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#65753 - 03/14/06 04:06 PM Bird Flu in USA?
Wrancher Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Wisconsin
Hey everyone, I just got a letter from my friend in Washington state saying that they cancelled the 4-H poultry show because of the bird flu! She also says she doesn't know if Washington state will have any poultry shows this year! Is this true? It's starting to scare me and don't want the goverment taking my birds! Ok any advice on this matter would be great because I don't know much about it. Is this a politicial thing like some say or is it really coming? I also read that it would hit Alaska first in some news paper today. I'm getting new chickens this spring and plan on building a new coop... Is there any tips for keeping safe? Thanks,
_________________________
Stephanie Anne Weyerts

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#65754 - 03/14/06 04:20 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Dont panic! remain calm, get informed. There may come a time when you will need to take some action, not yet. There is not a lot to be done, maybe keeping the birds under a roof?

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#65755 - 03/14/06 04:25 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Wrancher Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Wisconsin
I thought about keeping them indoors but then they can't be a chicken... Yeah a roof sounds like a good idea so the can be outside but still be protected. My friends are allready taking action though! They reduced there flock size and are not buying anymore birds. Anyone else have info?
_________________________
Stephanie Anne Weyerts

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#65756 - 03/14/06 05:15 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Chickens can be chickens kept indoors While mine are outside during the mid part of the day--in summer when it isn't raining, they are not outside all winter--a long time in the mountains of the North. They have plenty of room, several levels of roosts to fly up to for excercise, windows with sunshine--when there is some, a dry shavings covered floor to dust and scratch in. Too many birds is a different matter! Crowded is unhealthy at any time.

Please know that there has been Avian Flu in the U.S, for many years--but NOT the Asian Avian Flu that we are being frightened about. In WA, it is a precaution that probably is not warranted at all. (just Politically correct)Just keep heads up about the best care of your birds--Under a roof is not "indoors"--so it is wise to make plans. A country without chickens would starve to death. It won't happen. CJR

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#65757 - 03/14/06 10:09 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Wrancher Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Wisconsin
Thanks everyone! I'm not worried my friends are... And they kept telling me things like I should't buy chickens now, get rid of some of your birds, keep them indoors etc. They are in Washington I'm in Colorado... I didn't really know what it was. So I'm not going to worry about this anymore and just keep doing what I'm doing with my chickens. I agree with mabtera "if my flock were found to have the diease.. i would personally help them destroy my birds.. love them all i do .. but.. i also love humans a bit more". I just wanted to make sure they were not going to just take birds without knowing they had the flu. I guess I just wont worry about this now, maybe in the future(if it ever gets serios). And yes chickens can be chickens indoors but I like giving mine a little freedom during the day. Thanks again,
_________________________
Stephanie Anne Weyerts

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#65758 - 03/15/06 07:04 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
The first response to a new germ is usually to try and erradicate it by killing all the hosts (suseptable species) that can allow it to spread. Once the germs become endemic to an area, like Asia is now, erradication may not work. People then look at vaccination to limit spread. Market confidence may fall as folks won't want to eat vaccinated birds at first. If this proves to be unfounded, folks start eating birds (chcikens) again and vaccination becomes a way of life. At some point, the germ reaches equilibrium in the bird population with most birds immune. The problem now is that the stakes are higher....humans can die. One side bar: one percent of healthy birds in wet markets in somewhere in Asia are infected with H5N1 high pathogenic. (OIE) The human exposure may be higher than previously thought. If this is true, then it may not be a deadly as thought....and some folks are testing positive for antibodies too. It still boils down to keep a watch on the situation, and if the bird flu is in your area, keep your birds inside...and used stored bedding, and wash your shoes before going in the barn...bird flu is "inactivated in an acidic medium" which may translate in plain language to use a vinegar foot bath. I remember vinegar being used in the foot bath at the airport here when foot and mouth was in Britain and we were servicing flights from there. it might mean a little vinegar in the water as you fill the founts might slow the spread too...pure guess on my part, though.

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#65759 - 03/15/06 09:53 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Greta S. Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 232
Loc: California
I think the subject of Asian Avian Flu has been inflated considerably by the media. True, it could be a major threat to the health of our birds, but I'm not about to panic or anything. Once it gets the the United States, I'll take some extra precautions to protect my birds. Until then, I'm just going to watch and see what happens. It might just peter out and die, so to speak, before it gets here.

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#65760 - 03/15/06 10:39 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Wrancher Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Wisconsin
Yeah, the media is getting really overbord with the whole thing! I hate seeing the poor chickens that are getting killed on the news... It's for the best but I think they are sending the wrong message to the public.
_________________________
Stephanie Anne Weyerts

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#65761 - 03/15/06 05:01 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Blackdotte Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 913
Loc: Australia
Media hype,just two examples in Australia
1.TV news item,if AI(bird form) gets to Australia 214000 people will die.
2 TV promotion ad for a show about 1916 Spanish flu,if AI mutates to a human form 2 billion people,a third of the Earth's population,will die.
Scare mongering for ratings!

