Keep Backyard and Commercial Flocks Separated from Wild Birds

Domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, geese, quail, and other domestic poultry are increasingly at risk of contracting growing diseases from pest birds. Wild birds carry diseases readily passed to domestic birds through feces and direct contact of saliva, the most well-known of which is the bird flu.

       

Avian influenza (Type A virus) is easily passed bird-to-bird, which is why keeping flocks protected from wild species is so important. Both backyard and commercial flocks are quickly infected, and entire flocks are destroyed as a result. The CDC1 states:

Avian influenza refers to infection of birds with avian influenza Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Wild aquatic birds can be infected with avian influenza A viruses in their intestines and respiratory tract, but usually do not get sick. However, avian influenza A viruses are very contagious among birds and some of these viruses can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species including chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

The best way to protect domestic flocks from wild bird-spread avian influenza is to prevent contact with infected birds. In addition to good farming practices such as screening all new poultry arrivals, wearing gloves and protective clothing, and general hygeinic handling practices, keeping birds in an enclosed, protected shelter is the best solution.

An important fact to note is the risk of avian influenza is far greater during the spring and fall months, when wild birds migrate north and south, putting domestic birds caught in the middle in harm's way.

Bird-X offers exclusion products that are ideal for use with poultry. Bird netting is by far the best option for keeping domesticated birds safely sheltered without fear of wild birds entering the enclosure. If a structure is at risk of becoming a perch for wild birds to land on top, thereby defecating into the enclosure, bird spikes are an ideal solution.

Avoid electronic bird control, since these sytems will irritate domestic & wild birds alike. Instead, choose products that may be physically placed only where they will detract wild birds. While bird spikes and netting are the most commonly used for protecting domestic flocks, other appropriate systems include bird gels & taste deterrents, post & wire, Irri-tape, and Avishock Bird Shock Track systems.