Bird Flu Lands in Beadle County Turkey Flock

In the We’re All Gonna Die Department, Beadle County brings us bird flu:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in eastern South Dakota’s Beadle County.

…USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the South Dakota flock of 53,000 turkeys is within the Central Flyway bird migration route, where the strain of bird flu has previously been found.

The South Dakota flock has been quarantined, and the birds will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease. The state Health Department also is involved [“Bird Flu Found in Eastern SD Commercial Turkey Flock,” AP via KOTA-TV, 2015.04.02].

O.K., CDC says we people probably aren’t gonna die. But your birds might, if you live in the 20-kilometer quarantine zone. The St. Cloud Times, reporting on four outbreaks in Minnesota, gives the details on federal quarantine rules:

Central Minnesotans learned about HPAI action plans starting March 27, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock of 39,000 in Stearns County. In keeping with federal and state laws, a 20-kilometer circle around the farm was established. The closest 3 kilometers are the infected zone. The next 7 km are the buffer zone, and the last 10 km are the surveillance zone.

Birds on the affected farm were euthanized Monday. The turkey carcasses are being composted on-site inside the barns. The site remains under quarantine.

Everything within a 10-kilometer circle of the site is considered the control area, and all poultry premises in that circle were identified. This includes 15-20 commercial sites and 60 backyard flocks.

These commercial flocks have routinely been tested for avian influenza for years. Stringent testing continues, plus biosecurity measures are stressed. The 60 backyard flocks will undergo testing and be placed in quarantine.

All other poultry owners between 10 and 20 kilometers of the site are notified of the outbreak so they can look for symptoms, which can include nasal discharge, unusually quiet birds, decreased food and water consumption, drop in egg production, and high death loss [editorial, St. Cloud Times, 2015.04.02].

Bird flu came from Asia, just like the EB-5 funding and most of the workers for Dakota Provisions, the major commercial turkey producer in Beadle County. The current strain may be spread by migrating ducks.

18 Responses to Bird Flu Lands in Beadle County Turkey Flock

  1. Are we at risk of this bird flu mutating and affecting humans?

    These industrial factory farms are already putting us at risk with their heavy use of antibiotics.

    Have the wild Turkey populations been affected? I’ve seen plenty driving across the state on a regular basis. The wild turkey’s immune system should be much more robust obviously but am still curious if they are getting infected.

    Maybe this might be the opportunity for consumers to ditch purchasing industrial factory raised meats/fowel and support local, hunt or go the veggie Tofurky route. :)

  2. mike from iowa

    On a related note-in Wisconsin where wingnuts rule supreme,chronic wasting disease is running rampant through deer herds after officials decided to stop monitoring the disease and let it sort itself out. Didn’t take long after containment was stopped.

    In Indiana,where wingnuts rule supreme,the last PP clinic was forced to close because of wingnut budget cits. That clinic did not provide abortions,but did test for HIV. Now that county has an epidemic of people with HIV.

    Clearly shows federal regs work to protect people. State’s rights-not so much.

  3. larry kurtz

    South Dakota: Land of Infinite Virulence.

  4. Bill Fleming

    Tangent. How come we don’t eat turkey eggs? …never mind, I’ll go look it up.

  5. larry kurtz

    Vector: Eurasian Collared Doves are most likely the source for this strain of avian flu.

  6. Bill Fleming

    Aha. It’s always comforting to find I’m not the only one asking stupid questions.

  7. tara volesky

    Go back to free range poultry instead of caged greed.

  8. Interesting, Bill! Sounds like it’s just market forces: chicken eggs are easier to mass-produce. But I wonder if, since they already have the turkeys and the operating space, Dakota Provisions could add turkey eggs to their niche.

  9. Bill Fleming

    I’d buy turkey eggs, Cory. I wonder though, turkey meat has a distinctive flavor all its own. Curious if their eggs do also. Turkey meat also makes us sleepy. S’pose we otta only eat turkey omelettes in the evening? Would a fella put cranberries in ’em? Okay, that’s it. Must be time for supper.

  10. Mr. Fleming, you know darn well that turkey contains less of that nasty tripto amino acid than your fat laden chicken sandwich you get there in the basement of the Fairmont Creamery where you gorge your maw like the old days. You are exaggerating science. Mr. H has his French math and I guess you have your French science. Let us all hope neither are part of the common core.

  11. Tara,

    I’ll bet that Free Range chicken in the GEICO commercial doesn’t have any Bird Flu. That bird looks like it has a great life and would be plenty tasty on a dinner plate too!

  12. mike from iowa

    I’ve eaten turkey eggs. We used to have a few around and the taste really isn’t different,just the size and the color is a light brown. Turkeys had free range out here on the farm and finding the nests was a chore.

    I’m guessing meat turkeys aren’t good egg layers. You can raise broiler hens but they don’t lay eggs. They grow so fast they never get old enough top start laying. 56 days or less from day old chicks to 6 or 7 plus pound broiler carcasses. You can keep the hens a few extra months and they will end up around the size of small turkeys-around 12 lbs. The cockerels die of heart disease long before that age.

  13. Bill Fleming

    Grudznick, do you like bechamel sauce? iI’s better than gravy you know, and according to the article especially with turkey eggs (sans flu virus of course). Also sir, does your nose run when you eat soup and/or gravy, or like your mouth, does it just run all the time?

  14. rollin potter

    Hey Cory, call up MR.SVEEN, he is the top dog at Dakota provisions and the sleeper in the EB-5 scandal. Maybe your next door neighbor!!!!!!!!!!

  15. mike from iowa

    OUCH !!!!

  16. Deb Geelsdottir

    Hahahahahahahaha! Lynn said, “Have the wild Turkey populations been affected? I’ve seen plenty driving across the state on a regular basis.”

    What do the turkeys drive? Cars, vans, pickups? I bet it’s not old Suburbans used for hunting.

  17. Deb,

    I saw a few of those crazy wild Turkeys driving a few old International Harvester Pickups and the Travelalls. They were going somewhere and would be good eaten if we can get them.

  18. Deb Geelsdottir

    Good one Lynn. Those turkeys must be Rednecks! With Blue Faces. Hmmm.

    What I heard in MN is that migrating wild birds are suspected, as Larry linked to. About 1/4 million birds have been killed in affected flocks here. Reporters keep reminding us that MN is the #1 turkey producing state in the US. I wonder if that will still be true after this is all over?