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Bird Health and Disease Management

Biosecurity is a term given to the practice of protecting the entry of diseases or viruses to your farm.  It is extremely important that all growers practice biosecurity protocols on their farm to protect the flock and your investment.
 
Here are biosecurity best practices for protecting chickens:
  • Ensure that you do not bring contaminants to your chickens
    • Avoid contact with other birds, poultry
    • Wash hands, change boots and clothing before doing your daily chores
    • Restrict the number of people who have access to your flock
  • Prevent contact with wild birds and other animals
    • Feed and water should be protected from access by wild birds
    • Ensure rodents cannot access stored or spilled feed
  • Clean between flocks
    • Bacteria and viruses can live in the pens, soil and range area the chickens lived in after they have left
      • Wash and disinfect or allow for a period of downtime before re-populating
    • Eliminate rodents as they can harbour diseases
    • Dispose of any dead chickens promptly
    • Give new flocks fresh bedding
  • Observe the flock for abnormal behaviour or appearance
 
It is extremely important that birds are observed frequently to ensure that they are healthy and growing.

Here are the key signs of a healthy chicken:
  • alert and active
  • once fully feathered, feathers should appear smooth and orderly. Rough feathers may occur during dust bathing, but will return to a normal appearance once the activity has ended
  • eyes will appear round and clear
  • nostrils should be open and clean
  • wings close to the body. Birds will raise their wings to cool themselves during periods of high heat.
  • dry vent area
  • comb should be red
  • shanks (legs) should be fleshy
 Here are some key signs that a bird may be sick:
  • lack of energy, movement or appetite;
  • decreased egg production;
  • rough feathering
  • runny eyes
  • swelling around the head, neck and eyes;
  • coughing, gasping for air or sneezing;
  • nervous signs, tremors or lack of coordination;
  • diarrhea; or
  • sudden death
 If the chickens appear sick, here are the next steps:
  1. First call should be to your vet. If the vet is not familiar with chickens, they can reach out to a poultry vet or the Animal Health Lab in Guelph.
  2. Call the CFO Disease Hotline at 1.877.767.2973 even if you just suspect a disease
    1. You will be contacted by CFO Field Staff that will assist you
  3. Restrict access to the property
  4. Isolate the chickens from other livestock, chickens, wild birds and waterfowl
  5. Give your vet, CFIA, and OMAFRA permission to share information with CFO for disease management
Disease Advisories

December 14, 2018 – United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Advisory for United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

December 5, 2018 – Perth County

Confirmed ILT Heightened Biosecurity Advisory for Perth County

December 4, 2018

First Exclusive Livestock & Poultry Pharmacy Opens in Ontario

December 4, 2018

Small Flock Veterinary List

November 30, 2018 – Perth County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Advisory for Perth County

November 7, 2018 – West Nipissing Municipality

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down lifted for West Nipissing

October 5, 2018 – West Nipissing Municipality

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Advisory for West Nipissing

September 25, 2018

Newcastle Disease Update (AVIS EN FRANÇAIS)

September 23, 2018 – Brock Township, Durham Region

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Brock Township, Durham Region

September 19, 2018

Avian Influenza Reminder for Poultry Farmers (AVIS EN FRANÇAIS)

September 19, 2018

Avian Influenza Advisory for Small Flock Owners and Bird Fanciers (AVIS EN FRANÇAIS)

August 16, 2018 – Brock Township, Durham Region

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Advisory for Brock Township, Durham Region

July 20, 2018 – Kawartha Lakes County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Kawartha Lakes County

July 14, 2018 – Niagara Region

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Niagara Region

June 17, 2018 – Kawartha Lakes County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Advisory for Kawartha Lakes County

June 8, 2018

Multistate Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Contact with Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks

April 30, 2018 – Niagara Region

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Update for Niagara Region

March 16, 2018 – Niagara Region

ILT Heightened Biosecurity for Niagara Region

March 7, 2018 – OMAFRA

Avian Influenza Advisory for Small Flock Owners and Bird Fanciers (AVIS EN FRANÇAIS)

February 25, 2018 – Perth County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Perth County

January 17, 2018 – Perth County

ILT Biosecurity Advisory for Perth County

January 3, 2018 – Oxford County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Oxford County

January 3, 2018 – Waterloo County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Waterloo County

November 30, 2017 – Oxford County

ILT Biosecurity Advisory for Oxford County (CLICK HEREfor a map of the infected area)

November 21, 2017 – Lanark County

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for Lanark County

November 10, 2017 – United Counties Of Prescott And Russell

ILT Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down for United Counties of Prescott and Russell (AVIS EN FRANÇAIS)

November 1, 2017 – Georgina Township, York County

ILT Biosecurity Advisory for Georgina Township, York County lifted​

October 24, 2017 – Waterloo County

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory

October 11, 2017 – Lanark County

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory

October 6, 2017 – United Counties of Prescott and Russell

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory (AVIS EN FRANÇAIS)

September 26, 2017 – Georgina Township, York County

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory

August 2, 2017 – Frontenac County

ILT Biosecurity Advisory for Frontenac County lifted​

June 27, 2017 – Frontenac County

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory

June 14, 2017 – Grey County

Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down

June 2, 2017 – United Counties of Leeds Grenville

Heightened Biosecurity Stand Down

May 8, 2017 – Grey County

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory

April 27, 2017 – United Counties of Leeds Grenville

Farmer Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Disease Advisory

April 27, 2017 – Biosecurity Advisory

Avian Influenza Biosecurity Advisory for People Working with Wild Birds, Wild Bird Habitats and Domestic Poultry