Poultry Recommendations

Initiating a Biosecurity Program

Biosecurity refers to procedures used to prevent the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms in poultry flocks. Initiating and maintaining a biosecurity program is an important aspect of a poultry health maintenance program. It is important to institute some aspect of a biosecurity program in order to ensure a healthy flock of birds. The primary method of spreading disease causing microorganisms between poultry flocks is the use of contaminated equipment or exposure to contaminated clothing and footwear of humans. Infected animals, such as wild birds and rodents, can also be a source of disease for poultry flocks. Disease causing viruses and bacteria can be transported from one flock to another on bird transporting equipment, trucks, tractors and other farm equipment as well as egg flats and cases. Humans and animals are also important ways of transporting disease causing organisms.

Please click on the following link for a Step-by-Step Approach to Biosecurity.

Keeping Yourself and Your Flock Healthy

Baby and adult poultry may appear health and clean, but they can carry diseases that may cause illness in people and in other birds. Poultry may shed disease causing germs in their droppings which can then contaminate their bodies, the areas where they live, and even the things they touch. Salmonella is one type of germ spread by live poultry, and it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in people. Serious complications are not common and are more likely to occur in young children, the elderly, and people with existing health problems. For information about avian influenza, click here. To keep yourself and your poutlry healthy, observe the following best practices:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching live poultry.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
  • Do not allow children under five years old to handle baby chicks or other young birds.
  • Wash the materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry, such as cages, water bottles and food containers frequently.
  • Don't let live poultry inside your home, especially in areas where food and drink are prepared, served, or stored.
  • Don't snuggle or kiss the birds and don't touch your mouth after handling live poultry.
  • Implement biosecurity practices on your property that allow for the quarantine of new poultry and segregation of sick birds.
  • Know your birds and monitor for signs of illness.

Secure Egg Supply and Secure Turkey Supply

The SES Plan promotes food security and animal health through continuity of market planning for a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak. This plan makes specific science- and risk- based recommendations that state officials and emergency planners can use to rapidly decide whether to issue or deny permits for the movement of egg industry products during an HPAI outbreak. The Plan also contains a supplemental component on voluntary preparendness.

Secure Egg Supply site

Voluntary Preparedness Components

Secure Turkey Supply site


Avian Influenza Update

Poultry Diseases

Biosecurity for the Birds

Letter to stores selling baby chicks

Poultry testing requirements for Vermont fairs and shows

Information on the USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan

Caring for Chickens, Geese, and Ducks

Registered Antimicrobial Products with Label Claims for Avian (Bird) Flu Disinfectants