Friday, May 22, 2015

Goat Registration Deadline, Fair Books, and Poultry Update

Goat Registration Deadline
Just a reminder that the deadline for registering your goat project with the Superintendent is May 29, 2015. The form can be found under the fair documents tab at the top of the Connections website. Please keep in mind that this form needs to be filled out in addition to the forms you fill out at the Fair Office.

Fair Books
The 2015 Jackson County Fair Book is now available. It can be found under the Fair Documents tab at the top of the Connections website. The deadline for registering animal projects with the Fair Office is June 19, 2015. The deadline for registering still exhibits is July 10, 2015.
* Please note that this registration is required for ALL projects and is done in addition to any paperwork you have already submitted to the superintendents.

Poultry Update
If you are involved in the Poultry project, please read the following message from our Poultry Superintendents:

We wanted to let everyone know that a strain of Avian Influenza has been confirmed in Whitley County Indiana which is just a little west of Fort Wayne.  Below is some information that we though you should be aware of, to protect your birds and understand what the cause could be if you find a dead wild bird or one of your own. 

As a result of this strain being so close to Jackson County all market project poultry and ducks will be picked up at the MSU extension office not at the superintendents homes (either TJ in Concord or Damian in Grass Lake). 

If you have any questions, you can contact the extension office,  your veterinarian or the poultry superintendents for more information.

Avian Influenza -
In Whitley County, Indiana, a strain of highly pathogenic H5N8 Avian Influenza (HPAI) was recently detected in a backyard poultry flock consisting of ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens. This strain differs from the H5N2 strain that has caused the loss of more than 30 million chickens turkeys and other birds in nearby states and is the first known occurrence along the Mississippi flyway.
Avian Influenza is very contagious among birds. Infected birds can spread it through saliva, nasal secretions and feces.
There are two categories of AI. Low pathogenic avian influenza A virus (LPAI) may cause mild illness or none at all and may go undetected. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (HPAI) causes severe diseases and high mortality rates in poultry. Both types of AI can spread quickly in poultry flocks.
Despite the danger of AI to poultry, the risk of human infection is currently low. To date, no human infections with the virus have been found in the U.S. though people have been infected with other strains of AI in other countries.
Recent articles about AI state that there is not a concern about AI with regard to food safety, but as always, you should take certain precautions when handling and preparing poultry, such as ensuring that it is cooked properly and completely, and washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling meat.
For people who keep poultry, to prevent the spread of the disease we recommend that you closely follow the biosecurity measures listed here and these additional precautions:
1.    Avoid contact with dead or diseased birds or poultry. If you come in contact with dead fowl for any reason, wash your hands thoroughly and wash any clothing that may have come in contact with it.
2.    Do not use poultry feed that was stored outdoors.
3.    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds both before and after handling poultry and poultry meat.
4.    When cooking poultry, use a thermometer, and make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 F.

Further Reading
1.    U.S. Avian Influenza Backyard Flock Resources from Iowa State University.
2.    Consumer Information on the U.S. Avian Influenza from Iowa State University.
3.    USDA biosecurity for birds website.

T.J. McCully
Damian Bruce
Sabrina Edgar