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October 14, 2010   Email to Friend 

Pam Goldstein
(973) 377-0300 Ext. 14
October 14, 2010

Raising backyard poultry has become increasingly popular.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- What are the biggest threats to keeping your backyard poultry safe from disease? How do you know if your birds might be sick? And are you interested in raising chickens, but need help getting started?

Get your answers by logging on or dialing in to the The Word on Healthy Birds, a free webinar on Friday, Nov. 5, featuring radio personality Andy Schneider, also known as the Chicken Whisperer and Dr. Martin Smeltzer, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) poultry veterinarian.

The webinar, which will take place 11 a.m.-noon (CDT), is the highlight of USDA's Bird Health Awareness Week.

Bird Health Awareness Week, Nov. 1-7, is part of USDA's Biosecurity For Birds campaign, to promote awareness about the diseases that threaten bird health and the ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Raising backyard poultry is growing more popular as many Americans seek a direct connection to their food. As the number of backyard chickens increases, so does the need for owners to learn about keeping their flocks healthy.

The USDA's Biosecurity for Birds program offers additional tips to owners on how to keep their birds healthy and free of disease on its website.

Schneider has become a leading expert in the fast-growing backyard poultry movement and is a spokesman for the Biosecurity for Birds campaign. Based out of Atlanta, Ga., he has helped countless numbers of people start their own backyard flocks. He is the founder of the Atlanta Backyard Poultry Meetup group, which boasts of almost 900 members.

Smeltzer is with the USDA Veterinary Service offices in Georgia. He has worked in the poultry industry since 1984 in multiple positions, from a primary poultry breeder to a diagnostician with a state poultry diagnostic system and as a USDA regional poultry epidemiologist.

Space at the webinar is limited. To register, visit the registration area. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about the webinar.

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