Flight of the Fourth Horseman: Avian Flu
Small Farmer's Journal, Spring 2006, Vol. 30, No. 2


Photo Courtesy of Karl Lech


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Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has been ravaged by epidemics and plagues that linger on in our collective memory. Biblical plagues swept across the ancient world. The Bubonic plague wiped out a third of the population in14th century Europe. Smallpox ravaged the ancient Aztec empire. In the early 20th century, the Spanish Flu was responsible for the death of over 100 million people.

As we ring in the new millennium, diseases are emerging faster than at any other time in history. Starting with the Asian flu (1957) and the Hong Kong flu (1968), we’ve waded through SARS, West Nile Virus, Foot and Mouth Disease, Mad Cow, and now what the press has dubiously called the “avian flu”. It’s a long list and it begs the question, “why so many new diseases?”

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Sidebar from the Article: An Epidemic of Fear

Interested in raising chickens? Following are some great books on the subject:

Pastured Poultry Profits

Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens

Keep Chickens: Tending small flocks in cities, suburbs & other small spaces.

Murray McMurray Hatchery - a reliable supplier of rare breed chicks, supplies & advice.

US Department of Agriculture APHIS Website - Biosecurity for the Birds


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