HPAI present in Eaton County

The state of Michigan has confirmed its first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza this year.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says a 15-bird backyard chicken flock in Eaton County tested positive for the virus, the first case for the county. 

Dr. Nancy Barr with Michigan Allied Poultry Industries tells Brownfield new backyard bird owners should take extra precautions to reduce the spread of avian influenza.

“Birds that are raised outdoors or anywhere near open water sources that have exposure to wild, migratory birds, especially waterfowl like ducks and geese, are at risk for getting the virus,” she says.

As interest increases to raise backyard chickens, Barr recommends biosecurity practices like keeping a clean space and disinfecting equipment to help protect the state’s commercial flock.

“It’s more expensive and more complicated than you might think if you haven’t raised birds before for egg production, but certainly maintain a very high level of biosecurity,” she says. 

The case in Eaton County is the first detection since December in Michigan.

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