Oregon is seeing its first cases of avian flu in years. A backyard flock in Linn County had the first confirmed case last week and there’s a risk case numbers will rise.
“It just means that you gotta step up your game cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more,” said Dani Wright, owner of McKenzie Feed and Pet Supply.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture recommends washing your hands thoroughly before and after working with birds. Also, clean equipment and surroundings with disinfectant such as a 10% bleach solution.
Wright recommends stripping down your bird pen and washing it with that solution once a week. You can put that solution in a spray bottle and lightly spray down the coop. It’s also important to clean shoes after walking in areas where there are bird droppings. And, keep bird pens covered.
Migrating water fowl are the ones who primarily spread avian flu. Separating ducks from chickens is important because ducks could be carriers who infect chickens.
Anyone who notices a sick bird is urged to call the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Signs of bird flu include lack of energy or appetite, decreased egg production, swelling of the head area and sudden death without clinical signs.
If testing confirms bird flu, the entire flock will need to be euthanized.