Two animal health alerts for Valley ag producers
HPAI, the avian influenza which ag producers have been hearing about all year and which is the reason ag producers could not exhibit poultry at the San Luis Valley fair this summer, has now been detected in the Valley. Wild Geese are being found dead in the Valley, and birds of prey have been seen feeding on the carcasses. The threat of transmission to backyard flocks and to commercial poultry farmers is very real, according to Larry N. Brown, San Luis Valley Area ag business agent and area director.
CSU Extension has the following recommendations:
- If you have either a backyard flock or a commercial operation, please be very careful and increase your bio security. Eliminate or minimize any chance that wild birds, even sparrows and starlings, can mingle with your flock. Use separate clothing and boots when tending your flock and sterilize those frequently.
- If you hunt geese or other waterfowl, keep the clothing and boots you wear hunting separate from those you wear to town to get feed, and a third set for doing your chores and tending your flock. Sterilize the hunting and chore clothes and boots frequently.
- If you suspect your flock may be affected, call your veterinarian, the CDA state veterinarian at 303-869-9130, or the CSU Avian Health Team at 970-297-4008.
- If you see three or more wild birds sick or dead in a two-week period, call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office.
- More detailed information on the disease, reporting, and biosecurity measures HERE.
Brown also sent an alert about alfalfa pellet horse feed. FDA has issued a warning for an alfalfa pellet horse feed that appears to be contaminated and is causing horses to become ill and die. The feed company is a Colorado company and has recalled several batches of feed. If you are feeding alfalfa pellets, please stop until you check the link below and determine if it is from the company and batches listed in the article. If you have some of the contaminated feed, please dispose of it where horses and other livestock cannot get to it to eat it. It is also suggested you wear gloves and a breathing mask while handling and disposing of the feed. If you are feeding alfalfa pellets from a different company, you are not affected by this and can continue feeding.
Ag producers should read this information: Officials: Colorado firm’s alfalfa cubes may kill horses – ABC News (go.com).