As of February 2022, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in wild birds and poultry across many eastern states. USDA has published all detections of HPAI in poultry and wild birds on the APHIS website.
The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office is asking all poultry and bird owners to increase their biosecurity practices to keep the disease out of our domestic poultry in Colorado.
Please visit USDA’s Defend the Flock Program to for in depth information about which biosecurity practices can keep your birds safe.
For more information on the Colorado's response to the 2022/2023 HPAI outbreak, please visit the HPAI Response Page.
What Flock Owners Should Do
Owners should take the following steps to prepare:
INCREASE BIOSECURITY: It is extremely important for poultry owners to increase biosecurity measures to protect their birds from HPAI. The USDA Defend the Flock website has helpful resources for keeping poultry healthy in any operation. Commercial poultry producers can use this toolkit to assess their biosecurity practices and preparedness.
MONITOR FLOCKS: Monitor your flock for clinical signs of HPAI, including monitoring production parameters (feed and water consumption, egg production) and increased morbidity and mortality. Any changes in production parameters that could indicate HPAI should be reported.
SECURE FOOD SUPPLY: We also strongly encourage poultry producers to enroll as a Secure Food Supply (SFS) participant through our office. The most important component of ensuring your continuity of business in the face of a HPAI outbreak is to enroll in SFS and have a biosecurity plan in place. If you would like more information on SFS, please reach out to: email@example.com or 303-263-2407.
REPORT DISEASE: Veterinarians, producers, and hobby poultry owners should report any suspicious disease events in poultry flocks to the State Veterinarian’s office at 303-869-9130 or using this form. If it is after hours, the voicemail message will indicate which veterinarian is on call.
Bird owners struggling with stress or anxiety around HPAI can contact Colorado Crisis Services by calling 1-844-494-TALK (8255) or texting TALK to 38255. Farmers and ranchers can receive a voucher for six free sessions with an ag-competent provider through the Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health Program (campforhealth.com).
What is Biosecurity?
Biosecurity refers to everything people do to keep diseases away from birds, property, and people. Biosecurity is a team effort: everyone involved in raising poultry must commit to preventing disease.
Here's how to increase your biosecurity:
- Keep visitors to a minimum. Only allow those people who take care of your poultry to come in contact with your birds, this includes family and friends. Keep track of everyone who is on your property at all times. Make sure everyone who has contact with your flock follows biosecurity principles.
- Wash your hands before and after coming in contact with live poultry. In addition to potentially spreading disease from farm to farm or bird to bird, you can also spread germs such as Salmonella that can impact human health.
- Change clothes before entering poultry areas and before exiting the property. Visitors should wear protective outer garments or disposable coveralls, boots, and headgear when handling birds, and shower and/or change clothes when leaving the facility.
- Change shoes or provide disposable boot covers and/or disinfectant footbaths for anyone having contact with your flock. Use a long-handled scrub brush BEFORE stepping into the disinfectant footbath, and always keep it clean.
- Clean and disinfect tools or equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility. Before allowing vehicles, tools and equipment—including egg flats, gloves, buckets, etc. that have come in contact with birds or their droppings—to exit the property, make sure they are cleaned and disinfected to prevent contaminated equipment from transporting disease. Do not move or reuse items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected—such as cardboard egg flats.
- Look for signs of illness. Know the warning signs of infectious bird diseases and the symptoms of HPAI.
- Report sick birds. Don’t wait. If your birds are sick or dying, call a local veterinarian, cooperative extensive service, or state veterinarian. You can use an online form to report sick or dead domestic birds.
It is critical to report sick birds or unusual bird deaths
- Sick birds or birds that have died from unknown causes: Call the Avian Health Hotline at Colorado State University (CSU): (970) 297-4008
- Dead birds: Submit to the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fort Collins for HPAI Testing: (970) 297-4008 or (970) 297-1281
- Dead wild birds: If you find three or more dead wild birds in a specific area within a two week period OR if you see live birds showing clinical signs of disease, please contact your local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office.
- Multiple sick domestic birds or multiple unusual domestic bird deaths: Call the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office (303) 869-9130 or the USDA-Veterinary Services Colorado Office (303) 231-5385
Veterinarians and backyard, hobby, and commercial producers should report any suspicious disease events in poultry flocks to the State Veterinarian’s using this form.
Colorado Secure Food Supply Plan - Updated 2022