One farm in Minnesota has to destroy almost 1 million chickens
By Diego Flammini
Avian flu is making its way through U.S. poultry operations and backyard flocks.
After a quiet August and September, the disease is spreading through multiple states.
Fourteen U.S. states have at least one confirmed case of avian flu, affecting more than 61 million birds, USDA data shows.
In Iowa, for example, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship confirmed cases in Taylor and Jones counties on Nov. 9, and then additional cases in Kossuth and Cerro Gordo counties on Nov. 11.
In total, nearly two dozen counties in Iowa have confirmed cases of avian flu, affecting about 1.4 million birds.
North of Iowa in Minnesota, 10 commercial flocks are affected by avian flu, affecting more than 1 million birds.
One operation in Wright County is home to about 940,000 chickens. All will have to be depopulated.
And in Missouri, a commercial broiler breeder in Benton County was confirmed to have avian flu on Nov. 6.
This is the state’s first case since May 18 and is affecting 16,600 birds.
On the west coast, Washington, Oregon and California have confirmed avian flu cases too.
California is the most affected by the disease.
Avian flu was found in one commercial flock, affecting 31,600 birds.
That confirmation came on Oct. 26 on a turkey operation in Merced County.
The USDA has resources available for producers experiencing avian flu outbreaks.
The Defend the Flock program offers free tools to help everyone who works with or handles poultry.
Avian flu outbreaks may also take a toll on a farmer’s mental health.
Farms.com has collected a list of mental health supports farmers can consult should they need it.