This chicken flu scare is getting more and more surreal. Why have all these governments suddenly decided that THIS is the year to make a very big deal out of birds dying from the avian flu? This happens every year and nobody seems to care. Its really hard to avoid jumping to conspiracy theory conclusions. Bush, at least, has a lot of very good reasons to want the public's attention diverted from the abject failure of all his war and economic policies.
Now, egged on by radio and internet news, the public is being whipped into an anti-chicken frenzy. The large producers, with their homozygous birds, small genepools, and extremely overcrowded conditions are understandably leery of the flu getting into THEIR operations. But they seem to be handling this by convincing the government and the public that small farm flocks will spread the flu and must be eliminated wholesale if the flu shows up here in the US.
BAHHHH! THis will probably happen, with big business owning this administration, but it will be such a crying shame. Wiping out small farm flocks, with their genetic diversity and natural living conditions are really our only chance to have avians that survive and resist the flu. If the flu could be allowed to run its course, the birds that would be left should be our breeding stock for the future. Alas, that is very unlikely to happen.
From what I've read, any bird found dead, whether from AI or not, will prompt the government to invade and destroy all fowl within 2 miles, period. All my chickens are under roof so they can not even come in contact with wild birds flying over, and the wire we used for the chicken houses blocks even sparrows and vireos from entering them. LOTS of people are taking these precautions, and LOTS more would be willing to do so if they could believe that it would save their fowl from the government killing team.
Rant, rant. I'd better go do something useful for a while.