Update: On May 18, 2022, HPAI was detected in a backyard flock in Jefferson County. All poultry owners are recommended to heighten biosecurity practices and to follow reporting procedures as outlined below.
CDA’s Emergency Rule Temporarily Suspends All Colorado Poultry Events
Please refer to the Colorado Dept. of Ag website for recent Colorado developments and webinars. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Webinar for Backyard and Exhibition Poultry Producers
What is Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)?
Avian influenza (AI) is a viral disease that can infect most domestic poultry (chickens, turkey, geese, ducks, pheasants, and guinea fowl) and wild waterfowl. AI occurs naturally in waterfowl and shorebirds without causing noticeable illness. Different strains of AI can be classified by their pathogenicity as either low pathogenicity or high pathogenicity. HPAI strains are extremely dangerous to domestic commercial and backyard flocks, causing sudden death, and rapidly spreading from flock to flock. HPAI is very infectious and lethal. There is no treatment or vaccination for HPAI.
Where has HPAI Been Found?
As of April 22, 2022, HPAI has been detected in the Denver Metro. See the most up to date information here.
For more information on where HPAI has been detected in 2022 refer to the APHIS website.
Symptoms of HPAI
Birds infected with HPAI may show one or more of the following signs:
- Sudden death without clinical signs
- Lack of energy or appetite
- Decreased egg production or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
- Swelling of head, comb, eyelids, wattles, and hocks
- Purple discoloration of wattles, combs, and legs
- Nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing
From USDA-APHIS Defend the Flock
How the disease in transmitted?
- Foot traffic
- Secretions from the bird
- Contact with infected droppings
- Movement of sick birds
- Contaminated clothing and equipment
Poultry with HPAI do not survive the illness. Vaccines for HPAI are not readily available.
What to do to Prevent HPAI in your Backyard Flock
Now is the perfect time to review your biosecurity plan. Basics steps to keep your birds safe include:
- Keep domestic poultry and fowl away from interacting with wild waterfowl; keep birds under cover and away from areas where migratory, wild waterfowl congregate
- Keep visitors to a minimum
- Wash your hands before and after coming in contact with live poultry
- Change clothes before entering poultry area and before leaving the property
- Clean and disinfect tools
- Don’t kiss your chickens
- Know the signs of illness
- Report sick birds
Where to Report Sick or Dying Birds in Colorado
If your birds are sick or dying, report it right away. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep HPAI from spreading.
1. Your flock or local veterinarian
2. The State veterinarian (303) 869-9130, available 24 hours/day
3. The State avian health team (970) 297-1281, only answered 9-5weekdays
4. USDA Sick bird line, toll-free at 1-866-536-7593.
- Defend the Flock Program from USDA
- USDA: positive detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in wild bird populations