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#65762 - 03/16/06 10:21 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
It's not just the media. Here are some quotes from some government officials and researchers.

"Let me acknowledge that no one in the world is prepared for a pandemic. When you go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the bed. When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered milk. Put it under the bed. When you do that for a period of four to six months, you are going to have a couple of weeks of food, and that's what we're talking about."
--Mike Leavitt, HHS Secretary (US)

"A mild pandemic would infect an estimated 75 million Americans, kill 100,000 of them . . . A severe outbreak would sicken 90 million, lead to 2 million deaths." [that's people, not chickens]

-- (US) Congressional Budget Office, December 2005.

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#65763 - 03/16/06 12:27 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Sue NH Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 182
Loc: New Hampshire
It's a bunch of media hype. Probably fueled by the same people bring you NAIS.

In 1916 a lot of people died of flu. Most from secondary infections from their flu weakened bodies. Pnuemonia being the big one.
There were no antibiotics or other modern drugs. Pnuemonia clears up pretty well with a lot of modern drugs.

Our antivirals aren't real wonderful yet but we sure have a whole lot more than they did in 1916.
Medicine has come a long way.
Disinfectants were barely know then.

Regular flu kills somewhere around 30,000 people every year. Have we hit 200 yet after 6 years of this avian flu?

The policy of destroying every bird in many miles of an infected bird is also conterproductive. If a bird is resistant to the flu it would never live to pass on those genes. No natural immunities are being allowed to develop. Factory farms and locked up birds are going to be the biggest threat in the long run.

http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=194

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#65764 - 03/18/06 07:37 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Mopar Chick Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 77
Loc: Pennsylvania
That's the big plan? Storing canned tuna and dry milk under the bed?

Hurry! Hurry! The sky is falling!!! Run and hide!

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#65765 - 03/18/06 09:54 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Wrancher Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Wisconsin
I've been studying a lot on this subject since I posted it. And am learning a lot too! Anyways the media hype is now saying that if this comes to the US people will not want to go outside and so they will start buying tons of food and stay at home. So we should start stocking up now? Why does the media think people are going to go crazy and buy all this food? Well because of all the fear and such they are putting on people everyday through media hype... They are creating there own problems! Did you hear today about the lady in egypt? I guess she was the first to die of the flu, so if only one person died why all the panic? How many people die of the regular flu a year? Maybe we should start worring about the sicknesses and dieses already in the US???? Ok thanks for all the replies and keep posting!
_________________________
Stephanie Anne Weyerts

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#65766 - 03/19/06 11:22 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Lady Cat Offline
Feather

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 44
Loc: Texas
Media hype is correct. Take a look at this:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editori...d_flu_hysteria/

Take note especially of this statement:

...serological surveys conducted in 1997 in Hong Kong and since have detected antibodies in thousands of humans who never got sick, showing that bird flu isn't as deadly to the few who come in contact with it as has been reported.

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#65767 - 03/19/06 12:41 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
David W. Offline
Chicken

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Missouri
Am I the only one that is hearing some of the same Y2K stuff here? The world is about to end so store water, "tuna" (that was a new one. lol)etc to save yourself from the epidemic. I bought a house where a little old lady had installed a hand pump... Maybe I'll do that myself... smile

Dave

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#65768 - 03/19/06 01:51 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Tuna, with Mercury?? CJR

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#65769 - 03/19/06 02:25 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Twin Oaks Farm Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 229
Loc: Louisiana
I think those govt. officials running around like chickens with their heads cut off should stop alarming the public. And I'm not storing tuna with mercury, either! What I'd really like to know is what city dwellers are going to mix with that powdered milk so they can consume it. Bottled Perrier water, I presume?

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#65770 - 03/20/06 12:36 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
SueNH brought up such a valid and hugely important point.....that 30,000 die every year from basic old flu that's going around. In comparison, bird flu is peanuts.

Our media is accountable to no one. They do not have to stand up and take the heat for their sensationalizing. And more worrying, our policy makers, more concerned about their careers than the good of their nation, play into the hands of the media. The media ( the idiot) drives the car and the politicians leap in the backseat for the ride. And the public gets run over along the way.

Chickens are being villified. What crap. Chickens, like CJR says, feed millions upon millions on this planet. It behooves us to step up and admit that our farming practices, our drive for profit AT ANY COST is the true culprit. Our addiction to CHEAP food, makes the consumer guilty by association. ( I believe everyone is entitled to a decent living, but one must also make one's living decently. Factory farms are the dirty secret that no one wants to talk about or point fingers at lest we end up paying for our ethics at the grocery store)

And we should not forget that flu vaccine, the serum that innoculates us, is produced IN CHICKEN EGGS!!! (at least it used to be) Sorry to get all poultry political. It's one thing to be cautious and informed, another entirely to be hopelessly stupid.

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#65771 - 03/20/06 09:43 AM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Wrancher Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 82
Loc: Wisconsin
Here's what feathersite.com is saying about the bird flu...

