Backyard Chickens and Wild Birds

Asked October 14, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT

I realize that you can't completely protect backyard chickens from diseases carried by wild birds, but would feeding wild birds (bird-feeders) attract more birds and increase the risk. Should backyard chicken keepers not feed wild birds? What diseases could be passed onto the chickens? How big of a risk is there of bird-flu being spread from wild birds to chickens?

Missouri

1 Response

There are serveral diseases that an be transfered from wild birds to poultry. Viral & bacterial infections as well as parasites can be vectored in by wild birds that have continuous contact with poultry. This is one reason commercial poultry farms go to great lengths to exclude wild birds from their houses.

If you wish to continue to feed wild birds, feed only those birds that do not rely on grain for their food. This keeps them from trying poultry feeders. Humming birds and birds that could eat suet could continue to feed away from poultry pens. Keep feeders and bird baths away from your poultry pens for best results.

G.