Each spring as migratory birds and fowl return north along migratory pathways, they frequently carry diseases such as avian influenza and pass them on to other birds along the way. The 2022 migratory season has seen an elevated number of cases of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infecting backyard and commercial flocks along these migratory pathways.
As an NPIP facility, our flocks are regularly tested for avian influenza, and we have multiple levels of biosecurity practices in place. On April 1, 2022, despite our best efforts, we received a confirmed positive test in one of our barns. A diagnosis of HPAI can be catastrophic for flocks, especially breeders of rare, endangered, and Heritage breeds. Our team is working in conjunction with Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials around the clock. The hatchery was placed under provisional quarantine by the IDALS and the USDA while all testing was done. The quarantine has been lifted, and we have been cleared to continue hatching and shipping to all 50 states in the U.S.
Customers who have received recent orders, as well as those who are expecting upcoming orders this season, can rest assured that their chicks and other baby poultry will be healthy. There is no risk to our customers or their existing flocks. All chicks hatched and shipped previously, and those hatched going forward, are from flocks with ongoing negative test results. Our NPIP status and all of our stringent USDA-approved biosecurity precautions will remain in place, including the continued ongoing testing of all flocks at all locations.
A number of breeds of chickens are affected by this situation. Some customer orders will be affected, but many will not be impacted. Those with affected orders will be contacted in order by ship week. Other types of poultry and fowl are not impacted, and will ship as scheduled. Affected chicken breeds will be unavailable for the remainder of the season as we work to preserve the genetics of these flocks for future seasons.
We ask for your patience as we navigate this challenging time. Our priority is to preserve our rare and Heritage chicken breeds, and to contact customers with affected orders. The situation is fluid, and we will continue to provide updates here and on the FAQ section of our website.