SPPA on Avian Influenza

Rare poultry breeders defend flocks against Avian Influenza

The Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities endorses all efforts to keep poultry and humans safe and healthy. The current fears of influenza pandemic caused by H5N1 avian influenza virus are unfounded and should not lead us to kill healthy birds.

The public is not in danger. Although the virus has infected and killed some people in Asia, it has not adapted easily to infecting humans. It has thus far caused less than 100 deaths, compared to the anticipated 40,000 deaths expected in the coming flu season in the U.S. from usual strains of influenza.

Dr. Donald Maki, infectious diseases chief at the University of Wisconsin - Madison counsels calm.

"It's been around for almost three years with lots and lots of opportunity to do so (transmit from person to person) and it hasn't happened yet," he said. "That suggests it's not an easy adaptation genetically."

This strain of Avian Influenza has not infected U.S. flocks. If it does, it is unlikely to pass to humans. It is deadly to birds and will be detected and eliminated.

Small flocks are among the most isolated of animals with regard to Avian Influenza, according to Dr. Rob Porter, veterinary pathologist for the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Right now, since there is no H5N1 Avian Influenza on this continent, there is no danger that they will be infected.

Killing healthy birds to avoid the remote possibility of future infection is unjustified. Small flock owners are encouraged to contact the SPPA, christine.heinrichs@gmail.com, 608-243-8178, if their flocks are threatened. Ask for time to get a second opinion. SPPA will do all it can to help you.

Vaccines are effective against Avian Influenza in birds. Urge the USDA to control outbreaks with vaccination, not slaughter.

Write to the Andrew R, Rhorer, Director, National Poultry Improvement Plan, USDA, APHIS, VS, 1498 Klondike Road, Suite 101, Conyers, GA 30094, your Senator and Congressman and your state agencies and representatives to express your opinion as policies are being developed. Feel free to adapt material from this press release for your letters.
_________________________
Stephanie Anne Weyerts

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#65772 - 03/21/06 07:54 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
David W. Offline
Chicken

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Missouri
We also need to keep in mind that if we destroy or even deplete the small poultry industry we are causing serious damage to the diversity of our poultry industry. With the large chicken/turkey houses an epidemic can and probably will happen and unless there are individual farmers to compensate for this we create a much larger problem in the future. Ask the beekeepers about this. We are learning that certain types of bees are able to fend off the evil mites that are infecting the american bee industry. If we didn't have this type of diversity we would be without bees now! With any animal diversity is manditory for surviving an epidemic. Avian Flu is one of these. Just a thought.

Dave

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#65773 - 03/22/06 12:49 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Overall, the posts so far are fairly accurate. Avian flu is not a tremendous threat to the human race. Even though the mortality rate for those who develop symptoms is much higher than other kinds of flu, the infection rate is small because the virus has not developed the ability to jump from human to human.

If it does develop this ability, it is quite likely that a global pandemic would occur because humans have not developed any immunity to this strain. This is what has everybody worked up.

In my work as a Public Health official, we are making preparations for a possible pandemic just as so many other agencies are doing. We are stressing a common sense approach to being safe if a pandemic occurs. A simple surgical mask is enough to stop the spread of the virus, as it is carried in water droplets (coughing or sneezing). Minimizing public contact, use of a mask when in close proximity to others, and above all else REGULAR AND THOROUGH HANDWASHING are the best defenses.

For those of us with poultry flocks, we also need to do our part to limit the spread of the avian flu. The virus is not here in the US yet, but it will be. It is inevitable. The virus is spreading through the wild bird populations as they mingle along the continental migration flyways. Look at a map of these flyways--they all overlap somewhere. The Asian and African/European flyways overlap a great deal, and the virus is spreading westward. The American flyways overlap with the European flyways in the Arctic regions of Eastern Canada and Greenland, so I can only assume that sooner or later, the virus will spread to our continent.

The only way to prevent infection of our flocks would be to use ultra-sanitary practices and prevent any contact with wild birds. We would have to hose off our boots every time we entered to keep from tracking it in, sanitize our coops regularly, and keep all outdoor runs tightly fenced and covered.

More likely, I think the majority of owners will just assume their birds are going to get it, and protect themselves when they handle the birds, and be sure they aren't tracking it all back inside the house when they're done.

We do have at least one big advantage over the Asian populations that have had such a problem with the disease. Most of us don't live in little huts built over the top of our coops, and we don't let the birds run in and out of the living room at will!

Doug
Registered Sanitarian and unregistered chicken farmer...

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#65774 - 03/22/06 02:21 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Anyone get the Swine Flu vaccine back in the 70s?..Remember SARS? How about Y2K?

I know it can happen, but if it really does, and it is that virulent...I doubt we will have a chance, anyways....at least I will have a few good eggs for breakfast before I go.

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#65775 - 03/22/06 08:04 PM Re: Bird Flu in USA?
David W. Offline
Chicken

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Missouri
"Well said Spizedtea... shocked

Dave

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