BDN interviews Lichtenwalner about chickens, new coronavirus

The Bangor Daily News spoke with Anne Lichtenwalner, director of the University of Maine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and professor of animal and veterinary science, for an article on what poultry owners need to know about the new coronavirus. While chickens can carry strains of coronavirus, there is no evidence in the U.S. of chickens being infected by the specific strain COVID-19, the article states. “I think it’s pretty important to be quite sure of [information] sources and data during this COVID-19 — or any other — disease outbreak,” said Lichtenwalner. “At the moment the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is issuing guidance to be careful around pets if you or they seem ill.” There is no indication of any increased risk of catching the virus from your existing flock or any new flock members, the BDN reported. But practicing proper hygiene around chickens is always important because they can carry bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter. “Really good biosecurity, getting chicks from an [National Poultry Improvement Plan] certified hatchery, excellent [flock] management and nutrition are all important to keep your home flock and your home happy and healthy,” Lichtenwalner said. WGME (Channel 13) carried the BDN article. Lichtenwalner also spoke with the BDN for the article “Preparedness is key when planning for animal care as COVID-19 spreads.”