Thursday, May 23, 2024

Contact between wild birds and backyard chickens is risky

The University of Georgia UGA file photo Chickens roam a backyard in Athens, Ga.

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ATHENS, Ga. — Wild birds come into contact with backyard chicken flocks more frequently than people realize, creating a pathway for pathogens to transmit back and forth, according to new research from the University of Georgia. Such pathways increase the risk for spillover events that can threaten the health of all these groups — wild birds, backyard chickens and the people who care for them.

“Most people probably don’t realize how frequently wild birds come in and take advantage of the food and water that’s put out for chickens,” said Sonia Hernandez, professor of wildlife disease at the UGA Warnell. . .

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