Have some chickens begun to move into your neighbors’ yards?


It’s a growing trend said Chrislyn Wood Nicholson, USDA Veterinary Medical Officer.


“More and more people are starting to own backyard poultry for a lot of different reasons. One is to know where their food comes from and be able to get eggs every day, fresh eggs. They can teach their children and their families about where your food comes from.”


The USDA mostly stays out of backyard chickens, including whether or not they are a violation of city ordinances.


But Nicholson said they will step up when it comes to avian flu, as backyard chickens are where the last major outbreak started, so they want people to know the symptoms.


“Coughing, sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge. Sometimes for egg-laying birds it will be a drop in egg production or soft and misshapen eggs. If birds are starting to die explanation, that’s a big warning sign and what we recommend is for people to call your local state department of agriculture.”


Nicholson said good biosecurity is important.

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