                  when visiting any neighbor’s bird area. Dispose of the coverings properly. Don’t save for later use!!
      

CONFINED BIRDS NEED EXTRA CARE BY:                                                            1)Add forms of enrichment to discourage birds from pecking one another;
such as tree branches, cabbage, melons, pecking blocks, hanging aluminum pie        pans, etc.
2)Keeping your birds isolated from other people and animals in an enclosed                  environment with a covered run of grass. A tractor pen with a covered run is            ideal.

REMEMBER THE GOAL is – do not allow free access to the outdoors in a way that is unprotected.

HPAI could wipe out your entire flock when infected.

APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: . https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources

Call Area Livestock Extension Agent, Glenn Detweiler at 828.465.8240 or text at 405.219.1902, or go to our website: Catawba.ces.ncsu.edu to find more info or read more at: https://poultry.ces.ncsu.edu