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Biosecurity includes any practice that can reduce the risk of introducing disease to a premises. To be effective, biosecurity must be practiced diligently at all times, without exception, by everyone that comes in contact with the premises.

Biosecurity from ANR

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths through California’s Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473). 

Sick or dead backyard birds can be submitted to CAHFS laboratories for Necropsy (post-mortem) examination ($20 plus shipping and handling).  

For additional information on who to contact for issues regarding backyard poultry, see Find an Expert or contact Dr. Maurice Pitesky at 530-219-1407 or mepitesky@ucdavis.edu

Biosecurity practices that can reduce the risk of disease transmission include:

  • Permitting only essential workers and vehicles on the premises
  • Providing biosecurity training to employees
  • Do not share birds, equipment or feed with other bird owners
  • Avoid visits to other backyard flocks or poultry operations
  • Restrict access to your birds; if visitors are necessary, provide disposable coveralls, boots, and head coverings
  • Isolate new birds from your other birds for 30 days and observe them for signs of illness
  • Scrub and remove all debris from your footwear, giving particular attention to the soles, with soap and water and spray with a disinfectant
  • Consider using a disinfectant foot bath with a scrub mat at the entrance to your bird area
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect (C&D) vehicles and equipment entering or leaving the premises
  • Protect flocks from exposure to wild birds, rodents and insects
  • Control movement associated with the disposal of mortality, litter and manure

It is critical for poultry owners to keep their birds from having contact with waterfowl and wild birds. Here are some tips:

  • Discourage waterfowl from using ponds on your property
  • Avoid on-farm traffic patterns that cross waterways
  • Keep poultry confined in houses and/or enclose an exercise area with netting
  • Avoid use of water that comes from sources where waterfowl may congregate during migration
  • Producers and employees should avoid waterfowl hunting during migration; otherwise, ensure clothing, footwear, vehicles, etc. used during hunts are laundered and/or disinfected 

Additional information on biosecurity can be found at: