View Full Version : bird flu. What are you going to do?
December 28th, 2005, 02:28 PM
In November in southern California a weak but related strain of the bird flu was found and birds seized. You can read about it at cbs2.com/topstories/local_story_333212149.html
Of course it wasn't main stream--that would produce a panic. Would it not? And when you read it you may think, "of course, they were sick birds in unhealthy environment/s." Yes, this would contribute to the condition. But none the less, it was there, it is possibly spreadable to sick and "healthy" people and animals.
It is out there. ONly a matter of how, where and when?
Not to create panic,
what are you doing personally
to help prevent the bird flu effecting you, your family and your livestock/fowl?
Let me hear what you think. I'm willing to share my thoughts.
January 2nd, 2006, 08:46 PM
This is a whopper of a topic and I hope to do it justice in short form here.
Bird flu is as common among birds as human flu is among humans. We're talking about real respiratory system flu here, not the generic bugs that folks call flu or stomach flu or such. All human influenza, from the Spanish Flu of the early 1900s on down, has begun with bird influenza viruses. Some of them have been real doozies, some have been relative non-events. The big problems begin when the bird flu viruses jump to different species and then become contagious among members of the new species.
This current media hyped virus is evidently a real doozie when passed from bird to human. So far, (and I apologize for not having the gumption to look up the proper virus name, but I think it's) H5N1 has NOT appeared in any bird, wild or domestic, on our shores, nor has it been transmitted from human to human anywhere in the world.
So will it? Maybe, maybe not. The "maybe not" option doesn't sell newspapers or generate TV ratings. The "maybe not" doesn't make politicians look good for appearing to be on top of things.
So then what if it DOES become a pandemic? Hopefully, we all learned a few things from Hurrican Katrina. You really need to be prepared at some level for ANY emergency or departure from ordinary routines. From a health standpoint, you want to make sure that you're in the best possible physical shape. If you're healthy to begin with, your immune system will be your first defense against any flu. Follow good hygeine practices, like frequent handwashing and the like. If it makes you feel better to wear a mask when you're out in crowds, by all means, it can't hurt.
Myself, I'm with Dave Duffy from Backwoods Home Magazine. He compares the hype about bird flu to what we were hearing just a few short years ago about Y2K. Did civilization as we know it NOT end because it was all hype, or because people took sensible precautions? If we all use some common sense, "they" (the media and the government) can hype it all they want and we won't have to get too nervous.
I hope this makes sense. Anybody else? I noticed there were no answers to the original question even after several days.
January 6th, 2006, 09:52 AM
I highly doubt this has much, if anything, to do with Donald Rumsfeld, but more to do with media ratings. Yes, the drug companies are scoundrels, but be careful of looking a gift horse in the mouth...you may need to ride it one day. If your child gets cancer, what are you going to do??? Who are you going to go to??? As much as I question our Western medical practices, I also can't help but realize that they have increased our median life span greatly...we now live to an average age of 76 and this wouldn't be possible without drugs. So, we just have to make wise decisions. The food industry is no better; soy is basically terrible for us, but it's sold by the gallons in every health food store and every grocery store because we have been convinced soy is good. Look again. Or better, read again.
Thank you Country Tattler for your post...I enjoyed it.
January 6th, 2006, 06:01 PM
Not picking at anybody here, the considering the political scene and what powerful politicians are involved with directly or via "budy" you'd be surprised what these guys would do for a buck. Pharmecutical companies are big business and does anybody realize what lengths they will go to keep Americans and others convinced we need their drugs?
I know from my own experience. A MD came to me about an illness that was striking his patients and that no medicine he prescribed helped. He knew I had been ill not long before and that I had gotten over it rapidly. I gave him my recipe for adult whooping cough (which is the bug that is hitting many these days) and he used it, albeit quietly. His patients recovered and are now on much more healthy diets.
What got me into coming up with recipes that work, was watching my mother die a rather unpleasant death of bone cancer. Having read much, lived a lot and gone through my own problems successfully, I have a fair to middling understanding of why those big companies have done so much to put the doctors who can heal out of business.
I have no intention on claiming to be a doctor or any such thing. My whole goal is to change how we look at our food, grow the healthiest possible produce possible and live off it. That one thing, food that is GMO free, healthy,full of vital micro-nutrients and organic is more important than nearly any other thing you can do for well being. Herbs just happen to fall into that arena as they are aids to help us get to the point we don't need them for well being.
Just my take on things,
January 7th, 2006, 10:56 PM
I believe in being prepared. I have a supply of food and water stored, not just for this possible emergency, but for any.
January 8th, 2006, 11:14 AM
hot water and soap, lots of it and an avoidance of places where people gather is probably the best way to avoid it. if you have not read the book on the 1918 pandemic i suggest you do. unfortunately, healthy people suffered in large numbers during that flu because their immune systems kicked into over drive. as far as being prepared, having ready those things you need when everyone is sick is essential. hydration i imagine would be the most important for everyone. in 1918 many people died just because they could not take care of themselves and there was no one willing to take care of them. heat is another thing. we heat with wood. if no one is capable of taking care of the fire we will be in trouble if it's to cold. calling it paranoid and doing nothing is the silliest thing you could do. role playing and acting out scenarios just like your fire escape plans would probably be a great way to see things you would not anticipate. knowing your herbs is always a good idea, especially the ones that live in your neighborhood.
January 9th, 2006, 08:47 AM
I have to agree with Scakya, although I believe in preparing for emergencies, this comes from living remotely most of my life.we Always have food, water, and medical supplies at hand.
I can't remember the dates, but I know as a child, there were more than one 'doomsday's' that we all made it through.
January 13th, 2006, 12:55 PM
Rumsfeld Getting Rich off Bird Flu Fears
Fortune Magazine, October 31, 2005
NEW YORK (Fortune) - The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but itís proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to
Tamiflu, the influenza remedy thatís now the most-sought after drug in the world. Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)ís chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.
January 16th, 2006, 09:49 PM
I LIKE Rumsfeld, I admire Cheney, I also like the way some people can MAKE the dots connect Any way that fits their viewpoint. Do they really think corruption or mistakes or bad judgement all began from the Bush Era? Come On, thats the way humans are. All of us are subject to being human. Why don't they spend 5 min. on connecting the dots from the End of our way of life back to the entire absurd Clinton Administration? as for Bird Flu, my wife says we would have to stay home for the duration. there is nothing else you can really do (if it transmits from human to human) it will go on for months. She is a microbiologist that works in the poultry industry. Hey, I cant live the way I want in this country because the gov. 'fixed' everything so we have to rely on it, (liberalism)-more & more. I'm only halfway pretending I'm doing what I want. Theres no-way I'd live the way these moronic sheeple around here 'live', its a joke. Whats going to happen when a real wake-up call happens? I'm not really going to speak my mind here though. We better get tough & not succumb to the delusion presented to us by the tolerance idiots. I'd like to share a conversation Between myself & a friend recently, it shook me to the core of my being, Alas, it lasted for 2 days. Cheerio
January 16th, 2006, 10:51 PM
I am glad somebody does,they are getting mighty lonesome, even here in the Middle-East, (Missouri to Ohio)
January 17th, 2006, 06:30 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v202/Phlaura/yelrotflmao.gif my brilliant response :rolleyes:
January 24th, 2006, 09:06 AM
