My chicken hooligans have destroyed all my hostas. The government can have this trouble maker.
This release says they are trying to get ahead of the avian flu that has caused the destruction of millions of birds in other states. The deadly flu has not been reported in Ohio and they are trying to keep it that way.
I've heard from other friends around the country that their state has done the same thing. I don't know about you but wow I think this was a surprise and that it's kind of late in the season for this decision.
What does this mean for you? If you are looking forward to going to any poultry event - fairs, swap meets, auction, etc.... you'll be standing there alone. I knew I should have taken those ganders up to the auction a couple weeks ago. Now I'm stuck with them.
What about private sales, Craiglist ad, and ordering chicks? No word on that.
Ohio is the second biggest commercial egg producer so I think it's wise to protect those flocks - and the industry. But I always get a little twitchy when these things happen. I worry about the backyard chicken keeper and what it means to them. The meat and egg producers have plenty of attorneys to protect their interest - but you and me? I'm really not interested in the state Ag guys sniffing around.
So what can you do? Not much. Be mad. I feel pretty bad for the parents of the 4H kids who already bought the birds and feed....and now they won't be able to recoup (re-coop?) those expenses thru the sale at the fair. I have not heard from anyone who has received any instruction or information from their own local 4H club.
On the other hand..... this sounds like a terrific opportunity for someone like me to drive around in the big truck and scoop up all the meat chickens that folks are now needing to get rid of... so there could be some upside.
The release from the ODA says to up your biosecurity game - for both commercial producers and backyard poultry raisers. Frankly we did this a while ago. We don't let folks on our property for a lot of reasons - including that I have no idea what you are dragging in on your shoes. If you get new birds it would be wise to quarantine them before putting them in with the flock.
They also suggest limiting contact with wild birds... by, you know, keeping your birds inside as much as possible.
I may be pretty country.. and what do I know...but all those commercial producers keep their birds inside and that didn't seem to help them any.
The DOA also suggests that "...sick birds or unusual bird deaths should also be immediately reported to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health."
Yeah. Sure. Right.
Friends, I don't tell other people's stories... but plenty of folks tell me theirs. All I'm saying is there is no way I'd get involved with that kind of oversight. Pretty much our strategy will be to hide the chickens, lock the gate, and man the gun turrets when they start sending in the drones.
Not to be all tin-foil-hat-y but last nite five military style helos flew over our place... low... real low. We ran the chickens under cover and doubled patrols. I might have shook my fist at the copters and yelled, "IF YOU WANT MAY CHICKENS, COME AND GET THEM!"
Pretty sure I'm on some kind of watch list now. Molon labe.
Happy Wednesday everyone. What's the word on your state and how they are handling this?