The Hot Summer Topic of Biosecurity

Summer is here and honestly, I am enjoying every chance I get to enjoy the warm weather. As much as I like to see the grass growing and colorful birds nesting, I am reminded that Summer brings persistent issues (especially those swallows). Keeping grass cut, preventing nests from being built and the use of bait stations full will reduce the risk of a flock contracting a disease.

A good first step is fixing any areas around a barn or shed that birds or mice would want to stay. Repair any holes or cracks and ensure that end doors seal properly to eliminate access point for rodents and birds. If any areas that hold water are located close to the barn, try to find a way to drain them. To minimize critter activity, a 3-foot perimeter around a barn should be free of vegetation. Weed killer can be sprayed
when there are no birds in the barn and on dry days with minimal wind to prevent drift. Additionally, the grass surrounding a barn and nearby storage sheds should be mowed weekly. Clean up any feed spills around the farm or feed tanks daily to hinder attraction from birds and rodents. Once a week, walk around the barns and knock down any bird nests. A good way to deter birds is to put up ribbon on feed tanks or apply a material that moves with the wind. Remove any areas where trash or debris is accumulating, as these are great places for rodents
to make a home.

At a minimum, bait stations should be checked every 2 weeks to replace bait and record the activity level. Additionally, bird activity level should also be recorded; this is essential to any bio-security plan. Rotating rodenticides with the level of activity is essential to a successful control plan. These practices are necessary to prevent Avian Influenza and many other diseases as well. Newcastle disease has previously been identified in wild birds during in the last few years and the same measures should be taken to prevent it from infecting our domestic bird population. Sioux Nation Ag Center wants to help your operation thrive. Please call us with any questions concerning pest control or bird health. We look forward to hearing from you!