USDA Calls for Newcastle Disease Vigilance

John Maday

Clinical signs of virulent Newcastle disease include swelling around the eyes and respiratory distress. ( USDA )

Animal health officials have confirmed two cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard poultry flocks in southern California, raising concerns the disease could spread to commercial operations. The disease has not been confirmed in commercial poultry in the United States since 2003, according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

While not a food-safety threat, humans can contract a usually mild form of the disease from exposure to infected birds. In unvaccinated poultry flocks though, the virulent disease can cause up to 100% mortality.

The two California cases, one in San Bernardino County and one in Los Angeles County, were confirmed over the past two weeks in backyard poultry flocks. APHIS now urges poultry owners, especially in southern California, to adopt biosecurity measures to prevent spread of the disease. These include:

  • Wash hands and scrub boots before and after entering an area with birds.
  • Clean and disinfect tires and equipment before moving them off the property.
  • Isolate any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock. Limit visitor contact with their birds, and do not let anyone else who owns birds come in contact with their flock to avoid potentially sharing/spreading germs between flocks.
  • Report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.

Clinical signs of virulent Newcastle disease include:

  • Sudden death and increased death loss in the flock.
  • Sneezing; gasping for air; nasal discharge; coughing.
  • Greenish, watery diarrhea.
  • Decreased activity.
  • Tremors; drooping wings; twisting of the head and neck.
  • Circling; complete stiffness.
  • Swelling around the eyes and neck.

Images of some of these signs are available here.

Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at the USDA’s Biosecurity for Birds website.

Additional cases will be reported on the APHIS website as they are confirmed.

 

UD Extension names new poultry agent

NEWARK, Del. — University of Delaware Cooperative Extension has announced its hire of Georgie Cartanza as the new poultry Extension agent.

The statewide position will be based from UD’s Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel’s Research and Education Center in Georgetown, and the hire was effective Dec. 1.

“This opportunity at the University of Delaware puts me in a different position to really serve the industry that has served me so well and provided for my family,” Cartanza said.

“I am very excited to have Georgie Cartanza join the UD Extension team as Extension agent in poultry,” said Michelle Rodgers, UD associate dean and director of Cooperative Extension “Georgie brings personal and professional knowledge and expertise to the position enhanced with passion and commitment for the poultry industry in Delmarva, making her an excellent fit for this position.”

Cartanza’s experience in the industry is extensive. A graduate of Delaware State University with a bachelor of science degree in general agriculture, Cartanza was recruited straight out of college by Perdue Farms, where she enjoyed an eight and a half year career — three and a half years as a flock supervisor and five as a regional supervisor.

Later Cartanza joined Mountaire Farms, serving three years in their housing department.

Ten years ago, while working at Mountaire, Cartanza invested in her own poultry farm, and built four houses on family property in Dover. In April 2015, she made the decision to convert conventionally grown poultry and become a certified organic poultry farmer.

Poultry is the mainstay of Delaware agriculture and the Delmarva region. As Delaware Cooperative Extension’s state poultry agent, Cartanza will deliver the latest university research and best management practices to approximately 1,500 family farms in the region.

Cartanza’s Extension responsibilities include providing numerous educational workshops and webinars on topics such as poultry housing, energy and ventilation management, poultry health, animal welfare, and mortality and litter management.

Her efforts will cross state lines, often working in partnership with industry professionals and Maryland Extension poultry experts, particularly with outreach and matters concerning environmental innovation and nutrient management best practices.

Her experiences as a poultry farmer also motivates Cartanza to educate the public about her profession.

“My hopes are through research and Extension outreach I’ll be able to help people change their perceptions about our industry, but also help the people working in our industry to be more productive and competitive,” she said.

From her earliest college days, Cartanza’s goal was to help farmers. “The poultry industry has taught me so much. I have had tremendous mentors and people who helped me so much, so it’s prepared me to be a good candidate for this position and help as many people as I can,” she said.

