Bird Flu Spreads its Wings

Mar 25, 2022

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Wings of a feather flock together. And unfortunately, so does the bird flu.

Beaking news: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is very contagious among birds and it’s spreading fast across the eastern and central U.S. Since February, more than 13M chickens, turkeys, and other birds have died from HPAI or have had to be culled to limit the spread. Specifically in Iowa, one in eight of the state’s laying hens has died because of this outbreak.

Taking flight: With migration happening within the next few weeks, the issue could get worse before it gets better. An avian flu outbreak happened in 2015, when more than 50M birds died, and egg prices flew higher than an eagle.

Protect your flock: Producers are encouraged by veterinarians like Dr. Shauna Voss in Minnesota to take action to protect their flocks against the virus.

“Make sure that you’ve got your biosecurity plans in place,” she says. “Make sure all of your workers, family members, and anybody who visits the farm are following those procedures and not walking that virus into your barn. If we can keep the virus out, we’ll keep our birds healthy.”