Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bio Security

Now, I've made it no secret to anyone I've talked to in the last 4 months how ridiculous and unfair the quota rules are. Before I start on another rant about that, here is something the OMFARA is getting really right.

You can get a biosecurity booklet with all their info at: www.agbiosecurity.ca or www.healthybirds.ca.

I tried printing & posting my own sign from
the site, it lasted one rainstorm despite
the protective sleeve
Most of the information is already available on heathybirds.ca (which is really worth checking out of general bird health information, even if you don't live in Ontario). The booklet is a nice reference, although I'm not sure how long the "weatherproof" sign is going to last. 

Biosecurity is really important to the backyard flock owner for a few reasons, not the least of which are

  • Even though BigAg productions pose a far greater threat of producing and spreading big scary anti-biotic resistant diseases, we don't want to be passing around avian flu or west nile either, and those are ones small flock keepers are good at spreading around.
  • You don't want to your birds getting sick & loosing your time and money investment into them
  • It's the law. As I mentioned before, it's illegal to free-range in Ontario because you need to limit access of wild birds (and other animals) to your flock. (Of course there are ways to limit wild birds when your birds are ranging)

Most of the bio-security stuff you're probably already adhering to because it's common sense. Other things are as simple as having a hand-sanitizer bottle in your chicken coop (you can pick up a pretty big bottle at the dollar store). The log book is just in case there is an outbreak, so they can track back who has come to visit, and you only need people who have chickens (or who have recently been around chickens) to sign it.

Keeping your coop, waterers, feeders, and bedding clean will keep your birds healthy and make your job a whole lot more enjoyable. I also really believe in the principal of making the inspectors (should they ever show up) happy by showing we're making the effort and they are going to leave us alone. 

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