Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features Profiles Researchers
OMAFRA Releases “Keeping Your Birds Healthy”


June 12, 2009
By Canadian Poultry

Topics

June 12, 2009- Bird fanciers, small flock owners and non-regulated poultry owners can learn more practical biosecurity measures through a free kit called Keeping Your Birds Healthy.

June 12, 2009- Bird fanciers,
small flock owners and non-regulated poultry owners can learn more
practical biosecurity measures through a free kit called Keeping Your Birds Healthy.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has created the kit to assist bird fanciers and backyard flock owners learn more about biosecurity and disease to keep their birds healthy.

Advertisment

Reducing the threat of disease among birds and poultry protects an owner’s investment and livelihood. Biosecurity can be as elaborate or simple as an owner wishes, and it can be inexpensive when viewed in terms of bird care and contact. Poultry specialist Al Dam and veterinarian Dr. Paul Innes from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs offer these biosecurity suggestions:

• Control access to your birds. Restrict visitor access so there is no unnecessary or unauthorised contact with birds and poultry at your home or farm. This reduces the chance of disease and pathogens being introduced to your birds.
• Create a clearly defined restricted access, or barrier, zone around your birds with a controlled entry point for two primary reasons. First, a barrier zone restricts contact with your birds. Second, the controlled entry point provides the opportunity to put biosecurity measures in place for anyone who comes in contact with your birds, such as changing clothing and footwear, to reduce the movement of pathogens. It is strongly recommended to have dedicated coveralls and boots that are only used for working with the birds within the restricted access zone.
• Hand washing as an individual enters or leaves the barrier zone is equally critical to reduce the transfer of pathogens and disease.  A sink with soap dispenser is recommended for indoor setups, but hand sanitizer dispensers can be used for outdoor pens also.   

Bird fanciers, small flock owners and non-regulated poultry owners can learn more practical biosecurity measures through a free kit called Keeping Your Birds Healthy.

The kit contains more than 50 fact sheets in print and on CD, a visitor log book, various brochures, posters and a weatherproof restricted entry sign. The kit was produced by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, University of Guelph and Poultry Industry Council to ensure bird health and improve biosecurity.  The kits are free when you call the Agriculture Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300. More information is also available at www.ontario.ca/healthybirds .

Bird enthusiasts who would like to implement significant biosecurity measures may be able to access funds through a federal-provincial initiative called Growing Forward. There is a biosecurity component that offers educational workshops and tools for producers, as well as cost-share programs. More information is available at www.ontario.ca/growingforward .