Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In the United States (U.S.) rearing backyard poultry is becoming more popular as people desire to produce their own eggs, and sometimes meat, for their families. The Animal and Plant Inspection Service determined that 0.7, 1.2, 1.7 and 0.2 percent of urban households in Denver, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City owned chickens. Transmission of diseases from backyard poultry to larger commercial poultry facilities has always been a concern. The 2002 Newcastle disease outbreak in southern California initially spread from backyard gamecocks to the commercial industry and led to millions of dollars in economic losses from the cost of testing, culling and disposing of infected birds, and from the loss of products to sell and the loss of the ability to export products. The production of poultry for meat and eggs is over a 20 billion dollar industry for the U.S., which it is the top producer of poultry and the second largest producer of chicken meat and eggs in the world. Veterinarians are often the first line of defense in not only keeping backyard poultry healthy, but also identifying disease situations that could impact commercial birds. Understanding the basic avian immune system and how it varies from the mammalian system, along with common poultry infectious diseases and the vaccines available to help control these diseases is key to keeping backyard poultry healthy. In addition, being familiar with the available assays that can identify a protective immune response in a vaccinated bird or the exposure to a disease agent in a non-vaccinated bird will help keep the food supply safe for your clients.