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Pandemic? Bird flu found at multiple poultry farms in Alabama

by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News:

Reuters reports that in the first week of March 2017, a southern Tennessee farm growing chickens for Tyson Foods, Inc. had to euthanize 73,500 broilers because those birds had the unfortunate distinction of being the “first confirmed case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI)” in U.S. commercial poultry farming. As a precaution, at that time 30 additional farms were quarantined within a 6.2 mile radius. According to Business Insider, within days of that first outbreak, another Tennessee chicken farm got infected, but in this case the virus was “the less serious low-pathogenic flu [that] can cause coughing, depression and other symptoms in birds.”

A more recent report from Reuters updated the numbers of birds destroyed in Tennessee to 90,500. Just a few days after the Tennessee outbreaks, the avian flu migrated into three different flocks in Alabama, which is Tennessee’s direct neighbor to the south. One flock was owned by Aviagen, “the world’s leading poultry breeding company.” They culled 15,000 birds plus all suspected eggs. The two additional outbreak locations were much smaller in nature – a backyard group of hens and poultry from a flea market. In all three instances in Alabama, the low-pathogenic avian flu was detected.

While this low-pathogenic form is less deadly to the poultry, farmers are still required to confirm and report it. This is because, as the World Organization for Animal Health explains, the low-pathogenic virus has the potential to mutate into other, stronger viral forms. The highly pathogenic variety, in contrast, is often fatal for poultry. This is the strain of influenza that caused the death of “about 50 million birds, mostly egg-laying hens, in the United States in 2014 and 2015.”

The poultry industry, health officials and consumers may be ruminating about the possibility of another pandemic which could trigger tremendous economic losses for the bird producers, along with higher prices for consumers. Alabama’s economy depends on a robust poultry industry. It is the nation’s third largest poultry producer, and, as reported by Alabama Poultry, accounts for 65 percent of all farming revenue in the state, while generating $15 billion yearly for the economy. The poultry industry in Tennessee, states TN Poultry, fuels the state economy to the tune of $6.55 billion.

It is important to remember that the risk of bird to human transmission of the avian flu found in Tennessee and Alabama is low, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In 15 years of study, there have been fewer than 10 human infections from HPAI viruses. That being said, the agency does encourage you to avoid contact with any bird feces, whether wild or domestic, and to avoid direct contact with poultry that may appear ill or that have died.

As we encounter pathogens in our environment, remember to drink plenty of clean filtered water, get good rest, and eat an abundance of organic fresh fruits and vegetables.

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4 comments to Pandemic? Bird flu found at multiple poultry farms in Alabama

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    We need natural breeds of chickens, etc, that are immune to this stuff. But with all the chemicals in our environment which modifies & mutates bacteria & viruses, perhaps it’s a dream to think we can come up with any natural immunities that don’t fail.

    I seem to remember seeing somewhere, that wild birds often are less susceptible. A wise prepper, would have more than just chickens.

    Ducks, geese, quail, etc. Personally, I don’t like geese, because the biggest breed, are so powerful & aggressive, they can actually break a man’s arm, they can be dangerous (as well as very loud, but for that reason, they make a good watchdog.)

    A big goose can and will defend itself (and especially its goslings) from dogs, coyotes & humans.
    I prefer some ducks, as they are more gentle, and the eggs taste great (if it’s not allowed to spend all its time in water and eating sea-weed, etc.)

    I’ve never had quail, but I imagine it may be the perfect small home site bird.
    There is some breed of quail that is pretty decent size. They won’t make the chicken noises that can get you fined in the city.

    They don’t have spurs and can’t spike you. They don’t lay as many eggs, and they are a lot smaller, but hey, if you’ve got 6 chickens, you can often end up with more than 30 eggs in a single week. It’s ok if you have some buyers for those eggs.

    On the other end of the size spectrum, are the HUGE chickens, such as Brahma and others, which get as BIG as a TURKEY. A large male can weight up to 20 pounds “on the hoof”.

    I’d be scared to death of a chicken that was almost 3ft tall, and weighs 15 or 20 pounds with 3″ long SPURS- long enough to stab your chest and puncture your heart (Like the Crocodile Hunter-Steve Irwin- who got impaled in his heart from a stingray barb.)

    In the past, I raised a dozen chickens & also a dozen ducks. It was bad enough reaching into the chickens to gather the eggs, because you never knew when they’d PECK at your hand or your FACE and if they jump up to SPUR you (spike you)..they go for your EYES because your eyes are SHINEY and make the best target).

    Ducks don’t do that. A duck “bite”, is just on the verge of being a bit painful. That’s the best they can do with their bills, but you gotta watch out for their feet, because their nails are shaped like a cat’s claw-nail.

    You can get a nasty slice (and their feet are always walking in shit, so you can die if you get a nasty infection from ANY cut, but a BIRD has feet that are always contaminated. BE CAREFUL.

    But

    • glitter 1

      When my kids were young we had Buffs and Golden Comets mostly,they were great layers.My daughter was incubating everything.She asked if she could hatch some (couple) guinea hens,well we wound up with like fifteen,which are great for keeping the ticks and anything that crawls at bay.However, they are very noisy and they roam all over.They would roost in a huge Norway Spruce in the back yard and honk/squeal till late at night.They would also travel next door,which the neighbor didn’t appreciate at all.He actually called the SPCA to complain.I have to admit they were really noisy,he didn’t like the chickens scratching in his flower gardens either.Yup,we had it all,anything that could be hatched was,even an Emu,he was cute running around with the chicks.I finally had to put the kibosh on the incubating. Allot of the menagerie got sold off,killed off,run over,etc.At the peak we had like over fifty birds.
      Guess what,my daughter is now 35 with three girls,they live in PA.She/they have like 20 Silkies,7 rabbits,7 turtles,a fish tank,three toy poodles,she did sell the 2 Drakes a while back.
      I’m thinking about getting some more Buffs,maybe this spring.They are really friendly and fun to watc

  • Sayldog

    “the less serious low-pathogenic flu…can cause…depression…in birds.”

    Moaned the chicken, “Oh, what’s the point of even trying to cross the road?”

    • Sayldog

      from Wikipedia:
      Major Depression – The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep…

      Farmer: Doc, I think my chickens are depressed, I can’t get my cock up.

      Doctor: Well I can prescribe Viagra, but that doesn’t address the deeper problem of why you are fucking your chickens.

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