Morgan Watts: Avian flu is here, so keep domestic flocks away from wild birds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2022


s some of you know, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been detected in wild waterfowl off the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia through USDA’s surveillance program.

So far, HPAI has been confirmed in migratory waterfowl. These birds are in the Atlantic flyway, which covers all of the state. That means there is a strong probability that wild birds or waterfowl in your county have come in contact with the flocks that are positive.

So continue to practice proper biosecurity and keep domestic flocks away from wild birds and waterfowl. The current recommendation from NCDA is to keep all flocks in an enclosed area, whether that be inside a coop/run or a chicken tractor, so  they do not need to have free access to the outdoors in a way that is not protected.

HPAI will wipe out an entire flock when infected and is a huge threat to both the small producers and commercial poultry industry as well. If you are concerned that your flock may have symptoms of HPAI, contact the NCDA Animal Diagnostic Lab. Lab Locations and information can be found at:

Other things to consider at this time:

– limit visitors to flocks

– if your chicken coop/run has an open or screened top, cover with metal or plastic to prevent wild bird droppings from falling into bird area

– remove wild bird feeders or distance them from any backyard flocks as much as possible

– provide “enrichment” if your birds are more confined than usual to help prevent birds from pecking one another

If you have any questions about protecting your birds, contact  Morgan Watts at 704-216-8970 or


NCDA&CS Press Release Jan 27th, 2022

NCSU Article – What Is Bird Flu? Do I Need To Worry About It?



Avian Influenza

What To Expect If You Suspect

HPAI Resources

Defend The Flock Program

Cleaning and Disinfecting Checklist for Backyard Poultry Owners


What Is Avian Influenza?

Information for Small-Flock / Backyard Chicken Owners

How To Protect Your Flock


Avian Influenza: Know The Facts

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