It turns out that Influenza is a virus a lot more potent than we thought. Right now, it appears that the deadly bird-flu is wreaking havoc in Minnesota.
Official reports from Saturday say that the virus hit yet another Rembrandt Enterprises farm leading to the destruction of 2 million egg-laying chickens. Just imagine! This event alone set a record for the most aggressive outbreak that the state has seen. No joke!
I want you to imagine how an event like this could affect you in a survival situation. Although the flavor will vary a lot, all species of birds are edible and currently make up for a huge part of our food resource. More than 8 billion chickens are consumed yearly in the US alone.
If raising backyard chickens (a key step in the long term survival plan), you need to be aware of the evolution of this deadly virus so that you can effectively protect your flock.
Immediate Actions You Could Take
Prevention is key. You should make this your main goal. As the first step, make sure you are good at recognizing the symptoms:
These are common in chicken and turkeys:
- depression and decreased activity
- decreased apetite
- decrease in egg production
- wet eyes
- ruffled feathers
In severe forms of Avian Influenza:
- edema or accumulation of fluid in the comb and wattles
- blueness of the head area
- severe production drops
- bleeding under the skin in the shanks and high mortality
1. No new individuals
First of all, during an outbreak, you should avoid bringing home any new birds… period!
2. Avoid outside contact
Confine your flock in order to avoid contact with any wild birds. Fences are a practical solution. Remember: “All bird species are carriers.”
3. Check your sources
If you absolutely need to bring in new birds be aware of sources you trust. Don’t take any unnecessary risks. Remember that the virus spreads very effectively.
4. The Spare Pair
Get a pair of cheap rubber boots that you will use ONLY on your premises.
This is probably the strongest weapon against the virus. You should do this constantly. Mix a solution of three parts bleach to two parts water. Use this solution to clean all the tools you are working with, especially if they came from the outside.
Jumping To Humans?
Personally I doubt it. That would mean that the virus will be capable to jump from human to human. To my knowledge, current research has failed to rule out this possibility. (Leave a comment and correct me if I’m wrong on this one). However, I would expect to have seen some evidence that shows that this is possible by now. Regardless, we don’t know how the Influenza strains will evolve.