The University of Illinois Extension has shared information with local Coop License holders on preventing Avian Influenza, or “bird flu.” The virus has not been found in Illinois, but it has been identified in adjacent states and other parts of the Midwest. At this time, it is unknown how the virus is spread and humans have not contracted the virus. One theory is that the bird flu is spread through contact by domesticated poultry with migratory wild birds.
An online presentation and conference call for small producers and backyard chicken owners was hosted by Extension. The presentation covers how to prevent the bird flu, how to identify symptoms and what to do if a bird is suspected of being infected. The archived version of the presentation is available here: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/
Through the City’s Coop License requirements, staff maintains an e-mail list and contact information for all license holders. Using this contact information, staff easily shared information from the Extension Service. Interest in the Coop License program remains high. Champaign currently has 19 Coop License holders.