January 23, 2015

Bird flu, or avian influenza, has been found in backyard chickens in Oregon and wild birds in Washington state. Backyard chicken owners should take special care to keep their birds and their family safe.

Simple steps to help keep your birds safe:

What’s Happening?

A rare highly contagious strain was found in backyard poultry in December 2014 in Douglas County in southwest Oregon. Also in December, a different strain of bird flu was detected in a gyrfalcon that died after eating a wild duck in Whatcom County in northwest Washington.

The viruses have not caused any people to become ill. But they are contagious to wild and domestic birds.

Other diseases like Exotic Newcastle disease, can also easily spread through flocks in a neighborhood.

What You Can Do

  • Call your veterinarian if your chickens develop any symptoms such as coughing and lethargy and other signs of illness.
  • Report any wild or migratory birds that appear to have died suspiciously to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at  866-968-2600 or Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.