Bird-flu concerns prompt quarantines at 4 Arizona properties

Officials say quarantines were ordered for four properties in Arizona that had quail, chickens and eggs that came from an Iowa facility where other birds tested positive for a bird flu virus.

There are 67 free range chickens at Haldiman Farm in Phoenix. They're doing great and in fact, chickens in Maricopa County are not affected by the Arizona State Department of Agriculture's order, but the state veterinarian, Perry Durham, is keeping a close eye on some other birds.

"We have four premises under quarantine at this time who have received either eggs, hatching eggs or birds themselves from a facility in Iowa which later tested for avian influenza," said Durham.

Several weeks after the shipment of birds to Arizona, that facility reported bird flu at its Iowa location.  That doesn't mean the birds that came here are sick.

"Well, the indications are it is very unlikely they would be infected, but that is the way we work these investigations," said Durham.

On Friday, we had a chance to see how a local chicken raiser does it.  The folks at Haldiman Farm believe free range chickens do better -- they're not cooped up.

There is another secret and it has to do with what they put in the water.. these chickens drink to keep them disease-free.

"Okay, well what we do is we use apple cider vinegar and put it in their water and let them out and if anyone is ill, we feed them natural antibiotic," said Joan Haldiman.

Durham says the quarantine is a precaution to protect the health of Arizona birds.

The quarantined birds and eggs are not the kind you'd find at the supermarket.  Instead, they're for people who like to raise chickens in their backyard.  Those birds are being tested now.  It could take up to six days to get the results.
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