There's too much information on the internet that is misleading and can be detrimental to the health of your chickens. The Chicken Whisperer along with leading chicken experts want to provide you with science-based, fact-based, and study-based information to help you weed through the chicken poop statements found on chicken forums and chicken blogs.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The Truth About Bird Flu in Backyard Birds
"Backyard birds are more immune to the Bird Flu than
factory birds. Really not a worry if your birds free range most of the time."
- Statement found on Chicken Whisperer Facebook page in response to information
posted about the dangers of backyard bird feeders on March 26 2016.
There are no breeds or strains of domestic poultry that are
resistant or immune to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). That
being said there are breeds (most famously the Egyptian Fayoumi) that are known
to have greater disease resistance than other breeds. For example, the
Fayoumi breed has greater resistance to coccidiosis but conversely they appear
more susceptible to infectious bursal disease. Fayoumi also have lower
hatchability rates. The point being that there is no perfect breed or
strain of chicken. Researchers may identify local breeds of chickens or
cross-breed different breeds of chickens that have unique traits including
disease resistance, but to believe that backyard and free-range birds offer a
"genetic panacea" that would allow us to ignore biosecurity as the
primary method of reducing mortality related to HPAI is unfortunately not
Answer provided by Maurice Pitesky DVM, MPVM, DACVPM Veterinarian/Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension Poultry Health and Food Safety Epidemiology School of Veterinary Medicine University of California