One million more Iowa birds found with bird flu


Via Flickr

Grace Smith | November 10, 2022

Avian influenza, a deadly virus caused by infection, was confirmed in two more Iowa bird flocks, consisting of over one million egg-laying chickens in Wright County, per an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship report on Monday. The bird flu was also detected in 17 birds in Louisa County.

Monday’s confirmation of the bird flu is Wright County’s second outbreak. On Oct. 31, 1.1 million egg-laying hens were infected with the flu. Four flocks in Iowa are now confirmed to have been infected with avian influenza. This year, 23 flocks have been affected by the bird flu. Over 15.4 million birds in Iowa have died from the bird flu or were killed to minimize infection, making Iowa the hardest-hit state by the bird flu than any other state this year.

“Migration is expected to continue for several more weeks and whether you have backyard birds or a commercial poultry farm, bolstering your biosecurity continues to be the best way to protect your flock from this disease,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said in a statement. “Our coordinated response team, comprised of state and federal professionals working with the affected producers, will continue to move swiftly to limit the spread of this virus.”’

Bird flu damages estimated at $1 billion for Iowa, Minn


Iowa leads the nation in egg production. (Phil Roeder/Flickr)
Iowa leads the nation in egg production. (Phil Roeder/Flickr)

Nick Fetty | May 19, 2015

Estimates released Monday show that the recent bird flu outbreak is expected to cause a $1 billion loss in the economies of two of the countries biggest poultry producers: Iowa and Minnesota.

The Hawkeye State alone has lost about 20 million egg-laying chickens, more than one third of the state’s total, and economic losses are estimated around $600 million. These loses affect “feed suppliers, trucking companies, and processing plants.” Thus far the outbreak has been reported in 15 different states and cases reported in Iowa and Minnesota are expected to increase.

Poultry producers and landfill operators are now struggling with ways to dispose of the contaminated bird caucuses which number around 26 million. Landfill operators in northwest Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota – among the country’s hardest hit regions – have turned away the dead birds out of contamination fears. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Iowa governor Terry Branstad, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, and other top officials have urged landfills to begin accepting birds caucuses before improper disposal leads to odors, flies, and other problems. It may be a year or longer before poultry producers are able to fully recover from this setback.

“They are not going to come back all at once. It’s going to take one to two years for these layer facilities to be back into full production, it’s a gradual process,” said Maro Ibarburu, a business analyst at the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University, during an interview with the Associated Press.