Ag News

Iowa poultry flocks destroyed following HPAI confirmation

Posted on Jun 06, 2024 at 12:16 PM

A flock of commercial layer hens totaling 4.2 million birds in Sioux County, Iowa, was euthanized after tests confirmed an infection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on May 28. Sioux County is located in the northwest corner of the state about 200 miles from Des Moines. A commercial turkey flock in neighboring Cherokee County was announced on June 2.  

Both cases are believed to be caused by contact with wild birds. Both flocks were euthanized in accordance with biosecurity guidelines from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

HPAI cases in an additional seven flocks in Minnesota were confirmed by APHIS in the past month, affecting 1.5 million birds.

HPAI strains are usually deadly to domestic poultry and can wipe out an entire flock within days.

APHIS notes the following may be potential indicators of an HPAI infection in poultry:

• Sudden death without any prior symptoms of illness;

• Lack of energy and appetite;

• A drop in egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs;

• Swelling of the eyelids, comb, wattles, and shanks;

• Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs;

• Gasping for air (difficulty breathing);

• Nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing;

• Twisting of the head and neck (torticollis);

• Stumbling or falling down;

• Diarrhea.

Producers should monitor their flocks and report birds with these signs. In Georgia, possible infections for domestic birds can be reported by calling the AI Hotline at (770) 766-6850. Testing is free through the

APHIS offers guidance for preventing HPAI infections in poultry flocks at the following links:

• Defend the Flock

Protect Your Poultry From Avian Influenza 

Poultry Owners: Report Sick Birds!

Prevent Avian Influenza at Your Farm: Improve Your Biosecurity With Simple Wildlife Practices 

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