chicken flock

Outdoor Poultry Vulnerable to Wind-Spread Pathogens, Study Finds

A Washington State University study tested chicken feces from 27 farms in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and found some instance of campylobacter in 69.4% of flocks tested. In “open environment” farms including organic and free-range operations, about 26% of individual chickens had the pathogen, with higher levels of campylobacter linked to farms that had experienced high winds or were located in intensive agricultural settings. To help reduce Campylobacter exposure, the researchers suggested farmers consider installing windbreaks and consider bringing chickens inside during periods of high winds that could be blowing the bacteria onto their farms from nearby fields and livestock areas.