Usually a threat to a backyard flock is thought of as a raccoon, or a coyotte, or some other predator. In this case, our flock has recently been at risk of contracting the Avian (bird) Flu.
For those of you living beyond the scope of our local news, two weeks ago, several nearby farms were discovered to have the Avian virus. They were immediately ordered to cull all of their birds. Local agencies have been on monitoring this situation closely, and so far it has been contained.
Could this be a repeat from several years ago?
The Avian Flu is a deadly virus for chickens as well as wild birds, and kills large numbers of birds when it sweeps through the population. Several years ago, every flock of chickens along about a two hundred kilometer stretch, were culled in hopes that the virus would not spread to humans.
That virus was a particularly strong strain that would have had serious health implications for those who contracted it. Fortunately, this present strain is not strong, and in the human population it could cause something like pink eye – uncomfortable at worst.
So what does this mean for our little farm?
While we are not relying exclusively on our birds for our bread and butter, we have invested a great deal in them, both financially and emotionally. We haven’t forgotten that our kiddos consider a handful of them as pets who have names, personalities, and beautiful eggs!
Right now we aren’t fretting, since that wouldn’t help any of us anyway. But we are certainly mindful of the health of our flock, and the care that we give them. I hope the situation will stay contained for the sake of all the chicken farmers in our area!
This post first appeared on Green Mountain Farm.