March 2019 – There is an outbreak of Newscastle disease in southern CA with some reports possibly in northern CA. This is an easily spread chicken disease that can sicken and kill chickens but generally not a problem for humans. Depending upon conditions closer to our September Coop tour, we could cancel the tour or provide special provisions to safely handle any potential coop contamination issues if deemed necessary. We invite you to sign up to show your coop or attend and we will provide better information closer to the event. We will always allow any coop owner who feels it is safer to back out of the event can do up to about a week before the event.
Here is more information about newcastle disease.
Virulent Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious and deadly virus in birds; the virus is found in respiratory discharges and feces. Clinical signs in birds include:
- nasal discharge
- green watery diarrhea
- neck twisting
- muscle tremors
- decreased egg production
- swelling around eyes and neck
- sudden death
It is essential that all poultry owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases such as Newcastle. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area; cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.
For backyard flock owners, biosecurity measures are to use dedicated shoes and clothes when caring for them and not to use/wear those clothes/shoes in other areas.
Additional information on biosecurity can be found at:
- USDA Biosecurity for Birds
- CDFA Backyard Biosecurity for Poultry
- CDFA Disease Prevention Guide for Backyard an Pet Bird Owners
- CPF Biosecurity Workshop Videos
- Thoughts on vaccination against virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine-Cooperative Extension
In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths through California’s Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473). Additional information on VND and biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at CDFA’s Virulent Newcastle Disease Updates webpage.
Sick or dead backyard birds can be submitted to CAHFS laboratories for post-mortem examination ($20 plus shipping and handling). Information on this program can be found at CDFA’s CAHFS Laboratory Necropsy Services for California Backyard Poultry Owners webpage.