Sunday Soapbox: Unwanted Chickens

Sunday Soapbox: Unwanted Chickens

You all have probably guessed by now…I deeply care about animals of all types. So while it pains me to write this post, I feel there needs to be an explanation. About 6 times a year, someone approaches us to ask if we will re-home unwanted chickens. Most of the time, the request is for us to take in unwanted roosters that are annoying the neighborhood or simply were supposed to be hens instead of roosters. Reluctantly, I must always decline the “offer”.

The short answer is biosecurity.

Here’s the long answer.

Biosecurity refers to the policies and procedures that are put in place to prevent the spread of disease within humans or animals. Currently there is a widespead flu epidemic across the United States, and recommendations for the prevention of speading that flu makes the news headlines daily right now. Human biosecurity.

Poultry biosecurity works much the same way as it does for humans. In 2015, a severe form of Avian influenza caused many states to restrict movement of poultry and cancel poultry related events. Because Avian Influenza can bring an end to our laying flock, we avoid possible points of contamination. Here are some specific measures that we use on our farm to prevent the spread of disease:

  • We wear only dedicated boots in the poultry areas and these boots do not leave the farm
  • We purchase chicks from NPIP certified hatcheries or hatch our own chicks
  • Visitors to our farm who also own poultry are not allowed into our poultry areas unless absolutely necessary. If they must enter poultry areas, boot wash stations are set up for sanitation purposes

We do hope that you understand better now why we must decline taking in unwanted chickens. Although we never want to see animals without a home, we must take measures to ensure our own flock’s safety and wellness.

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