The flu? - 2005-11-01

Dear Egg Buyer,

A-a-achoo! THE FLU?

Did you know that all the flus were basically started by birds? An excellent article in 'Time Magazine', dated October 17, 2005, contained this fact. So far, the Asian Flu, type H5N1, not only kills birds but people as well - 67 so far. Once the Asian Flu mixes with a flu normally carried by people, it can be passed on from person to person, creating a huge epidemic, a pandemic.


The Good News

I called Dr. Mazhar Khan, DVM, MPVM, PHD, Avian Pathologist, and Jim Rock, both at the University of Connecticut, to learn more about the flu in this country. We do not have Asian Flu H5N1 in the U.S.A. We have had other types of Avian Influenza (AI), which is not restricted to chickens. The last outbreak of a 'hot' strain (H5N2) occurred in Pennsylvania in 1983-1984, when 11 million laying hens died or had to be destroyed.


No Bird Flu Here

We take pains to remove the threat of AI at The Country Hen. First, no one can work here who has any hobby hens or barn yard flocks. Secondly, when hens are taken to be sold at the end of the lay, we make sure that the truck and all equipment has been carefully pressure-washed. Thirdly, we do not allow visitors in the barn if they have hens at home. Fourthly, we scare away any ducks or geese from our pond, since they can be carriers of AI. Fifthly, we protect our organic birds with porches.


Porches Protect Our Hens

Because of the Asian Flu scare, Holland had just ordered all of its organic hens indoors. We have always kept our organic hens protected from outdoor threats. When the USDA organic regulations were last issued, they required that hens and other animals be given 'access to the outdoors.' We presented our concept of porches, so they can enjoy gentle breezes and sunshine during good weather and remain protected from birds carrying AI.



So while the others battle the Asian Flu problem, relax and have a few of our eggs from our flu free farm. Note how the yolks stand tall, the whites don't run and the delicious taste is simply beyond description. Also, the Omega-3s will help protect against heart disease, strokes, and depression. Bon appetit and good health!


For the Country Hen,

George S. Bass

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