Mortality freezer units among BMPs targeted in grant for new Kent County growers (Press Release)

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partners are investing up to $225 million for 88 high-impact conservation projects nationally as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Projects are designed to improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. With this recent announcement, NRCS is investing a total of $825 million in 286 projects, bringing together more than 2,000 conservation partners who have committed an estimated $1.4 billion in financial and technical assistance. Two Delaware projects will improve water quality and save energy.

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Freezing vs. Composting for Poultry Biosecurity

Researchers in the United States have known for some time that a wide range of wild mammals – including raccoons and foxes, common visitors to farms and waterways – can be carriers of avian influenza (AI). More recently, however, researchers confirmed that some mammals are not only carriers but can also transmit the virus to birds, raising new questions about how the disease may move in the environment and between farms.

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Bird flu gone for a year, but mystery remains

The barns at the Pullet Connection chicken farm are nearly full of young birds again, a big change from last June. That's when avian flu struck the operation near Redwood Falls. The family farm saw more than 400,000 birds destroyed and the barns — normally teeming with cheeping, fuzzy chicks — fell silent.

"The process was so difficult to go through that you never want to do it again," said Barb Frank, Pullet Connection co-owner.

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Mammals capable of transmitting avian influenza to poultry

Researchers have known for some time that a wide range of wild mammals, including raccoons and foxes - common visitors to farms and waterways across Delmarva - can be carriers of avian influenza.

More recently, however, researchers confirmed that some mammals are not only carriers, but that they also can transmit the virus to birds, raising new questions about how the disease may move in the environment and between farms.

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Mammals might play role in avian influenza outbreaks, study suggests

A government wildlife researcher has found that rabbits and skunks can become infected with the bird flu virus and shed it enough to infect ducks — offering scientists one more clue about how bird flu may move in the environment and spread between farms, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Experiments done last year demonstrated that striped skunks and cottontail rabbits in a laboratory transmitted a strain of bird flu to mallard ducks after they shared food and water sources, National Wildlife Research Center biologist Jeff Root said in a statement.

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Maryland cost-share now available for freezer units

Maryland poultry growers have an alternative to composting dead birds, thanks, in part, to a company operating in Delaware.

On-farm freezer collection units are now eligible for cost-share funding, but growers have until Dec. 18 – the application deadline for the first round of funding.

The collection system is offered by Greener Solutions, a company based in Millsboro, DE.

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Test sites look at deterring resident geese from farms

Migratory wildfowl have gotten a lot of attention in the prevention of an avian influenza outbreak, and rightfully so.

USDA officials said this spring that highly pathogenic strains of the virus will likely be passed among birds in their breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canada this summer before moving south.

But with the resident Canada geese population continuing to increase, deterring wildfowl from poultry farms throughout the year may be something to consider, Bill Brown, University of Delaware poultry specialist told attendees at the recent National Meeting of Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production.

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Managing Risk In Poultry Production - Don't Overlook The Biggest Risk Of All

The potential spread of infectious disease must be constantly on the mind of those who run concentrated animal feeding operations. Every effort must be made to prevent the introduction of disease carrying agents to poultry stock - as there can be many unwanted consequences, ranging from a reduction in productivity to complete failure of the operation.

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Freezers help sustain value of deceased poultry birds

Greener Solutions began several years ago, in part, because Terry Baker felt he understood the value of a dead and discarded chicken.

Baker had built a career constructing and running chicken processing plants, and while working for Mountaire Farms, he became familiar with its Millsboro rendering plant that commoditizes the byproduct of chicken processing — feathers, carcasses, etc. — into fat and protein for everything from biofuel to pet food.

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Increasing Threats Facing Poultry Production Business Today

Traditional poultry production systems face many challenges, but one of the main ones is associated with the introduction and propagation of infection. Infectious "agents" can cause a variety of diseases, whether clinical or subclinical, which can have a significant effect on the productivity and ultimate viability of the entire business.

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Company pitches farm system to freeze dead poultry

A Millsboro-area company is bringing new technology to bear on an old problem for poultry growers: What to do with dead birds in their flocks.

Fallen chickens are a reality for farmers who can be raising tens of thousands of birds at a time, and safely disposing of them looks different today than decades ago, when farmers simply shoveled the dead birds into pits in the ground.

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New poultry freezing method introduced at Sussex County farm

(MILLSBORO, Del.) - Greener Solution LLC brings a new method in dealing with deceased chickens to Delmarva.

Terry Baker and Victor Clark own the company which is one of the three farms on Delmarva to utilize the Poultry Mortality Freezer Unit.

The pair have 14 freezers on their farm that can hold about 1,500 birds.

The company opened its doors to Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today to discuss the new method that's helping improve nutrient management in the area.

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Delaware farms embrace freezer technology for its poultry waste

Delaware farmers could find their traditional composting of poultry waste giving way to a new on-farm freezer technology.

The freezer units store dead birds, which can then be recycled into products like bio-fuel. In turn, farms save money and time, and prevent diseases like avian influenza.

Fox Chase Farm in Milsboro, which houses about 150,000 chickens, is one of several farms reaping the benefits from the technology.

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Life On The Farm: How Animals Are Really Treated

Let's face it; there's been a lot of misinformation spread about how animals are treated as they're being reared for human consumption. What's classified as a "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation" by the US EPA is often maligned by animal welfare groups as being inhumane and unethical, as animals are said to be badly mistreated during their short lives. Yet while some operations may not be up to par, the majority of people engaged in animal rearing do so with the best interests of the animal at heart - and for good reason.

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Foodborne Disease Prevention and Broiler Chickens with Reduced Campylobacter Infection

Use of fly screens, or other means of fly control, could be an easy and effective way to reduce the number of cases of campylobacteriosis among humans worldwide … [and] could reduce the prevalence of costly poultry diseases carried by flies.  Flies are known to carry other poultry pathogens, such as Salmonella spp., E. coli, Pasteurella spp. and avian influenza virus.

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