Minnesota turkey flock confirmed with avian flu

Turkey flock of 140,000 birds in Meeker County becomes first fall case for state.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

October 12, 2023

2 Min Read
Getty Images

Minnesota has confirmed its first fall case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock of 140,000 birds in Meeker County. Samples were confirmed positive by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The site is quarantined, and the birds on the premises were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Three commercial turkey operations in Utah and South Dakota were also recently depopulated after the virus was discovered.

“Unfortunately, HPAI seems to keep popping up during the seasonal migrations in Minnesota,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Hoefs. “Before today’s detection our most recent cases were in the spring of this year. Anyone who has poultry should take this detection as a clear sign to keep a close eye on their flock and initiate your strongest biosecurity practices.”

Poultry producers and backyard flock owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if they see any signs or symptoms in their flock:

  • Decrease in feed or water intake.

  • Swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, wattle, and hocks.

  • Decrease in egg production.

  • Sudden, unexplained death.

  • Extreme depression.

  • Very quiet.

  • Difficulty breathing.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health said biosecurity is paramount to stopping the spread of this and other viruses and disease.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) is strongly encouraging all poultry producers, including those with backyard birds, to be especially vigilant.

“Unfortunately, highly pathogenic avian influenza continues to be an active threat to our state’s turkey producers, egg layers, and backyard flocks. We encourage everyone to remain vigilant, review their biosecurity plans and ensure they are fully implemented,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Prevention of disease is always our goal, but should we face new cases, our team at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, working jointly with USDA and industry partners, is ready to swiftly respond.”

Commercial and backyard flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Sick birds or unusual deaths among birds should be immediately reported to state or federal officials.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Feedstuffs is the news source for animal agriculture

You May Also Like