– See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/ud-extension-names-new-poultry-agent/#sthash.PrW4Ir8X.svzNjQLh.dpuf

Free Small Flock Poultry Winter Webinar Series

EXtension logoHealth Problems With the Digestive System of Poultry: Tuesday, January 6, 2:00 pm EST

As the first in a four part webinar series on poultry health, Dr. Frame will start this webinar with an introduction to chicken health programs. The remainder of the webinar with discuss problems with the digestive system. The digestive system of poultry is exposed to a variety of pathogens on a daily basis. Dr. Frame will be discussing how some of these digestive-related diseases are manifested in poultry

Salmonella and Backyard Poultry Flocks: Tuesday, January 13, 3:00 pm EST

The summer of 2014 saw many cases of Salmonellosis traced back to backyard poultry flocks – see CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/live-poultry-05-14/index.html. Dr. Colin Basler of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be speaking about preventing salmonellosis while maintaining a backyard poultry flock.

Quality of Eggs from Different Production Systems: Wednesday, January 14, 11:00 am EST

When it comes to buying eggs for your family there are many different types to chose from – conventional, brown, white, green, free-range, cage-free, omega-3 enriched, pasture-raised. What are the differences between these eggs? Why do some cost more than others? Which type of eggs would you like to produce for sale. Dr. Jacquie Jacob from the University of Kentucky will be discussing this nutritious topic. Dr. Jacob is a poultry extension project manager with a heavy focus on small and backyard poultry flocks.

Health Problems with the Respiratory System of Poultry: Tuesday, February 3, 2:00 pm EST

The avian respiratory system of birds is very different from that of mammals with a rigid lung, air sacs and extends into the bones (Pneumatic bones). This is the second in a poultry-related health series looking at health problems associated with the poultry respiratory system.

Participation is free and brought to you by eXtension.org but requires a high speed internet connection.  To participate, simply click on the link and enter the virtual meeting room as a guest.  https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/poultry  You will be asked to type in your name.  You may want to attempt to join 5-10 minutes in advance of the start time in case you need to download an abode connect add in or update your software.  These webinars are also recorded and made available through the http://www.extension.org/poultry website when you click on the small flock resource area.

Southern Farm Boy Gets It Done

James H. Baxter, IV

President & Manager

Baxter Farms, Inc.

Georgetown, DE

Distinguished Young Alumni Award for University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Jay graduated from UD with a B.S. Degree in Agriculture in 2002 prior to returning to the family farm.  Jays is the 4th. generation farmer at Baxter Farms.

Jay currently oversees the farms 2,800 acres in Sussex County with support from his grandparents.  The Farming operation was established from a small farm and tomato canning operation when James, Sr. moved from Baltimore in the Early 1900’s.  Today the main crops are corn and soybeans, however, Jay is constantly increasing the acreage to incorporate food grade crops, including sweet corn, lima beans, and edamame.  The farming operation also consists of a 200,000 broiler operation.

Jay has been active in many community organizations as well: Director of the Delaware Farm Bureau, Chairman of the Delaware Soybean Board, founding member of Delmarva Tractor Pullers Association, founding member of Southern Delaware’s Local on the Menu, member of Young Farmers and Ranchers, and the Delmarva Poultry Industry.

Congratulations

Free Webinar- Winter Care of Backyard Poultry Flocks

EXtension logoBackyard poultry owners may be interested in participating in this free, timely webinar on September 25th, beginning at 7:00 pm EDT.  Fall is the time to prepare your flocks and coops for the toils of winter. Dr. Brigid McCrea from Delaware State University will cover the activities that are recommended for such preparations.  Whether this is your first  or fortieth flock, take the time to learn about changes to your management and biosecurity routines so that your flock stays happy and healthy all winter long.  For more information click on  https://learn.extension.org/events/1479#.U_SzLP5OW70 or to connect to the webinar directly, click https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/poultry