Bird Flu and the Risk that Fall Migration Poses to Domestic FlocksAug 26, 2022
Waterfowl migration season is approaching and as the temperatures drop, wild geese, ducks, and cranes will be flocking up for their long journeys south.
Agricultural areas provide excellent refueling and resting areas, especially if farmers grow and harvest crops for livestock feed.
Unfortunately however, when such fields draw flocks from miles around, the flocks can be brought into proximity with domestic poultry. With Avian flu still circulating, farmers will need to take extra precautions to protect their poultry from contact with migrating birds.
Widespread Bird Flu Poses Risk to Wild & Domestic Flocks
This strain of bird flu has been detected in wild birds in 45 states. While waterfowl are the biggest risk to domestic flocks, predatory birds such as bald eagles, black vultures, redtail hawks, and others have also died from the disease. Some mammals have also been affected as a result of eating sick birds.
Monitoring of wild birds only happens when mass bird deaths occur or during hunting season when hunters voluntarily submit their takes for testing. It is likely that the disease is widespread across North America from Florida to Alaska, as U.S. Department of Agriculture tracking maps show.
Map courtesy of USDA APHIS
In just the last two weeks, six additional domestic flocks have been affected by this highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza, bringing the total to 405 and causing the deaths or culling of over 40 million domestic birds.
Number of birds on confirmed infected premises.
Bars reflect most recent 4 months (numbers may not add up to total).
Map courtesy of USDA APHIS
Migration Brings Increased Risk of Exposure for Domestic Flocks
This outbreak is far from over and farmers and wildlife professionals need to stay vigilant about the biosecurity of our domestic flocks. Migration will be here before we know it, and with that, the risk for disease spread increases dramatically.
Migratory Bird Management has been helping poultry farms protect domestic flocks since the last HPAI outbreak in 2015. Our autonomic laser systems provide pre-programmed 24/7 harassment of wild birds, keeping them, and the viruses they carry, away from domestic flocks.
Professional Help for Protection of Your Flocks
For expert help in protecting your flocks from avian flu or for help with other bird conflicts, reach out to the MBM team and get started with an assessment.
We have a wide array of safe, effective, humane and biology-based solutions for agricultural, commercial and industrial bird conflicts.
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