Poultry farmer shares concerns, cautions after three confirmed b - WSMV News 4

Poultry farmer shares concerns, cautions after three confirmed bird flu cases in Tennessee

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Judy Wood says she has reason to be concerned about recent cases of bird flu in Tennessee. (WSMV) Judy Wood says she has reason to be concerned about recent cases of bird flu in Tennessee. (WSMV)
CARTHAGE, TN (WSMV) -

Area poultry farmers are watching their flocks closely. The state is confirming its third case of bird flu in Middle Tennessee in less than a month.

Far away from the three confirmed cases, Judy Wood poured chicken feed into a can at her Poultry Hollow Hatchery in Brush Creek. She said the work never stops when you're tending to this many birds.

"Oh, thousands," she laughed. "Really. Thousands. I can tell you exactly what date each of these chickens hatched. We know our stuff. We know our chickens. I don't know anybody else who's doing what we're doing to the scale we're doing it in."

Wood said she sells eggs and pet chickens.

"Check our this hairdo," she laughed, holding up a newly hatched chick with a blonde tuft of fuzz on his head. "Looks just like Donald Trump! This is my life, and it's a good life."

Wood said she has reason to be concerned about that good life, with what's happening in other Middle Tennessee counties.

"It'd be hard on us because we're just everyday farmers," she said. "We're a family business. My son and I and grandboys always depend on the business being open."

The state veterinarian has just confirmed another commercial chicken breeder flock has become sick from a strain of bird flu. That's the second flock in Lincoln County this month, while a flock also tested positive in Giles County last week. 

"It's being contained, and that's the most important thing about this disease is to try to contain it," said Wood.

Wood added both Lincoln and Giles counties are far away from her farm.

"We're way further than hopefully it'll ever go," she said.

Still, there's a fear that comes from the strains being in the state.

"If we lost the chickens, I don't know what we'd do," she said. "I don't know if we'd start over or not."

That's why she said she's keeping everything as clean as possible and taking the state vet's advice to watch her flock closely.  

"We haven't had any sick chickens," she said. "We haven't had any dead chickens. You don't know. It's a gamble."

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