Dogs and Poultry Part 2 - Biosecurity!

Biosecurity is the protection of your farm animals from infection. With the current concerns about bird flu (which can spread from some wild birds to domesticated poultry), amongst other things, this is an important concept to keep in mind when keeping poultry and dogs. We may not think about this, but part of biosecurity is being conscious of not spreading disease via your footwear.  Some flocks develop immunity to some things, but they still carry the infection and thus can spread it to other birds. If your dogs visits somewhere with poultry or water fowl and then returns home to romp and play on the same ground shared with your own flock, you take the risk of spreading disease to your flock.

Just as with yourself, keep your dogs paws clean and this will greatly decrease your chances of spreading disease! I recommend using something that doesn't dry out the skin of your dog's paws. Obviously harsh chemicals are a no-no, as is anything the dog can't safely lick off. Soap and water would probably do if you are thorough.

Another part of biosecurity between dogs and chickens is keeping your dog healthy! There are a handful of diseases that spread between livestock, poultry and dogs. A lot of times these diseases spread via faecal matter. I recently read someone describing the fact that their dogs thinks of their chickens as a waddling candy dispenser! This is not uncommon! Dogs are known for finding a certain joy from eating chicken poop, but if possible it is good practice to discourage it. They can get sick from a variety of viral, bacterial and fungal sources found in poultry droppings. For example if you birds carry Cryptococcal disease, you dogs can suffer from lung issues, shortness of breath, fever, etc. Other diseases transferable between poultry and dogs cause digestion issues such as diarrhoea and weight loss. Basically, just say no to bird poop treats!

The final part of this series, next Friday, will examine the how keeping poultry benefits your dog.


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