The U.S. poultry flock is as healthy today as it has ever been, Dr. John Glisson said, and biosecurity measures are a big contributing factor to the health of domestic birds. Glisson, director of research programs for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, delivered that message to a group of reporters at the Chicken Media Summit on April 19.
Glisson told the group, who during the previous day toured Sanderson Farms facilities, that they may have noticed they did not tour a breeder farm. That was not because the staff at Sanderson Farms didn’t want the media to see the facilities, but because they had to protect the birds from any disease that may enter.
“The biosecurity is so strict on those breeder farms, that you can’t take a group of people in there,” said Glisson. “There’s too much disease risk. When you’re talking about biosecurity, the No. 1 thing we’re trying to control is people. Most of the diseases that come onto a chicken farm walk onto that farm on two feet. People are the source of contamination for most things.”
Glisson added that other major sources of contamination are rodents, insects, and other birds. That is why so many poultry birds are in contained environments.
“We used to grow a lot of turkeys outdoors in this country,” said Glisson. “Every year, there would be multiple flocks that would get infected with avian influenza.”
It was common in those types of farms for a flock of migrating birds to fly over and be attracted to the wide open feeders and drinkers.
“They’d land in the middle of it and start living with turkeys. A few days later, they have influenza. What you saw with the style of housing … they are contained because of all the things we’re trying to keep out.”
Glisson also explained to the members of the media present that unlike the human medical profession, which focuses largely on treating illnesses after they have already occurred, the veterinary profession is totally focused on disease prevention.
The Chicken Media Summit was sponsored by the National Chicken Council and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
Statewide photo contest will highlight the finest poultry coops
In recognition and celebration of the growing popularity of poultry raising, the Maine Poultry Growers Association and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension are sponsoring the first Maine Poultry Coop Contest.
The purpose of the contest is to showcase the many and varied coop designs used by Maine poultry keepers and enthusiasts. Poultry owners are invited to enter a photo and description of their coops by Dec. 31, 2012.
The Maine Poultry Growers Association will award prizes of $200, $100, $50 to the top three entries, respectively. Fourth and fifth place winners will receive a subscription to Backyard Poultry magazine.
All entrants must be Maine residents. Entries must include at least one coop photo (not more than three photos) and a completed entry form. Entry forms and photos may be submitted online, in person or mailed to: Poultry Coop Contest, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth, Maine 04105
Coops may be seasonal, year-round, stationary or mobile. They may be multipurpose and need not be original designs.
A team of judges will evaluate each entry based on specific criteria, including design, purpose, space, construction materials, safety, cost and unique features. Winning entries will be announced at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show Jan. 9, 2013 at the Augusta Civic Center. Entrants need not be present to win.
More information and the entry form are available by contacting Andrea Herr, 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (toll free in Maine only).
Contact: Andrea Herr, 207.781.6099
Image Description: Poultry Coop Contest
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free webinar from 7–8 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, Dec. 4, on the business side of raising poultry.
The webinar will instruct viewers in the use of a “break-even calculator” spreadsheet for backyard, small scale or midsize poultry enterprises. The spreadsheet will help poultry producers better understand their costs and calculate a reasonable
price for their products. The spreadsheet was developed by Wisconsin Extension educator Adam Hady for meat and egg producers to establish minimum pricing.
To participate in the webinar, viewers should connect to the Web link connect.extension.iastate.edu/poultry on a computer or device a few minutes before 7 p.m. on Dec. 4. For an electronic copy of the break-even calculator for poultry, email UMaine Cooperative Extension educator Richard Brzozowski at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Richard Brzozowski at 207.781.6099.
The webinar is an offshoot of a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant in applied poultry science, coordinated by UMaine Extension.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is partnering with the Maine Poultry Growers Association is holding an Egg Producer School on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.
The cost is $25 per person and includes lunch and reference materials. The school is for individuals who have or plan to have a small- or mid-size egg producing enterprise. Instructors for the school include University of Connecticut Extension poultry specialist Michael Darre and UMaine Extension educator Richard Brzozowski.
Topics to be covered include components of an economic egg operation, from technology, food safety, egg quality, marketing, egg sales regulations in Maine, and organic production.
For more information, contact UMaine Extension at 1-800-287-1471 (in Maine) or e-mail email@example.com.
UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals. To provide adequate time to respond to your request please provide as much notice as possible.
Image Description: chicken eggs in carton
February 9, 2012
7:00 to 8:00 PM
Presenters: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky and Richard Brzozowski, University of Maine
This free one-hour webinar will cover common problems with egg or meat birds, and how to set and implement culling standards for your poultry operation. For beginner as well as experienced small scale and mid-size egg producers in New England. In addition, participants of a SARE-funded professional development project in Applied Poultry Science are encouraged to participate. Part of a series of several webinars planned for poultry producers this winter (2011-2012).
Registration required. Register now.
Image Description: Large and small chick