MDARD Warns Hobby, Backyard Farmers to Protect Birds from Avian Bird Flu

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, or MDARD, is warning hobby farmers to take extra precautions to protect their chicken flocks from the Avian Bird Flu.

ChicksThe flu is making its way north as birds from the south migrate.

MDARD says there’s already been five counties in Michigan—Kalamazoo, Montcalm, Menominee, Livingston, Washtenaw— that have detected the virus.

This virus is deadly for both wild and domestic birds.

They recommend taking biosecurity measures—or taking the right steps to ensure the safety of your birds.

“Washing your hands, disinfecting your gear, especially you shoes, your clothing,” said MDARD Communications Director Jennifer Holton. “That virus can easily move on your clothing and on your shoes from coop to coop and farm to farm.”

MDARD also recommends keeping foods and water away from areas where wild birds and domestic birds can intermingle with each other.

“Everyone wants to keep their animals healthy, they want to keep them viable and vital because that’s how they provide eggs, whether that’s for their family or for a roadside stand,” said Holton. “Those biosecurity measures, those little steps to protect their health, they’re going to be absolutely critical right now.”

More information on the Avian flu can be found on the USDA website.

If you believe your birds have been infected with avian flu, you can call MDARD at 800-292-3939 during the day or 517-373-0440 after hours.