“If I had urban chickens, I would be more worried about predators (raccoons, foxes, hawks, skunks…) than about disease spread” – Dr.David Waltner-Toews. Founder of Vets without Boarders and specialist in Zoonosis
Although the risk of animal-bird disease or bird-human disease is an unlikely scenario, it’s still a good idea to practice proper biosecurity measures to ensure your flock doesn’t become contaminated. Here are some key principles to abide by in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for your chickens (info courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Foods and Rural Affairs)
- Principle 1: Procedures for mortality management should be present on each farm.
- Principle 2: Know the health status of your flock and be prepared to react.
- Principle 3: Buy clean/stay clean. Quarantine and isolation procedures should be implemented for all new arrivals and for all resident birds that have been off the property.
- Principle 4: An all-in-all-out approach, segregation of age groups and appropriate “down time” between flocks should be targeted.
- Principle 5: Ensure that access to the barn and premise is controlled through the establishment of protective zones and controlled access points.
- Principle 6: Drinking water for birds should be free of contamination and meet water quality standards for livestock/poultry consumption.
- Principle 7: Integrated pest control should be in place (insects, wild birds, rodents).
(more info on each of these principles can be obtained here): http://www.agbiosecurity.ca/healthybirds/aspx/public/biosecurity.aspx)