Avian flu strikes 102,000 broiler chickens in Nebraska

The last time highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in a commercial poultry flock in Nebraska was November 25, 2022.

Roy Graber Headshot
Broiler House
Courtesy Big Dutchman

The United States had its first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial poultry flock in nearly two weeks.

The latest infection, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a commercial broiler flock in Gage County, Nebraska, on February 6. This flock included 102,000 chickens.

Prior to this, the last case of HPAI in a U.S. commercial flock was confirmed on January 25, with that case involving a flock of 13,100 commercial turkeys in Daviess County, Indiana.

So far in 2024, the following states have had commercial operations affected by HPAI: Nebraska, Indiana, South Dakota, Kansas, California and Wisconsin.

This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in Nebraska in 2024, and the state was able to avoid any commercial flock infections in 2023. Although there were five backyard flock infections in 2023 in Nebraska, backyard flock infections do not have an impact on global poultry trade, according to World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) rules.

Nebraska, however, was not as fortunate in 2022. That year, the state lost three commercial layer flocks, two commercial broiler flocks and two commercial upland gamebird flocks. The total bird losses then amounted to more than 6.7 million birds. Only Iowa lost more birds that year, having lost about 15.9 million birds. Nebraska’s 2022 cases were confirmed between April 11 and November 25.

“While we are disappointed, we are not surprised, to see another case, as there have been several confirmed HPAI cases in surrounding states,” said Nebraska State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley. “Poultry producers need to continue to be vigilant in protecting their flocks. It’s important for producers to know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and to continue to practice good biosecurity measures to help prevent the spread of this disease into their flocks.”

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation

To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States, Mexico and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com. 

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