Recapping the Avian Flu Outbreak
Ron Kean, UW-Extension Poultry Specialist
Department of Animal Sciences
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
3:01 – Total Time
0:11 – What’s the status of the outbreak in Wisconsin
0:24 – What is Avian Flu?
0:44 – How much poultry was affected in Wisconsin
1:11 – How’s the egg supply
1:31 – How’s the turkey supply
1:48 – How long will it take for the poultry business to recover
2:02 – What about the turkey business
2:10 – What are precautions to prevent Avian Flu
2:29 – Lessons for the hobby market
2:38 – Snapshot of Wisconsin poultry business
2:53 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: Recapping the avian flu outbreak, we’re visiting today with Ron Kean Department of Animal Science University of Wisconsin-Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Ron where are we right now with the avian flu outbreak in the state?
Ron Kean: Fortunately I think we’re past the outbreak. We haven’t had an outbreak in the U.S. since mid-June.
Sevie Kenyon: Give us a little history of this when did it start and what is it?
Ron Kean: So avian influenza, avian flu, is a viral disease. This one affects birds and does not affect humans fortunately, and it kills a lot of birds that come in contact with it especially chickens and turkeys.
Sevie Kenyon: Ron where are we here in the state of Wisconsin with the influenza.
Ron Kean: We had ten facilities in Wisconsin that had outbreaks, including turkeys, chickens and a backyard mixed flock. All of those were quarantined; all of the birds on those farms were depopulated and fortunately all the quarantines are now lifted and the farms are repopulating with new flocks.
Sevie Kenyon: One of the questions about the loss of all these birds is what’s the effect on egg supply and turkey supply?
Ron Kean: Yeah egg supply, there’s a real shortage and probably everyone has noticed the prices have up considerably. There haven’t been shortages that I know of, in the stores but liquid egg for baking and things there’s been some shortages.
Sevie Kenyon: Ron what’s the outlook for turkeys?
Ron Kean: There have been a few shortages of turkeys in some situations but generally I think, other than the price being higher, there’s been enough turkey to go around and I think there will be enough turkeys for the Thanksgiving market certainly.
Sevie Kenyon: And Ron, how long does it take the poultry business to recover from something like this?
Ron Kean: With layers it’s going to be a bit of a long process, it may be a year and a half to two years before we can really completely get back.
Sevie Kenyon: How about the turkey side of that?
Ron Kean: The turkeys can rebound a little bit quicker, probably four to six months if things go well.
Sevie Kenyon: Are there precautions or things people should do now?
Ron Kean: Well I think we’ve preached biosecurity for many years and continue to. You know, don’t borrow equipment, don’t track dirty things into your birds, keep rodents and wild birds away from your flocks, those are always important.
Sevie Kenyon: Are there some lessons to be learned here for the hobby market too?
Ron Kean: Well again I think biosecurity is important whether it’s for influenza or for other diseases.
Sevie Kenyon: And Ron can you give us a snapshot of the Wisconsin poultry business?
Ron Kean: We have about four and a half to five million laying hens in the state; we produce about 50 million broilers a year and probably around 6 million turkeys each year.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Ron Kean Kean Department of Animal Science University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon.