As the national spokesperson for the USDA-APHIS Biosecurity For Birds program, I have a responsibility to educate backyard chicken keepers nationwide on the importance of implementing good biosecurity practices. When I mention the term biosecurity on a blog or forum, people will often respond with the question, “What is biosecurity?” This tells me that the backyard chicken industry—myself included—needs to do a better job at getting this information out to the people who need it most: backyard chicken fanciers. So what, exactly, is biosecurity? It is any and all things you can do to prevent disease. Many people who have heard of biosecurity often only mention washing hands. While that’s a good start, there’s much more to it than that. Many of the following suggestions might seem extreme, but the more proactive you can be to prevent disease, the better: Keep your distance – Limit access to your birds, especially from other backyard chicken keepers. Minimize—or eliminate—your flock’s contact with wild birds.Don’t haul disease home – If you have been near other birds or bird-owners, such as at...
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for subscribing to and reading Chicken Whisperer Magazine. When AcreageLife magazine and I started talking about this project last year, I was excited about the prospect of our partnership and how it could make a change in the way people learned about backyard poultry. When it became clear that we both had the same goal in common—to raise the bar and make this magazine the premier poultry publication in the country—my excitement doubled. I believe we have achieved that goal with a group of contributors that are second to none. Let me introduce our “poultry dream team.”Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh MS, DVM, DrPH, DACVPM, grew up in rural Texas surrounded by all types of animals, including her very own flock of backyard chickens. Her love of animals is why she became a veterinarian. Casey will be sharing ways we can keep our flocks—and our families—happy and healthy.Dr. Maurice Pitesky DVM, MPVM, ACPVM, is a faculty member at University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) with an appointment in poultry health and food safety epidemiology. Maurice will be sharing the...

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