I certainly agree that less chemicals and better food and staying away from civilization is good preventative medicine to getting the flu. I garden organically, I buy organic, whenever and wherever I can, I stay away from drugs whenever and wherever I can, etc. In fact, I have a disease that the docs want to put me on prednisone for, and they want to put me on antidepressants for my elevated anxiety levels, which I resist completely. I just won't do it. I lost my husband to a horrific painful and lengthy illness, so I know all about drugs and their ineffectiveness (sometimes). We are way too dependent on what doctors think they know. We are way too brainwashed. HOWEVER, the health food industry is no better!!! They push supplements and "vitamins" as if they are candy and are no better than the pharms and drug reps. The latest is the whole VIT D thing...until one understands the science behind VIT D (did you know that there are two VIT D levels that need to be checked and the docs/mainstream scientists check only one of those, and did you know VIT D is not a "vitamin" at all, but a hormone..."more hormones please" :( ), then please reconsider when popping VIT D like candy. And do you REALLY know the science behind the health food industry's pushing of soy and canola products??? :eek: What it REALLY does to your body? What the long-term affects REALLY are? Yet, I go into health food stores and people are loading their carts with organic soy everything, mistakenly believing that if it's organic and sold in a health food store, it's okay. It makes me sick just thinking about it. So, it's all about profit, no matter WHO is involved...liberals or conservatives. But one chooses to close their eyes when it involves their particular beliefs or political affliations and point out only the negative of the party they don't happen to agree with. Garbage. Neither party is lily white; both are about the high dollars, not our health...WE must be in charge of ourselves and try to make the best decisions based on what unbiased studies we can dig up. I am the first one to question any drug choice. And I'm the first one to question a "health food" choice as well. I want to know the whole story on anything I put in my mouth, or feed to my children. The politicans give the people what they scream for, and after they give it to them, then you have someone else yelling foul play. I see people all day long who refuse to be in charge of their health care choices; they allow their health care practioners make all their choices for them and they are happy with that. They get a cold and the first thing they do is run to the doctor for a quick fix; so the doctors give it to them and then someone else is screaming, "Rumsfeld did it". How about people think for themselves? There's a novel idea. :D
Back to the bird flu thing, it was media hype! Rumsfeld isn't in charge of the media; the media is. So if the media wants to hype it up and drive up the sales for Rumsfeld, then speak to them. I'm 100% for organic and non-GMO. But can we grow enough food that way to feed the population we must feed??? Realistically, is that possible? And not only are we trying to feed the US population, we're trying to feed everyone else's too. Getting rid of the GMO is essential, IMHO. But growing strictly organic? I don't think it's realistic, under the circumstances, but we certainly can take small steps in that direction...and make it more possible.
January 24th, 2006, 11:45 AM
"But growing strictly organic? I don't think it's realistic, under the circumstances, but we certainly can take small steps in that direction...and make it more possible."
Well I was on the same page as you, till the final statement, Please elaborate? :confused:
January 25th, 2006, 10:00 AM
silly me, i thought this question was about what a person could do to protect self and family when a flu pandemic occurred. this is not an invalid question and it has gone almost completely ignored.
you guys can argue politics and media and big business all you want but i hate to tell you, pandemics have occurred through out history regardless of what you think the state of the media is or your own personal beliefs about our government or how sure you are that the big pharmaceuticals are hyping this so they can make gazillions. flu happens. flu that kills millions happens. and if you think people are going around slaughtering chickens and pigs by the millions in order to reinforce some conspiracy, well.
i hope none of us have become so big in our britches we think we have become immune to naturally occurring phenomena. i also hope none of us are suffering from that all to common human condition of a head in the sand.
to me it seems like your kind of arguing about whether or not that volcano erupting next to you has been unduly influenced by the president or if the media is just exaggerating the possibility of an eruption or if big business is just hyping it so they can make money on floatation devices, with out discussing how you plan on getting off the island.
January 25th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Good morning everyone -
I believe that the best defense against bird flu and any other type of "flu" is to keep your strength up by eating right (lots of fruit and veggies), and most importantly, washing your hands FREQUENTLY with soap and water. I also use waterless hand cleaners (like Purell) if I've been out and about. I'm not fanatic about it, but I definitely feel that TONS of germs are all over the handles of shopping carts, books in the library, etc. Lots of people touching things like that -- so I use my hand sanitizer.
