Poultry Biosecurity – Dr. Mykolas Kamaitis
Whether you’re new to the backyard poultry world and are about to purchase some birds or you already have birds and would like to bring in some additions, there are important things to consider when acquiring new poultry. As with any livestock, it is very important to keep biosecurity in mind to maximize the health, comfort, and productivity of your animals, as well as your overall enjoyment and satisfaction.
Below are some steps to minimize the risk of bringing in disease.
- Source poultry from a reputable breeder with good biosecurity practices and health records.
- Do they vaccinate? For which diseases?
- Good poultry can still come from other small flocks, but you should ask to see where the poultry are raised and make note of the husbandry practices and any possible issues.
- Make sure your poultry housing is clean, disinfected, and ready to receive new poultry ahead of their arrival.
- Quarantine the new arrivals if you currently have poultry on site
- 14-21 days is recommended (the longer the better)
- Use designated clothing, including footwear, in the coop and around your birds
- Wash & disinfect your hands and footwear after going in the coop
- Limit visitor’s access to your facility (particularly if they keep poultry too)
Much of biosecurity is common sense if you keep in mind the potential for pathogens to enter your flock from outside sources, including dirty footwear and clothing, shared equipment, visitors, etc. Raising poultry can be a very fun and rewarding pursuit when your animals are healthy and comfortable. If you have any questions or would like to discuss these steps in more detail before acquiring your own poultry, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
As an additional resource, we encourage you to visit the following website by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food:
If you have any questions on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Veterinarians.