Fall 2022 Update on the Bird Flu

Amy Barkley, Livestock Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

October 26, 2022
Fall 2022 Update on the Bird Flu

Fall 2022 Update on the Bird Flu

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is still a present threat to NYS commercial and backyard poultry producers as cases across the Northeast increase.

by Amy Barkley, Livestock and Beginning Farm Specialist, SWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program



SOUTHWEST, NEW YORK (October 26, 2022) As we move into the heart of the fall migration season, cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) are on the rise. The cooler, wetter weather and decreasing sunlight are resulting in an ideal environment for the virus to stick around. We urge poultry owners continue to take precautions to keep their birds safe.


So far in 2022, there have been 568 confirmed cases of HPAI in domestic birds in 43 states. All states in the Northeast, including New York, have been affected. In the past month, outbreaks in the neighboring states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have been detected. While the last case in New York was identified on April 6th, the virus is still circulating in our wild bird populations, with 164 positives in wild birds identified to date. Within the past month, wild bird cases have been identified in Albany, Chemung, Clinton, Cortland, Dutchess, Madison, Nassau, Orange, Sullivan, Tomkins, Westchester, Wyoming, and Yates counties. Between positive domestic flocks in neighboring states and wild bird positives, our state's poultry are still under threat.


This disease is not showing a preference for flock types; both commercial and backyard flocks have been affected. Commercial flocks have made up 43% of those affected, with the remaining 57% of affected flocks are classified as backyard. In wild birds, waterfowl and raptors have been most impacted, as well as water-associated birds such as pelicans, storks, gulls, terns, dunlins, and turnstones. Game birds including pheasants and turkeys and perching birds including grackles, juncos, crows, and ravens can also catch the virus.


Because of how quickly and aggressively HPAI spreads in birds, it's important that we take measures to protect them. These include:

  • -Creating a barrier between wild birds and domestic birds by keeping domestic birds inside, in a run with a solid roof, and/or out of areas that wild birds frequent.
  • -Limiting the number of people who have direct access to your poultry.
  • -Wearing footwear designated to be only worn in poultry pens.



We urge producers to keep an eye out for suddenly high rates of death in your flock and be prepared to report any suspicious whole flock illness. Reports can be sent to New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets at 518-457-3502 or the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), 866-536-7593.


If you are a flock owner or community member with questions, please reach out to your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office for assistance. Media inquiries can be directed to Cornell Cooperative Extension Communications at cce-communications@cornell.edu.


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Upcoming Events

2024 Aurora Farm Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

August 1, 2024
Aurora, NY

The annual Cornell Field Crop Research Field Day will be Thursday, August 1 at the Musgrave Research Farm, Aurora, N.Y. The program features walking and hay wagon tours in the morning and afternoon. 

View 2024 Aurora Farm Field Day Details

2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm

August 19, 2024 : 2024 Broiler Field Day at Laughing Earth Farm
Cropseyville, NY

Join us for a free field day to explore broiler production, processing, and finances. Zack and Annie Metzger will be our hosts. They have run this 200 year-old small diversified farm for 8 years. They process their poultry in a 20C kitchen, where they produce value-added products like sausage and dehydrated chicken feet.

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2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm

August 20, 2024 : 2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm
Mountaindale, NY

Join us for a free field day to explore broiler production, processing, and finances. Brett and Sara Budde will be our hosts. They raise slow-growth organic broilers on their diversified farm in large flocks on woodland pasture. Their birds are processed into whole birds, parts, and chicken sausage.

View 2024 Broiler Field Day at Majestic Farm Details


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