We are slowly being surrounded by avian flu here!

It started in south Tennessee and has now shown up in our county here in North Alabama.  It is mostly in the big producers chicken farms, but there has been one instance of a backyard flock becoming ill.  There is no cure and the all the chickens in these groups have been destroyed.  It is spread by wild birds. 

What does this mean to me here on the Farmlet?

If my chickens get sick they will also destroy my pet geese, Polly and Fredrik.

I have a knot in my stomach.

LOCAL NEWS on the subject   (On the lighter side; don’t you just love Commissioner John McMillan’s southern accent?  😀 )

33 thoughts on “Newsflash!

    • Lynda says:

      Lisa, very disturbing. I am not a proponent of massing birds in a dark shed, but do feel for the farmers losses. I had no idea how much of a loss this was for them until now. Staggering!

      You are welcome! 😀 I used to hear the drawl in everyone I met when I first arrived, but now I have become accustomed to it unless it is really thick. I too get a chuckle when I hear a particularly thick one now.

    • Lynda says:

      Rita, it is! I have always been happy when the little birds return in spring. This year it is terrifying to watch them in my yard. I have a Grandpa’s feeder for my chickens, but can’t use anything like that for my geese. I do put the goose grain in water that is four inches deep to keep the squirrels out, so I just hope it means less draw for the birds too.

  1. norma says:

    Sorry to hear it. I have been keeping my birds inside since about November – government requires it. Recently the regulations have relaxed but who knows? Again it’s almost all in the big houses.
    Good luck with it.

  2. duck duck goose says:

    Hi Lynda-

    A few years back we had this up in Missouri & Iowa. I almost cancelled ordering my goslings & chickens since my farm is on the flight path of migrating birds and along the Gasconade river ( a large river) where birds travel.

    University of Missouri has a great avian staff that I utilize whenever there is something going on in diseases since I pasture all my birds.

    You just need to keep your birds either indoors or securely fenced and wait thru spring- when the migratory birds stop st]lying about overhead. In the meantime up their electrolytes and vitamins/ minerals and stay on good quality natural grains and feed. Always clean water and packaged bedding. And you will most probably be fine!!

    I now how terrifying it is to have a threat of losing (especially) the geese!

    Cal if you need any info-


    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, friend Goosewoman! It is always good to hear from you, Connie.

      I have two questions:
      1. Are the electrolytes administered orally or added into their drinking water?
      2. Is the fencing to keep them from wandering or did you mean overhead as well?

      Polly is over 8 years old and her loss would be crushing.

  3. triplejanes says:

    So sorry to hear this. Hoping for the best for you. Let’s hope that your flock doesn’t catch it. And I’m hoping Polly and Fredrik stay healthy.

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks, Kate! Up to now I had always read it was the birds kept indoors in massive flocks that were most susceptible. Weakened immunity and stress I read. This is the first time I have heard about a backyard flock and it’s in my area! Very upsetting.

    • Lynda says:

      It is alarming, Annie. Up to now it was somewhere else and always big production houses. This time it includes someone local who is a smaller back yard chicken keeper.

  4. shoreacres says:

    I just happened across this article today. Whether it was posted because of disease being in the news, I don’t know, but it’s interesting. I had read about flocks being destroyed, but I can’t even remember where it was — now, I’m thinking it might have been in your neighborhood.

    i’d always assumed that it was the contained and often overcrowded birds that became ill, but I’m very ill-informed about bird flu. I suppose it has to begin somewhere, but still — it’s terrible. I certainly hope you’re not affected. Do keep us updated!

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, overwhelmingly it is the overcrowded birds who get ill. I read that their living conditions weaken their immune systems, which is why I was so shocked about the backyard chickens that had been infected here. I am trying to be very sanitary with my birds and have been running the goose bowls through the dishwasher each day.

      I’m glad our local officials have called a halt to bird fairs and transport of fowl for the time being. I appreciate anything that can help stop the possibility of spreading Avian flu… even if I can’t stop the wild birds visiting my poultry.

  5. Littlesundog says:

    There was a similar scare around here some years back and my mother-in-law was in a real panic. We basically stepped up sanitary practices. Although we do not have a huge flock of chickens and we don’t have dealings with many outsiders, I didn’t think our chances of being affected were very great – and nothing did happen. I’ll be sending positive vibes and prayer that all goes well in your neck of the woods.

    • Lynda says:

      Lori, I have been too. Polly and Fredrik’s dishes have been going into the dishwasher every day. I have always enjoyed the spring return of certain species, but this year I watch the smaller birds visiting the goose yard and cringe. Thank you for the prayer.

  6. claire93 says:

    I hope it doesn’t come to that Lynda.
    Here, local authorities asked bird keepers to pop along to the village hall and “register” birds, so that they know who’s got what, and what people to contact in case of trouble. We’ve been on and off alerts for a while now, at the moment the alert seems to have passed.

  7. LB says:

    Oh no! Hoping that the spead of avian flu is stopped and your lovelies stay healthy!
    (in the meantime, you know that I had to listen to the report so I could hear the accent, right?) 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Hello, Laurie, I have been checking chicken noses every morning and night to make sure they are DRY and none of them are sneezing. So far so good.

      Yeah, he has one of the best, original, deep south drawls I have heard to date. They are such a kick aren’t they?! 😀

    • Lynda says:

      I haven’t heard a thing on the news, but I continue to check chicken noses morning and night. All are healthy! Thank you for checking in on my girls, My Knitting Circle.

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