Colorado layer operation struck by avian flu

This is the state’s second instance of avian influenza in a commercial poultry flock in 2024.

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The presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) commercial egg laying operation was detected in Weld County, Colorado.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) the case was confirmed on July 8.

APHIS did not release information concerning the flock size, but Colorado Public Radio reported that there were 1.78 million chickens on the premises.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis verbally declared a disaster emergency related to the outbreak in an effort to ensure “that the state can provide the support and resources needed for Colorado’s essential agriculture industry,” a press release from Polis’ office stated.

“This declaration activates the State Emergency Operations Plan and directs the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to take all necessary and appropriate state actions to assist with response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Specifically, it unlocks the resources necessary to help affected poultry facilities respond to and contain outbreaks of avian flu,” the release read.

This is the second confirmed case of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock in Colorado during 2024, with the other being confirmed on February 8. In that instance a commercial broiler breeder flock of 66,500 birds was affected. The involved farm was in Delta County.

Colorado was able to avoid any HPAI infections in commercial poultry in 2023, but eight commercial flocks were affected by the virus in 2022.

The H5N1 virus associated with these cases in commercial poultry has also impacted 23 commercial dairy herds in Colorado during the past month, according to APHIS.

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 


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