My Name is Jack Webb, and This is a Story of How My Poultry Were All Wiped Away With Bird Flu.
I grew up in the countryside and the most prevalent means of livelihood there came from farming. Growing up, I witnessed several farming ventures which had many people in my neighborhood rich; there those who practiced dairy farming, others had vegetable gardens, there were bee keepers and many other types of farming were prevalent then. By the time I was in high school, I had made a decision to keep poultry.
I have kept chicken for the past 20 years. When I started back then when I was in high school, I had about 20 chickens, 5 ducks and two turkeys. They went on to multiply and in the next 20 years, I had slightly over 15,000 chickens, over 2000 ducks, about 700 geese and several quails, turkeys and other birds.
Throughout the period that I reared these birds, I ensured that I maintained all the proper hygiene and maintenance conditions necessary for their growth, nurture and survival. I was always happy whenever I visited my farm and find that my birds were flourishing. There was a daily inspection of the birds by my staff as well as good lighting and habitable conditions for them.
Something I Was Not Expecting
One day while on vacation, I received a disturbing phone call. It was about a significant reduction in the eggs production of the chicken. I immediately told the supervisor who had called me to look for other signs that the birds could have ill-health. I advised him to carry out the check on all my poultry.
By evening, I received a report that the preening and chatter of the chicken was abnormal and also other birds had exhibited some abnormal changes in their food and water intake. That evening, I booked the next flight to home. I also called my local vet department, but nobody was in office therefore I called one of their worker who was also a friend and would routinely do inspection to my birds. I talked to him about the birds. He promised to be at my farm the next morning.
The next morning, I was at my farm by 10 and met with 2 officials from the vet department they couldn’t talk to me then as they were still investigating and analyzing the symptoms of the poultry. They advised me to wait until some more vet officers came so that some samples could be taken for further testing.
I called my supervisor who had been busy assisting them and I was shocked to hear that about 1500 birds were dead. This got me worried. I went into my farm office for a cup of coffee as awaited the officers to do their jobs. By midday, I got the most shocking report; my birds had been diagnosed with avian influenza (bird flu). The type of the flu was highly pathogenic and there were chances that none of my birds would survive.
And That’s What Happened…
For the next 5 days, I watched with horror as officials from the vet dept helped my staff to properly dispose the dead birds. It was a very shocking scene. I had heard about the disease earlier, but never thought that it would come knocking.
That’s how all my birds vanished. I almost quit bird-keeping but after two years I decided to pick up my pieces and try poultry keeping again. Currently, I have a couple of thousands of birds, but I was careful to have my farm disinfected and the birds vaccinated against bird flu as well as other birds’ infections and diseases.
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