I'm just not sure how much of a threat the bird flu is if one doesn't work with poultry. I haven't kept up with the latest news as I should, but it sounds to me like most of the people that contracted the disease came in contact with poultry -- and I wonder how much they concerned themselves with precautions like hand washing and dust masks?
January 25th, 2006, 03:30 PM
Fewer people have died from Bird Flu in the last year than what will die in a hour from other flu's.
Sure this may or may not be something big, but who is to know.
May be it will be one of the other gazillion...
It is the most profitable anyway!
January 26th, 2006, 10:56 AM
First of all I'd like to disagree. It is not liberalism but rather Socialism or Communism. For anyone who thinks we live in a Democracy...well look again. If our votes actually counted we'd be able to exact change, but we can't as long as the electoral college holds the key. What we all need to remember is to take care of ourselves and to not rely for the government to come to the rescue. This is the hallmark of our seed saving idealism. As a teacher in the public school system I teach my students to question all authority with honor and respect and to never settle for those pat answers that we hear a lot of lately.
February 12th, 2006, 06:16 PM
Lore, What I was referring to was a post early on that immediately started the political blame game.
February 13th, 2006, 10:38 PM
Hey kabuti;I see I am not the only Republican here.I live in Venice,Ca.were people respect diversity as long as its liberal.Before bird flu it was Sars,Before Sars,.... At one time KILLER BEES was HUGE.well their here now and like nobody cares.The only reason the media keeps harping on this is because upset people=$$$.I work in the media and have to hold my nose or look the other way here in CA,often.All of my friends here are Liberal and it doesn't bother me.With all the other Really Scarry stuff thats here in CA.bird flu shouldn't even be on the radar.This site is really great which is why Organized Religion and Politics should be considered outside issues.Alot of people cannot handle discussions on these subjects without going Postal.There are plenty of really great political sites.Lets keep this for gardening and seed saving.-
February 14th, 2006, 08:35 AM
All of this discussion has to do with bird flu, in some fashion or way, whether it's blaming the Rumfeld's of the world, or the media, or what we can do to keep it at bay. But first of all, I had to make a determination if it's a REAL threat, or just media hype. What brought me to this thread was my interest in raising backyard chickens. I figured this place was a good place to start in separating fact from fiction. That's the part I was trying to get past and I figured there were people here who knew the answers better than myself. So, what I see here is all kinds of opinions and interesting discussions, and what is wrong with that??? All of you have calmed my fears on raising chickens, so I will go forward confidentally with my plan. Unfortunately, sometimes, we can't separate issues when trying to make more informed and educated decisions. So, anyhow, thanks for a great thread and all your contributions...all of it helped me greatly. And no, I'm not postal. :) Just trying to separate fact from fiction. I guess I don't understand discussion boards; every single one has people wanting to strictly control the discussions. Unfortunately, there is more to an issue than what one or two people thinks there is. :)
February 14th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Hubby of Dirt under nails here...
Don't hold me good wife for what I say here.. I may register if I ever feel I want to post regular here.
I agree with both kabuti and Jere, and am gonna spew forth my .02 worth..... Well, more like $1 worth after inflation, and the debasement of constitutional currency into unconstitutional fiat paper money.
No, corruption did not start with Bush. Or Clinton. One has to go much further back, lets say to, umm, about the beginning of human history. We have a republic in this country, on PAPER. Exceedingly worthless paper, as every day passes, and the bread and circuses fed masses sit around on their ever widening backside, and think that all they have to do is vote for some _political party_ or candidate and that THEY will then be responsible for either preventing or fixing some _insert name of favorite platform here_. They will also be responsible for _insert name of crises dejour_. Freedoms in this country are being lost on a daily basis, and most of the population just does not know, or care. Governement is doing what it has always done best.... expand in size, scope, power and authority, tax more, spend more, control more, harrass more, pass more laws so that the amount of laws are so incomprehensible and wide in scope that EVERY man, woman and child is a lawbreaker at some point in time.... Lets play the haves and the have nots against each other, the X group against the Y group, and create and invent another crisis, and then justify taking more freedom to fix it, and lets do it _for the children_, of course....
We have a republic in form no longer, but an oligarchy. We celebrate having freedoms with a holiday, and with nationalism, and with proud flag waving and drum beating.... But the citizens are deluded and have had their birthright stolen and sold to the highest bidder... If anyone thinks that we are still free, go back and read the constitution, and the bill of rights..... Pay particular attention to the 4th, 9th and 10th amendments. Then, look at the REALITY of starting a business, or undertaking almost any other lawful endevor. Read the patriot act. Look at the executive orders issued by the presidents past, etc... We have a holiday ( July 4th ) but it is a hollow expression of something that no longer exists. True freedom. Our forefathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, would not be able to recognize what we have allowed to happen to this country. History has a way of repeating itself. Right now, I am thinking that we are at the end of the Roman empire, Post ww1 Germany, etc. Watch, prepare, and certainly be aware of the times, and be able to provide for your own family, and work in concert to help your neighbors, as you're going to need them.
Oh yeah, save your seeds, ALL OF THEM. Take your excess and share them, throw your apple cores and peach pits, etc. out past where the mowers mow on the side roads and highways and byways. What I am saying is, PLANT FOOD that will grow somewhat wild, because if the worst happens, you're going to want there to be lots of food that can be harvested from every roadside, because if it is not on the supermarket shelf, people will do whatever it takes to get food, and that makes your garden a very attractive site. The government wants to register every farm and farm animal. If they actually get by with it, and exemptions are not written into the coming laws for the small homestead, then you can expect to either: Be a lawbreaker, or Have your livestock confiscated in time of emergency or crisis, or both..
Of course I COULD BE WRONG. We could be the very first nation in all of human history who is finally smart enough to use unbacked paper currency and actually have it work out that the economy does not collapse... Or, if the economy does collapse, we could perhaps be one of those rare events where heads don't roll, and everyone acts in a decent and civillized manner, and jumps right in to help their neighbor instead of looting, rioting, and pillaging. You know, like what happened in New Orleans after Katrina. Yep, I could certainly be wrong about all this. Everything will be fine, and I now return you to our regular scheduled mind numbing television series, happy times in the U.S.A.
Hubby of Dirtundernails.
February 15th, 2006, 11:02 AM
There seems to be some confusion and misinformation here about "bird flu" (not to mention politics - I'm not going there!). There are two issues: the bird flu and the human flu that will probably evolve from it. I'm interested in both. If bird flu in it's present form reaches your state, it's a serious threat to your poultry, either because the birds will catch it and die or because they will be destroyed by "the authorities." So, any ideas about how to protect our chickens?
The other thing is that bird flu may become human flu. Viruses are genetically very simple, but they have a sort of "virus sex" in which their DNA is uncoiled and can swap genes with other viruses. Here's how we generally get our various flu strains, and why they come from Asia: Ducks are bird flu carriers, and in the Orient they are often raised with swine. Pigs can and do get human flu. When a pig harbors both bird and human flu viruses at the same time, those viruses can exchange genes. So it's relatively easy to change the bird virus into one that easily infects humans and passes from human to human. That hasn't happened with this virus yet, but the concern is that it's essentially the same as the 1918 pandemic virus, and if (when) it goes human, it's a much more serious disease than ordinary flu. It attacks the body differently, and being young and in good health may not be much advantage.
Sure there is hype, and there are disgusting people who will try to make a fortune from the situation. But that doesn't change the facts. It's a real threat, and it's a sure thing that the government is not going to do anything useful about it. I agree with whoever said Wash your hands a lot and Stay home.
February 27th, 2006, 05:14 AM
bird flu- what are you gonna do? I am gonna wash my hands even more, if thats possible, take my echinacea/goldenseal, eat real whole organic food, put my faith in the Lord.....then go dig in the dirt. What I am NOT gonna do. I am not gonna go to the doctor (my family and I haven't been for years, we take care of ourselves) take a pill, definitely won't be taking a shot(we don't vaccinate either...believe a lot of our problems stem from vaccines(SV40))and I am not gonna worry. May God bless you all.
February 27th, 2006, 05:20 AM
Oh yeah, dirtundernails hub, you did your wifey proud.......sound A LOT like my other half.
March 27th, 2006, 06:21 PM
Wow, what an interesting thread to read out the gate here at a brand new forum. I'm a member at Dave's Garden and have been for a while. I actually stopped over here to learn a little bit about organic gardening and I ran smack dab into this thread.
Disclaimer- what follows are my beliefs so donít cyber slap me if they are diametrically opposed to yours, ok? Here are my thoughts.
We were all riveted to our tv screens watching events unfold in the Middle East and recently down south in the wake of the hurricanes. Interest waned and I suspect the media did their best to get viewers back to their tvs so they could be bombarded by ads. And a mighty fine job they did too if I donít mind saying so myself given the number of doctors and epidemiologists they dug up to interview claiming it is not a matter of if but when we will lose half of the worldís population to Avian Flu. Add what the WHO is splashing on their website and voila, instant panic. We all watched CNN as they prophesized SARRS as the next plague and West Niles Virus was supposed to affect humans and wipe out more than half of the North American bird population. It didnít play out that way although their projections of gloom and doom sure did increase their ratings.
The Avian Flu is not new as has already been mentioned in this thread. Itís been cropping up in Asia for about 7 years maybe longer. I donít know what their sources are however there is no direct evidence that those infected contracted same from birds. At least there wasnít the last time I checked and to the best of my knowledge, no one has even been able to prove that birds are even a reservoir for influenza. Have we any microbiologists amongst our ranks to confirm or deny this?
Of the 60 or so documented deaths in Asia, there were actually 300 who tested positive for the H5N1 strain. Those tested were generally family members of the deceased so it doesnít take a rocket scientist to figure out that a much larger number of people are out there who would have tested positive for this strain who all must possess some innate immunity.
Yes, a pandemic might occur. I read some study somewhere that indicated the loss of life would most likely not exceed 200 million. Given this weary old planet of ours is supporting something like 6.2 billion, I donít think were talking complete and unadulterated chaos should this happen.
Bear in mind a lethal and fast disease generally doesnít spread well because it destroys its hosts in an area in no time flat before it can spread to a new area. Think Ebola. On the other hand, a lethal and slow disease is generally able to be stopped by quarantine. Think Anthrax. We are an industrialized nation and my thoughts are that Avian Flu will not be allowed to spread fast enough with high mortality rates such that it would shut down life as we know it.
Remember, there are many different strains of H5N1 out there and most are relatively harmless due to low pathogenicity. Only some have proven to be lethal to birds and humans. I do believe a silver bullet mutation is coming that has the capacity of leading to pandemic. Donít think H5N1 is it though because killing the host is a poor evolutionary strategy. Many diseases are highly contagious before a person actually has symptoms and given how mobile we are these days, both within our own borders as well as outside of them, I suspect we will have a global outbreak of disastrous proportions sooner or later and we wonít even know weíve been hit until people start dropping like flies. There are anti-virals out there that are effective against influenza. H5N1 doesn't seem a likely canidate to wipe out half the worldís population butÖ Ah ah ah ah chew!
Now, where do I go here to post for help with a small fruit orchard that I have on my property? Any help steering me in the right direction for my fruit trees would be greatly appreciated.
March 27th, 2006, 06:27 PM
Hey Equilibrium;Heirloom Gardening or General Digging would be a good guess.
March 28th, 2006, 11:38 AM
March 28th, 2006, 06:20 PM
Hey Guys;Of all the things You could worry about here in S.CA.,Bird Flu is NOT one of them!Television is an appliance that gets you to buy products through your emotions.
March 30th, 2006, 12:36 AM
Hubby of dun,
<cynical mode on>
The most dangerous aspect of flapinwingin flue is the gub'mint WILL use it to gain more police state powers, all in the name of keeping you "safe".
The protocol is in place, and is tried and proven to work well.
Invent and hype crisis. ( based on some likely real event.)
When event happenst, hype even more. (generate fear)
promise that more regulations and control (less freedom) is the requirement to avert disaster.
once regulations are in place, leave them there, ready for next disaster...
slowly over time, the victim places the noose around his own neck, thinking all the while it is a lifeline.
And I agree with Z here. TV has a purpose. It is another tool designed to get you to act in a pre-determined fashion.
(usually to part with your money)
A fine propoganda machine it is.
<Cynical mode off>
March 30th, 2006, 01:54 PM
We are making the same preps for the bird flu as we did for Y2K. Come to think of it, it is the same prep we are making for this evening. We are in a tornado watch so we are moving stuff (meds, money, purse, wallet) into the celler. Already have a years supply of food. The 2 freezers are out in the shop. Hope the shop don't blow away. Have lots of water in the celler. But then we have well water and one never knows when the pump will need attention so always have a couple of days of just water and a couple of weeks of drinking water. If it came right down to it, I might grab a chicken or two to take to the celler. After all Dorothy "tried" to save Toto.
March 31st, 2006, 08:12 AM
I gotta say that I agree with dirtundernails (and hubby!) and zebraman on politics and TV. That's why I haven't had TV since my 10 year old daughter was born.
But onto something practical about the flu. I want to raise chickens for a bit of meat and some eggs on a relatively small scale - say 10-20 birds. I raised 'em as a kid because I grew up on a farm that raised a bit of everything. (Mainly using conventional agricultural practices - but the chickens were about as free range as you could get.)
My wife, having heard all the bird flu hype, is scared to death about us having chickens because so far everyone who has contracted the bird flu has worked directly with birds. As a result, her having an equal vote and all, we ain't got no chickens.
How much would raising chickens contribute to the risk for our family once the bird flu gets here? Even if it never gets to the point of easy transmissibility between humans - it is already transmitted between birds and humans, though I have no idea how intimate the contact has to be - maybe you have to have them living in your house or something - dunno.
I guess what I am asking is: should I stick with my wife's advice, or is there convincing evidence that her assessment of risk is overblown? My wife is a very bright woman - so if I were to present her with factual information that the risk was not a big deal, she'd listen to it .... but my objective here is not really to "convince" - but to know the facts. After all - maybe she's right - it wouldn't be the first time!
March 31st, 2006, 08:17 AM
I would be interested in an answer to this as well. I'm not ready yet for my own birds, but my folks have a small flock and were just saying yesterday that if the flu made it to Michigan they were going to get rid of them all. This seems extreme to me, but I don't know much about it.
April 9th, 2006, 08:22 AM
Bmarkham, we are called paranoid survivalist wackos by some. Making the decision for chickens was based on research ( yes the contact level is close in the news hyped situations - yes they are living with the birds ), and faith in God's way of placing in one's heart the strong desire to do what is in " The Plan " if you will. Both Hubby and I wanted to "homestead" . This involves poultry for us, as well as fish and cow and goat and whatever comes available to diversify our food supply. If bird flu becomes an issue, it will be spread by wild birds to our flocks ( as near as we can tell ), and who says wild birds wouldn't spread it to people anyway, if it becomes as serious as They want us to believe? Which is the point in our decision making where we realized that this could become an absurd obsession, worrying about all that They want us to believe. How many different stories are there about how bird flu will affect humans? I've seen a half dozen or so. I believe that not getting the story straight means someone is lying.
So, for now, we have chickens - and LOVE them. I was thinking this morning when I woke up about how chickens pull their own weight on the farm even if they didn't lay eggs or give meat. Running around eating bugs and weeds and just having a grand ol' time. They are therapy for me, always making me laugh which makes me feel better.
You will know if bird flu is a threat to your area before it really is, I'm sure. It is at that point that we would consider not having chickens and relying on other food sources.
Research the "swine flue". Vaccinations killed more than the flue. Or the "gulf war". Hype and fear killed more in Israel then the scuds did. If your in the business of selling fear right now, business is very good.
China has BILLIONS of people, many, many millions living in close contact, and dealing with live birds in the marketplace on a daily basis, with sanitation conditions that are not, umm, shall we say, to western standards. There have been less than a couple hundred deaths so far. Even if there were 1000 deaths, that is statistically not very bad, unless your a statistic. Lightning is more dangerous.
If you are a bird, you shold be very, very worried. If you are a people, not so worried.
April 9th, 2006, 10:51 AM
I also want to start raising birds for eggs and meat. But how to get started??? Anyone here live close to the Rutherford County, NC area that would be willing to teach???
I'm convinced by those of you here that bird flu is hype and since none of us make it out alive anyhow, it'll be chickens or whatever to get us in the end. In the meantime, I still want to try a hand at chickens. My late hubby hated chickens. He grew up on a farm and said they were the nastiest things ever. But I've been reading up and I guess you either hate them, or love them!
April 9th, 2006, 10:51 PM
So, Skakya, what is your whooping cough treatment? As for the rest, I, likewise feel that being at least somewhat prepared for any emergency a necessity in earthquake country. I also feel thatthe power of chlorine bleach is overused and underestimated in many situations. It can help sanitize water and other things, but so many people overuse it to such great extremes that it has become a real health hazard. I also agree that keeping yourself healthy is one of the best prevetatives you can do for yourself and your family in any outbreak situation.
April 11th, 2006, 08:36 AM
That is what I have been thinking - if the bird flu is coming this way, the odds of it STARTING on my little plot of the world so I have no warning are pretty much negligible.
I wouldn't consider myself a survivalist or any of those labels, but I DO aim toward greater self sufficiency because I realize that economics and many other things are outside of my control, and that greater self sufficiency leads to greater security.
I can totally relate to what SunflowerMeg's husband says. When I was a kid growing up on the farm, we naturally slaughtered our own chickens. It was the worst. My dad would lop off the head with an axe and the headless body would go running all over the place until (I guess) it ran out of blood and would lie there twitching. Then it would be my job to duck the carcass in scalding water and pluck it - and the smell of that process was awful and would stay stuck in your nose for at least a day. It was hard to look at a piece of chicken on the plate without having that horrible smell reawakened in my mind.
The good news is that I later learned while doing some summer work for another farmer that ... well ... my dad was doing it wrong. By using a killing cone and "braining" the bird, the feathers loosen right up and the bird bleeds out with minimal fuss leaving the meat better tasting. You dunk the bird once for about a minute in the right temperature of water, then hang it by its feet from some hooks on the clothesline, and the job of plucking is done in three minutes. Rinse it off, singe it with the propane torch and shazam - much less of a problem, and much less exposure to the smelliness.
April 11th, 2006, 09:16 AM
I don't consider us survivalist wackos either, but was trying to say that we are very careful about decisions like this, to the point that others think us survivalists. I think we are just wacko. Homesteaders, or depression era style farming is more fitting a label. What we do is part of our homeschool experience, to almost relive a little history. It sure is fun.
We've only slaughtered guineas here, but will get around to chicken when we have enough. We skinned the guineas. I read about boiling water dunk smell. yuk Also read about killing cone and like that idea.
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