What to do with dead wild birds

If you find dead migratory geese, ducks, swans or shorebirds do not pick up the birds for testing. Call your local state or federal wildlife agency for instructions. Dead wild birds should not be handled with bare hands. If you do need to dispose of a dead bird, use gloves or a plastic bag turned inside out over your hand to pick up the bird, double bag it, and either bury it or dispose of it in the trash.

Biosecurity Measures on the Farm

  • Keep an “all–in, all–out” philosophy of flock management.
  • Protect poultry flocks from coming into contact with wild or migratory birds.
  • Keep poultry away from any source of water that may have been contaminated by wild birds.
  • Permit only essential workers and vehicles to enter the farm.
  • Provide clean clothing and disinfection facilities for employees.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and vehicles (including tires and undercarriage) entering and leaving the farm.
  • Do not loan to, or borrow equipment or vehicles from, other farms.
  • Avoid visiting other poultry farms. If you do visit another farm or live bird market, change footwear and clothing before working with your own flock.
  • Do not bring birds from slaughter channels, especially live bird markets, back to the farm.

Tips for Small Flock Owners and 4-H

  • Learn the symptoms of Avian Influenza
  • Observe common-sense flock biosecurity
  • Restrict contact with your birds by people who have birds of their own
  • Protect your birds from contact with wild birds
  • Protect feed and feeders from wild birds
  • Use good hygiene: clean and disinfect equipment
  • Don’t haul disease home: quarantine birds that have been at exhibitions
  • Buy birds from reputable sources, and quarantine them on arrival
  • Don’t borrow equipment from neighbors or other flock owners
  • Report sick or dead birds
  • Read “Biosecurity for the Birds

Biosecurity Measures at Live Bird Markets

  • Use plastic instead of wooden crates for easier cleaning.
  • Keep scales and floors clean of manure, feathers, and other debris.
  • Clean and disinfect all equipment, crates, and vehicles before returning them to the farm.
  • Keep incoming poultry separate from unsold birds, especially if birds are from different lots.
  • Clean and disinfect the marketplace after every day of sale.
  • Do not return unsold birds to the farm.

How to Report Sick or Dying Poultry

Do one of the following:

  • Call your veterinarian
  • Call the State Veterinarian’s office in your state
  • Call USDA Veterinary Services at 1-866-536-7593
  • Call your County Extension Educator

After exposure to wild birds, bird feathers, feces or other materials, wash hands with soap and water. Remove clothing and clean shoes immediately. Do not drink, eat, or use tobacco products before washing hands. For more information:

Occupational Risks of Becoming Infected With High Path HPAI H5N1

People who may routinely be exposed to HPAI H5N1 (Asian strain) Influenza virus include:

  • Veterinarians
  • Poultry producers/industry workers
  • Backyard hobby farmers
  • Live bird market employees
  • Bird fighting groups
  • Employees involved in disease control and eradication activities
  • Medical professionals treating HPAI H5N1-infected humans

For information about protecting yourself from occupational exposure to H5N1, see: