Backyard Biosecurity, Healthy Chicken Keeping

Backyard biosecurity means doing everything you can to protect your birds from disease. As a bird owner, keeping your birds healthy is a top priority. Your birds can become sick or die from exposure to just a few unseen bacteria, viruses, or parasites. In a single day, these germs can multiply and infect all your birds. However, by practicing backyard biosecurity, you can keep your birds healthy.
If you follow these basic tips and make them part of your routine, you decrease the risk of disease entering your flock and persisting in soil, droppings, and debris. Practicing biosecurity is an investment in the health of your birds.
When You Suspect Disease
Do not wait to report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths among your birds. Call your agricultural extension agent, local veterinarian, the State Veterinarian, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Veterinary Services office.
USDA operates a toll-free hotline: (1–866–536–7593) with veterinarians to help you. USDA wants to test sick birds to make sure they do not have a serious poultry disease.
There is no charge for USDA veterinarians to work with you to conduct a disease investigation. Early reporting is important to protecting the health of your birds!
Cleaning and disinfecting are one of the most important steps you can take in practicing backyard biosecurity.
Below are some examples of disinfectants available on the market. Follow the directions on the label carefully for the best results. Thoroughly clean and scrub objects before applying
disinfectants. Disinfectants cannot work on top of caked-on dirt and manure, so thoroughly wash surfaces before disinfecting.
Apply disinfectants using brushes, sponges, and spray units. Allow adequate contact time (follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)
Dispose of used disinfectant according to local regulations.
Examples of Disinfectants
Roccal®: Mix 1/2 fluid oz of Roccal per gallon of water.
Nolvasan® (chlorhexidine diacetate 2 percent): Mix 3 fluid oz of Nolvasan per gallon of water.
Household bleach (sodium hypochlorite 6 percent):
Mix 3/4 cup of household bleach per gallon of water.
Lysol® spray for footwear
Purell® hand pump for hand disinfection

Source: United States Dept. of Agriculture

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