Poultry owners in Southern California have been an edge since Mid-May of last year when a case of the deadly Newcastle Disease was confirmed. Newcastle is highly contagious and spreads through bodily fluids of infected birds and can be carried on clothes and shoes. Since the outbreak started more than 60,000 birds, mostly chickens, have been euthanized in an attempt to control the disease. The good news is the disease is not a food-safety problem according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s December 15 news release following the infection of a commercial flock.
The truth is it’s impossible to implement perfect bio-security measures on a pasture raised farm. Wild birds come and go as they please which we have no control over. One thing we can do is limit all human activity on the pasture. Which means no free or private farm tours this year.
We will reevaluate the situation at the end of this year for the 2020 farm tour season. If you have backyard chickens of your own or know anyone that does we encourage to keep up to date with information from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
This website has resources on current quarantined areas in Southern California as well as news regarding the locates of the most recent areas where the disease has been found.
This website has information regarding keeping your backyard flock safe and what bio-security measures needed to be implemented ASAP.