Kentucky Fish and Wildlife delivers update about hen sickness investigation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) – On Wednesday, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Methods provided an update about the ongoing investigation of an unexplained ailment impacting birds in Kentucky and in other places.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has acquired a lot more than 2,000 reviews of unwell or dying birds to its on the net reporting system since the portal went are living on June 17.

The amount of daily experiences coming in has steadily declined because the conclusion of June.

Employees go on to assessment all experiences and believe approximately 265 of the studies are relevant to the unexplained sickness.

Numerous claimed fowl deaths were being owing to standard triggers of mortality. Other stories have contained confined information and have been inconclusive.

Based mostly on its analysis, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife continues to encourage citizens in six counties (Boone, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton and Madison) to prevent feeding birds and abide by other statewide assistance.

“The counties where by we have received the most reviews suspected to be linked to the unexplained disease have been Jefferson, Kenton and Boone, in that purchase,” stated Kate Slankard, avian biologist with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “It is vital to notice that it is hard to distinguish which county is essentially much more afflicted simply because of reporting bias involved with densely populated parts.”

At this time, a definitive lead to for this bird ailment has nonetheless to be recognized.

Wildlife and normal source organizations in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, alongside with federal organizations, are continuing to perform with diagnostic laboratories to examine the induce of the unexplained ailment.

Transmission electron microscopy and further diagnostic assessments, together with microbiology, virology, parasitology, and toxicology are ongoing.

The pursuing pathogens have not been detected in any birds analyzed, based on results been given to day: Salmonella and Chlamydia (bacterial pathogens) avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and other flaviviruses, Newcastle condition virus and other paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses and poxviruses and Trichomonas parasites.

“There are very likely various elements contributing to this mortality celebration,” explained Dr. Christine Casey, wildlife veterinarian with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “The new dilemma seems to be sophisticated and labs are doing the job on knowledge the feasible purpose of bacteria and toxicology in the afflicted birds.

“Determining major and secondary leads to for the difficulty may be essential and this complicates and lengthens the diagnostic approach.”

A popular condition of finches, Property Finch eye ailment, which has equivalent indicators and is observed yearly in Kentucky, does not surface to be involved with this new unexplained disease that generally is affecting juvenile typical grackles, blue jays, European starlings and American robins. Sad to say, Dwelling Finch eye illness is popular in warmer months and also appears to be circulating in Kentucky at this time.

Individuals who notice sick dwelling finches or goldfinches at their feeders need to take down their feeders and stick to the cleansing protocol outlined below.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife proceeds to propose the general public comply with these tips:

In Boone, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton and Madison counties:

  • Stop feeding birds till even more recognize (when this issue has been solved)


  • Cleanse feeders and birdbaths weekly with a 10-% bleach answer (a person-part bleach mixed with nine sections drinking water), rinse with drinking water and let to air dry
  • Keep away from handling birds unless necessary. If you do manage them, use disposable gloves. If picking up a dead bird, area an inverted plastic bag around your hand to keep away from immediate speak to with the hen and
  • Maintain animals (like pet birds) absent from ill or dead wild birds as a typical precaution.
  • If ill or dying birds are noticed at any feeders or birdbaths, the department recommends getting them down for two months and cleansing them in a 10-per cent bleach remedy.

“Feeders and baths congregate animals and are inclined to maximize the transmission of pathogens and build a resource of contamination for checking out birds,” Casey said. “While this unfamiliar chook illness investigation is ongoing, it is very likely brought on by quite a few things and getting down hen feeders in afflicted counties is a sensible precaution. We are asking for your help with safeguarding Kentucky’s songbirds.”

If you come upon ill or dead birds, remember to employ the online reporting procedure furnished by the department. Access the reporting technique on line at https://www.investigation.web/r/2021KYSickBirdReports or through the Unexplained Chook Illness webpage on the department’s web-site at

If you must get rid of dead birds, put them in a sealable plastic bag and dispose of the bag in a secured out of doors trash receptacle or bury them deeply in the ground.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will put up further information and facts on its web page and social media channels as diagnostic effects turn into available.

Copyright 2021 WBKO. All legal rights reserved.