Avian Influenza Information Center: Back-Yard Flock Owners

Avian influenza (AI) is a serious disease concern for poultry producers and animal health officials. While influenza strains in birds, just as in people, vary considerably in severity, some influenza viruses can be devastating to domestic poultry.

Q. What is the state currently doing to detect, monitor, and prevent AI in domestic and wild bird populations in Delaware?

Surveillance and Testing

The Delaware Department of Agriculture performs active surveillance and testing of birds for avian influenza within the state every single day. Surveillance is conducted at commercial poultry operations, exhibition and backyard flocks, and at livestock and poultry auctions. Testing for AI is performed in order to allow for early detection and elimination of the virus if it is found.

If you have sick or dead birds, call (302) 698-4500 or (800) 282-8685 (Delaware only). The staff at Delaware Department of Agriculture can make sure they get tested so you know why they are sick.

Promoting Biosecurity

The Department of Agriculture is actively promoting biosecurity through education and outreach to poultry owners in the state. Register your flock if you wish to receive mailings from DDA about disease alerts. See links below for biosecurity that you can use on your farm.

Q. What can I do to assist the surveillance effort in our state?

If you are a backyard flock owner, and have not registered your flock, complete the Poultry Registration Form English /(Spanish )

Domestic Birds: Sick or dead domestic birds, including backyard flocks and commercial poultry, should be reported to the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Section, (302) 698-4500 or (800) 282-8685 (Delaware only). You can also contact the agency if you need additional information on biosecurity measure you can take to prevent disease in your flock. After hours, contact (302) 233-1480.

Wild Birds: To report groups of dead or sick waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds or gulls, contact DNREC’s Wildlife Section – Wildlife Disease Program, (302)735-3600.

What can I do to protect my farm?

Simple biosecurity steps can help protect your farm or back-yard bird flock.

Website: Biosecurity for Birds (USDA APHIS)

Website: Look for Signs of Disease (USDA APHIS)

Brochure: Protect Your Birds From Avian Influenza (USDA APHIS)

Article: Avian Influenza Findings Emphasize the Need for Good Biosecurity (USDA APHIS)

Video: Simple Steps to keep Backyard Poultry Healthy

Video: Medidas Sencillas Para Mantener Saludables a Sus Aves de Corral

How is it detected?

Avian influenza is detected rapidly thanks to a strong partnership with Delaware’s family farmers, state authorities, poultry processing companies and the University of Delaware.

Fact Sheet: Avian Influenza Diagnostics and Testing (USDA APHIS)

Fact Sheet: National Veterinary Services Laboratories (USDA APHIS)


Fact Sheet en Espanol: Influenza Aviar (Delaware Divison de Salud Publica)

Brochure: Proteja a sus aves de la influenza aviar (USDA APHIS)

Video: Medidas Sencillas Para Mantener Saludables a Sus Aves de Corral

Website: Informacion sobre la influenza aviar (CDC)

Brochure: Influenza Aviar Preparativos y Respuesta del USDA (USDA APHIS)