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How to Protect your Chickens from Avian Flu

Avian flu is sweeping through the country and farms everywhere are having to euthanize their entire flocks. As a backyard chicken keeper, I’m overwhelmed with the idea of my sweet ladies getting this flu and I’ll bet you are too! So, I’ve been researching like crazy, trying to figure out the best way to protect chickens from Avian flu and today, I’m sharing what I’ve found…

Chickens in Spring | Food Life Design

No Free Range Eggs This Year

Of course, we all want our chickens to free range and enjoy the fruits of the earth so they provide us with super healthy eggs (or meat). But, this year, it’s probably best to keep them in the run.

Since Avian flu is being spread by wild birds, there’s always a chance that they’ve left the virus in your yard, pasture or fields, so, it’s best to keep your chickens in a single location where other birds can’t co-mingle.

Which brings us to…


Our Chicken Coop“Our Chicken Coop” by furtwangl

Keep ‘Em Covered

Many farms that have had to euthanize their flocks, had chickens under cover that tested negative, while all the rest of their open ranging flock tested positive.

Is there a correlation? I don’t know.

Unfortunately, some of the farms that have contracted the bird flu have been large, commercial farms that keep their chickens inside. I’d guess that the virus was brought into the farm via an employee, supply delivery or maybe a rogue bird.

Either way, it’s probably best to contain your chickens this year! Any way you can keep your chickens isolated from other birds is sure to help protect them from H5N1 or any other virus.

Build a roof over your run and make sure the spaces in your fencing are 2 inches or less so that wild birds can’t squeeze through.


chicken plucker“chicken plucker” by Bob Doran

Don’t Share Equipment

This is not the year to be frugal when it comes to chicken keeping supplies. Don’t borrow supplies from friends and neighbors or buy used.

Wash and sanitize everything new (or previously stored) that you buy with a 50/50 water and bleach mix. Especially those items that go directly inside the coop or run, like waterers and feeders.


Towcester Boots“Towcester Boots” by ryan marsh

Leave Your Farm Boots At Home

Keep a pair of boots at home that you only wear into your chicken yard. Don’t wear them around the garden, out to the driveway and definitely not off the homestead.

Leave your boots at home so you don’t cross contaminate from another farm or wild bird.

On the same note, don’t allow friends and family (or anyone else) into your chicken run or if you do, offer them a pair of extra boots that you keep at home.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to 100% protect your chickens from Avian flu, but every step you take to keep their coop and run clean and isolated from wild birds is sure to help!

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