July 13, 2021


Poultry owners in Ohio, US, advised to protect flocks following reports of dying songbirds



US state Ohio's Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) are advising hobby and backyard poultry owners to take steps to protect their flocks following reports of sick and dying songbirds in Ohio and surrounding US states.


In an effort to deter the yet-unidentified source of illness and death, ODNR is advising Ohioans to stop feeding wild birds and remove and clean bird feeders, particularly if they are seeing sick and/or dead birds in their area.


"Presently, we are not sure what is causing these illnesses and deaths in songbirds," said Dennis M. Summers, Interim-State Veterinarian of Ohio. "We are communicating with ODNR to assist in the reporting of sick and dying birds. Laboratory testing is being conducted, but the cause has not yet been determined."


Poultry owners are encouraged to protect their chickens, ducks, turkeys and other domestic species from any potential exposure to wild birds.


"Prevention is the best strategy at this point. Maintain good biosecurity practices to reduce the risk to your flocks," Summers said. "Biosecurity refers to everything that owners do to keep diseases away from their flocks. It is an active effort that owners can practice every day.


"It is critical that flock owners look for signs of illness and report any unusual illnesses in your birds." 


- Ohio's Country Journal