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Small Flock Biosecurity Programs


To achieve our goal of developing biosecurity educational programs for small flock producers, poultry and non-poultry extension professionals and volunteers (NPIP testers), the following project objectives have been established. <BR> <BR> Objective 1: Create and distribute biosecurity/flock health publications for small flock owners, poultry and non-poultry extension professionals, and volunteers. In addition these publications will include flock health and management information for small flock owners to promote the health and well being of their flocks. <BR> <BR> Objective 2: Design a biosecurity/flock health training program for small flock owners, poultry and non-poultry extension professionals, and volunteers (NPIP testers). <BR> <BR> Objective 3: Design a biosecurity resource website targeted toward the issues of small flock owners. <BR> <BR> Objective 4: Conduct a pilot study examining how biosecurity practices of small flock owners on Delmarva were affected as a result of this proposed Small Flock Biosecurity project.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: An outbreak of such diseases as Avian Influenza (AI) or Exotic Newcastle Disease in Delmarva's poultry could potentially halt the production and processing of birds in the area, and would economically impact poultry growers and processors. In addition, to the economic impact of a disease outbreak, there is also a risk to human health. Therefore the need for poultry growers to design and implement a strong biosecurity program for their operation to prevent the spread of diseases is essential. Currently the commercial poultry industry has an intensive biosecurity plan in place, and is prepared to deal with a disease outbreak in commercial flocks. However, small flock poultry owners have limited or no access to biosecurity guidelines geared toward the requirements of small flocks. This proposed project would develop and deliver a biosecurity training program for small flock owners.

APPROACH: <BR> Objective 1: Biosecurity fact sheets for small flock owners will be created and distributed at various locations. These fact sheets will provide small flock owners with generic information related to biosecurity as well as educate in the importance of maintaining flock health and preventing the spread of disease. These fact sheets would provide some biosecurity and health information for small flock owners who may not be willing or able to attend a biosecurity workshop provided by extension. In addition, a biosecurity training manual for small flock owners, extension professionals, and NPIP volunteer testers will be developed.
<BR> <BR> Objective 2: Regional biosecurity educational workshops for small flock owners, poultry and non-poultry extension professionals, and NPIP volunteer testers would be conducted to deliver program information. These workshops would be an extension of the biosecurity training manual that will be developed, and will provide additional up-to-date biosecurity information. These workshops will also provide small flock owners the opportunity to ask specific biosecurity questions related to their operation. Some farm visits would be scheduled (with permission from flock owners) at these workshops to provide an individual on farm risk assessment of small flock operations.
<BR> <BR> Objective 3: This website would provide a central reference point for small flock and commercial poultry owners, extension professionals, 4-H educators, and the general public with biosecurity information. This biosecurity information would include resource information from seminars, links to other websites, emergency contact information, etc.
<BR> <BR> Objective 4: Farms will be selected randomly using the Delmarva Peninsula paper-based grid system which contains 684 grid squares representing 25 square miles of land. A questionnaire will be structured as an anonymous survey targeted toward adult (18 years old older) small flock owners who reside on the Delmarva Peninsula. Data collected from questionnaires distributed prior to implementing the Small Flock Biosecurity program will provide an understanding of biosecurity knowledge and practices of small flock owners. Information obtained from this survey will establish small flock owner biosecurity/flock health requirements with the purpose of implementing these requirements into the proposed workshops. A post-program questionnaire will be distributed once the program is completed to determine if biosecurity knowledge and practices of small flock owners have improved. Pre- and post-program survey results will be compared to evaluate the efficacy of this proposed program in improving small flock biosecurity.

Tablante, Nathaniel; Timmons, Jennifer
University of Maryland - College Park
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