Small Flock

Updated: June 10, 2021

Poultry Events

A list of events, webinars, and workshops regarding commercial poultry production in Maryland.
Updated: May 28, 2021

Virtual Urban Farmer Meetings Impact Report

The Agriculture and Food Systems (AgFS) Program held two Urban Farmer Winter Meetings in January of 2021.
Updated: March 23, 2021

My chicken is sick. What do I do?

It’s a good idea to separate your sick chicken from the rest of the flock, to prevent her from spreading any germs to your healthy birds. You should also avoid visiting anywhere else that has chickens, to avoid spreading germs to their flocks.
Updated: February 7, 2021

Winter Weather and Small Flocks: What You Need to Know

As winter approaches, it is important to make sure that equipment and housing are ready well in advance. By starting winter preparations early, there will be plenty of time to fix any problems before the cold sets in.
Updated: February 4, 2021

Understanding Salmonella; Its Presence and Control in Live Poultry

The purpose of this extension bulletin is to provide an understanding of what Salmonella is, how it is picked up by birds, and what control strategies can be implemented to reduce its survival and transmission in poultry flocks.
Updated: February 3, 2021

The Environmental Concerns of Arsenic in Poultry Litter

On May 22, 2012 Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed a bill into law to ban the use of arsenic additives in poultry feed. This is the first such ban passed in the United States. The Maryland State Legisiature requested researchers from the University of Maryland to conduct a literature review on the Environmental Concerns of Arsenic Additives in Poultry Litter. This proved useful to the legisiators in their discussions of banning the use of arsenic in poutlry feed. This report provides a short summary of the findings of the reviews.
Updated: January 27, 2021

Rodent Control on Small Poultry Farms

Mice and rats are nuisance animals that typically can be found anywhere that poultry are grown. These rodents can spread disease and cause structural damage to your facilities, resulting in economic losses. Rodents are known to carry up to 45 different diseases including leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, fowl pox and erysipelas.
Updated: January 27, 2021

Recognizing and Preventing Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) Infection in Poultry

Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is a bacteria-like organism that causes respiratory disease primarily in chickens and turkeys but it can also infect gamebirds, pigeons, ducks, geese, peafowl and wild birds. MG infection in chickens is also known as Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD).
Updated: January 27, 2021

Recognizing and Preventing Marek’s Disease in Small Flocks

Marek’s disease is one of the most widespread poultry diseases in the world. It is a highly contagious viral disease caused by a herpes virus called Alphaherpesvirinae. Marek’s disease occurs in chickens 3–4 weeks of age or older but is most common between 12 and 30 weeks of age. It can also infect quail and, rarely, turkeys. Female birds are infected more often than males. Once the virus is introduced into a chicken flock, infection spreads quickly from bird to bird and infected chickens continue to shed the virus, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle of infection. There is no effective treatment for the disease and infected birds never recover.
Updated: January 27, 2021

Recognizing and Preventing Internal Parasites (Worms) in Small Flocks

Internal parasites (worms) can affect all types of poultry. They are found throughout the world and can cause production losses and increased mortality in flocks. Commercial poultry producers use confinement to help prevent infections from internal parasites. Free-range backyard flocks may acquire these parasites as they interact with the environment.