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Chicken owners invited to take disease survey

'Knowing how live birds are moved in California will be crucial in the event of a poultry disease outbreak,' project leader says.

Pamela Kan-Rice, Assistant director, news and information outreach, UCANR

August 24, 2021

2 Min Read
To help deliver poultry health information more effectively, UC Cooperative Extension is asking chicken and game bird owners to answer a survey.UCANR

Californians who raise chickens and game fowl are invited to participate in a study to help the University of California more effectively deliver poultry health information and prevent the spread of diseases such as avian influenza.

Myrna Cadena, a Ph.D. student working with Maurice Pitesky, UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is leading a study with the Backyard Chickens and Game Fowl survey: https://bit.ly/3rWYpOa.

“Knowing how live birds are moved in California will be crucial in the event of a poultry disease outbreak,” Cadena said. “For example, if we know which counties have a large number of chickens coming in and out, then we can focus resources in those areas. The data collected could help us determine where to hold biosecurity workshops or distribute poultry vaccines.”

“I define game fowl as breeds of chickens – such as Kelso, Hatch, Claret and Roundhead – intended primarily for exhibition and competition, and bred for beauty, strength, health, vitality and longevity,” Cadena said. “Game fowl flocks may be kept at residences or farms.” 

Multiple aspects of farming

The survey takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete and includes questions about the flock; biosecurity practices; buying, selling and trading birds; and movement of birds for shows and fairs.

“We are university researchers, not a regulatory agency, so we are focused on outreach and education, not regulation and enforcement,” said Pitesky, who encourages owners of small-scale poultry operations to contribute to the research project.

To participate in this voluntary study about backyard chickens and game fowl in California, please fill out the survey at https://bit.ly/3rWYpOa by Sept. 30.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the researchers at [email protected] or [email protected].

Also, check out the video series, The Sitch, where Pitesky breaks down the basics of beginning a poultry farm and raising a backyard chicken flock: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP_1xWyE9U3JxjpsL9W-Crg.

Source: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

About the Author(s)

Pamela Kan-Rice

Assistant director, news and information outreach, UCANR, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

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