Ohio poultry farms build flu defense

by 5m Editor
10 April 2006, at 12:00am

OHIO - Finding bird flu in the United States could spell trouble for Ohio&#39;s egg industry, which ranks second only to Iowa&#39;s nationwide. Within an hour&#39;s drive of Dayton are the nation&#39;s top two egg-producing counties, Darke and Mercer, whose egg, turkey and other poultry farms together generated $250 million in farm receipts in 2003. Though a lethal strain of bird flu has yet to be detected in North America, Tim Weaver is taking precautions. He figures he&#39;s spent $50,000 just to hire and provide transportation for a night watchman to keep thieves, animal-rights activists and potential disease-carrying trespassers away from his more than 4 million birds housed in barns longer than a football field. The birds lay about half of the 2 billion eggs that Weaver Bros. Inc. markets each year. &quot;I&#39;m concerned about the risk (of bird flu) to commercial poultry farms,&quot; said Weaver, a third-generation egg producer. &quot;That&#39;s why we&#39;ve raised our defenses.&quot; Weaver Bros. also recently began testing for bird flu through veterinarian Orville Thompson of Findlay, who for 15 years has gone to Weaver Bros.&#39; egg farms regularly to monitor the flocks&#39; health. He sends blood from the birds to Iowa for examination. <i>Source: Dayton Daily News</i>

5m Editor