Last night I attended a poultry seminar for hobby farmers and small flock owners. This is what I walked away with from the seminar, besides a red metal basket made in China to use to gather eggs and a Backyard Poultry Magazine as a door prize.
First let me explain why I went. I wanted to be more informed and able to recognize illnesses in chickens, especially since I have poultry houses going in across the road that I am not happy about, but would rather have them then lots of huge houses. My hope was that they would show and explain what to watch for in the chickens. They did very quickly not separating out one disease from another or explaining much of anything other than the importance of reporting illness. They did however point to medicated feed, which I have never fed my chickens, vaccinations which I have never vaccinated my chickens, biosecurity which I do not do, although I do clean out my chicken coop occasionally.
What I heard may not be what others heard, nor may what we walked away with. This is what I walked away with and heard. I heard a speaker say that the small flock owner and hobby farmer were the foundation of the big poultry industry. In other words if for some reason a spreading disease were to occur at one these small farms or hobby farm and be overlooked it could spread causing devastation to the big poultry industry with billions of dollars of loss, their foundation crumble. Of course this could also be taken another way. The fearful gather to put fear into the little, so the little will follow industry standards of vaccination and medicated feed putting fear into disease. I do fear disease but know it can be eradicated. If the body is allowed to go to battle with soup, juices and plenty rest, chances are the body will heal, but once one begins using sickness as the threshold, veterinarians and physicians are waiting.
One speaker told of a story about having to go in and eliminate all the poultry in a big poultry house and cleaning it out. Not only did they have to do this but they also had to go to other big poultry houses, hobby farms and small flock owners in the area and test for the disease that occurred in the big poultry house to prove the disease hadn’t spread and gave vaccinations. They had to do this otherwise they would have undergone an embargo by neighboring counties and states losing millions of dollars.
Prevention was their motto, in their fight against disease. I carry a different motto that many may not understand. My motto is my torch and may even put me to death, but if that be the case then so be it.