Capital Clicks

Benton County backyard bird flu detection is 14th this fall

By: - November 15, 2023 4:38 pm

Bird flu detections in Iowa this fall have mostly affected smaller flocks. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

A mixed-species backyard flock of 86 birds in Benton County was recently infected by a highly transmissible avian flu, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

It is the 14th detection of the virus in Iowa this fall. The infections have led to the culling of about 1.4 million birds to prevent the virus’ spread.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is transmitted by migrating birds and is often lethal for domestic flocks. Infections in Iowa last year in October, November and December affected about 2.5 million birds.

This year, virus detections have been more frequent but have affected smaller flocks. The other detections were:

Nov. 13: A game bird hatchery in Kossuth County with about 13,000 pheasants, quail and chukars.
Nov. 13: A mixed-species backyard flock in Cerro Gordo County with about 75 birds.
— Nov. 10: A commercial egg-laying facility in Taylor County with about 1.2 million chickens.
— Nov. 10: A backyard mixed species flock in Jones County with 23 birds.
— Nov. 7: A game bird farm in Kossuth County with about 8,576 pheasants, peafowl and chickens.
— Nov. 3: A commercial chicken breeding facility in Hamilton County with about 15,000 birds.
— Nov. 3: A duck farm with a backyard mixed species flock in Clay County with about 7,361 birds.
— Nov. 3: A duck farm in Clay County with about 8,270 birds.
— Nov. 3: A duck farm in Clay County with about 1,700 birds.
— Oct. 31: A commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County with about 30,000 birds.
— Oct. 23: A commercial turkey flock in Pocahontas County with about 47,500 birds.
— Oct. 23: A backyard flock in Guthrie County with about 50 birds.
— Oct. 20: A commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County with about 50,000 birds.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register.