Avian Influenza Precautions
We have been asked questions about what we do at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. to protect our birds from Avian Influenza (AI). We would like to take this opportunity to review with you our biosecurity policies and procedures. At MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., we pride ourselves on strict biosecurity practices at all times.
MacFarlane Pheasants is NPIP certified and our birds receive a clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. As part of this certification, we proactively test our birds for avian influenza to ensure our flocks are clean. With the most recent North American outbreak of avian influenza, we have increased our biosecurity measures not only to keep our facility AI clean, but our customer’s facilities as well.
Internally, we require any vehicle coming onto our farm to spray off their tires. We spray the foot pedals and floor mats with Lysol and require the driver’s to wear booties. Farm employees have shoes specifically to be worn at our facility. These shoes never leave the farm. Footbaths with disinfectants have been placed outside our buildings. In addition, any employees entering a building with birds must wear a uniform and booties.
Any visitors that come to our farm are REQUIRED to do the following:
- not be around poultry of other birds for a period of 48 hours
- wear clothes and shoes that have not been on any other production facility
- wear booties upon entering the farm
In addition, visitors are not allowed to enter any production facilities or allowed to get out of the vehicle while on the farm.
Our production facilities (breeders, hatchery, and grow out) are separated by as much as a mile, which reduces the risk of disease transmissions between flocks and facilities. We also have dedicated staff that work in each of these areas which reduces the risk of cross contamination between these areas. Our fortified diet strengthens the bird’s immune system and makes for a healthier bird.
Additional steps taken by MacFarlane’s staff to aid in disease prevention:
- all eggs are washed and sanitized prior to going to the hatchery
- brooder facilities and equipment are cleaned and sanitized between every flock
- all flocks are started on fresh, clean, dry bedding
- use of a thermal fogger to thoroughly disinfect the rooms
For deliveries to our customers, we have also implemented higher biosecurity measures. First off, our trucks get washed and disinfected before and after deliveries and prior to returning to the farm. Lysol is also used to disinfect the foot pedals and floor mats of our vehicles.
Our driver’s must follow these practices during and after deliveries:
- Put on booties and uniforms directly upon exiting the truck
- Will not enter buildings or bird facilities of our customers
- Must leave the booties and coveralls with the customer
- Driver will go home directly following the delivery
- Must wear clean clothes for the following day’s deliveries
The welfare of our customers is of utmost importance to us. These protocols will help keep the birds safe and healthy for everyone involved and greatly minimize any possibility of on AI outbreak. We hope this provides you with the answers you need to feel comfortable with our pheasants and our rearing practices.
Detailed information on Avian Influenza can be accessed at any of these websites: