Avian Health

Front Range Region


Primary Topic:

Food and Agriculture

Other Topics:

Emergency Planning and Resources

Lead Mentor:  

Ragan Adams

Internship Overview:

• Student’s primary assignment will be with the CSU Avian Health Team, a cooperative effort of CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Colorado Department of Agriculture and USDA. The team samples birds at fairs and on farms to survey for important avian infectious diseases as well as promote appropriate biosecurity protocols.The student gains experience handling many kinds of poultry, visiting multiple types of production operations and answering questions on poultry health and husbandry from the general public.
• Opportunities working with Extension: Participate in Farmer’s Markets to learn about food safety issues in the Farm to Table space and processing challenges that small flock poultry producers face; work with food safety experts, state regulators, and/or agricultural economists on poultry issues and/or produce fact sheets on relevant issues for distribution to the public if interested.
• Following the devastating 2022 HPAI outbreak there will be an opportunity to assist with some assessment of the effect of the outbreak on Colorado poultry producers. A poster presentation on the practical and research components of the internship is required at the annual October Extension Forum.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

The goals of this internship include:
1)Gaining hands on experience with many types of birds including backyard poultry, commercial poultry, game birds, etc;
2)understanding of infectious disease risks and appropriate biosecurity protocols,
3) experience with a wide range of poultry operations and owners, experience speaking with bird owners and answering their questions regarding health and husbandry.
4) Understanding large infectious disease response and recovery as this summer of 2023 will be a recovery year for the Colorado commercial poultry sector since all commercial Colorado farms were affected.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

Backyard poultry owners, CSA’s with poultry, small nitche producers, commercial producers, gamebird farms, 4-H extension poultry programs,

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Improved skill level with birds, esp. poultry
Understanding of various types of bird and poultry farms
Better understanding of the wide variety of reasons people have poultry, ways they keep poultry as well as the commercial poultry operations in the state
DVM curriculums have downplayed poultry health and disease due to a lack of interest by students. however in the last 15 years with an increase in backyard poultry as well as birds in general this internship provides experience for those who are interested.
Also exposes students to national health programs and opportunities to work in infectious disease control at state or national level.
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