Category Archives: Avian Influenza


Everyone has a certain amount of uncertainty.  Accidents, medical issues, personal issues all can arise without any warning.  The pheasant industry has the same list of unknowns that other agricultural enterprises have.  Crop farmers have drought and prices out of their control.  Beef and hog producers have input cost and demand fluctuations.  We live in […]

Preparing for Avian Influenza: USDA Conference

Avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, is a serious and very contagious virus that can affect both wild and domesticated birds. Birds can become infected when they have contact with contaminated surfaces, direct contact with infected birds, or when their water or feed is contaminated. Avian influenza can affect the whole poultry trade, so it is important to […]

2015 Avian Influenza Outbreak

As many of you know the poultry industry has just experienced the largest Avian Influenza outbreak in the history of the United States. More than 200 commercial operations have been directly affected in the Midwest. But one of the biggest overlooked aspects of this has been the impact to the transit of all poultry, and […]

Shipping Chicks to Canada

Trucking pheasant chicks across the country is complicated–there’s routing, crating, dropping off schedules, creating drivers’ schedules, arranging deliveries to reduce costs for us and our customers, road construction, and the weather. This spring, we had more hoops to jump through because of Avian Influenza embargoes. Until a couple of weeks ago, the state hadn’t been […]

Avian Influenza

As much as you plan and clean and put measures in place to prevent avian influenza, you’re still at the mercy of what happens around you and that point hit home at MacFarlane this week. A recognized leader in bio-security, our breeder farms, hatchery and grow-out farms – even though it may be inconvenient for […]

What you need to know about Avian Influenza

I attended the annual National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) conference this past June in Charlotte, NC as a Wisconsin delegate.  I learned more about Avian Influenza than I’d wanted to know.  At that Charlotte meeting, Dr. Dale Lauer from Minnesota asked me to speak about our Gamebird Industry at a breakout session at the USAHA […]

Getting Tough With Pheasant Security

Of all the things that bird farms fear when they go to sleep at night, one of the biggest has to be avian influenza. A.I. spreads quickly and can decimate a flock. But it’s not the only disease game birds are susceptible to, and with a farm the size of MacFarlane Pheasants, we’re especially vigilant […]

How We Prevent Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza is a virus that can quickly wreak havoc on a flock if not managed carefully. Symptoms can include swelling of the head, lack of energy or appetite, decreased egg production or even death. With our high production rates season after season, we take every precaution to ward of this illness. This starts […]

Biosecurity Upgrades

A few years ago during the “avian influenza” scare, biosecurity was a big topic. Two years ago Ben Lawton, our hatchery manager put together a biosecurity manifesto of sorts that addressed all sorts of areas on our farm where we could make improvements in our biosecurity. Over time we have instituted many (in not most) […]

Bio-Security on a Pheasant Farm

Bio-Security It’s been a few years since Avian Influenza was on the news nearly every day.  Now of course it’s swine flu.  It’s a tough call to try and decide how tight to make your farm bio-security wise.  Many poultry farms are shower in, shower out facilities.  That protocol is somewhat of a moot point […]