Goose, Duck, Chicken, Game Bird Hatchery | Metzer Farms, California
Duck, Goose, Chicken & Game Bird Hatchery

Health


COVID-19

March 20, 2020

If you find yourself wondering about Coronavirus and poultry, you are not alone. You may be asking yourself if poultry can be infected or spread COVID-19. There is no short supply of unanswered questions about this virus, but we hope to spread the word of what is known at this time. We can safely say that poultry is not a carrier, transmitter, or host of COVID-19.

There has been plenty of opportunity in Asia for the virus to morph into something which can infect poultry and it has not. We have increased our employee safety protocols and continue to hatch and ship birds.

Dr. Carol Cardona is a top avian disease specialist, specifically on the transmission and pathogenesis of viral disease agents. She wrote, “The SARS-CoV2 virus belongs to the beta Coronavirus genus. All known avian coronaviridae are in the gamma coronavirus genus. That means that there is very little relatedness between avian coronaviruses and SARS CoV2.”

This is not to say that there is zero risk, but there have been no indications the virus can infect poultry.

Similar to the influenza virus, the Coronavirus needs a host to survive and replicate. Once the virus is without host, it will begin to die. Per the CDC, the spread of the virus happens with close contact between humans or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In addition, the FDA issued a statement that "FDA is not aware of any reports at this time of human illness that suggests COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging." Read the full statement here.

Over 95% of our day-old poultry orders are shipped using the USPS. There is very limited human-to-human interaction of processing the shipments through the post office, as well as several hours between each sorting point along the route. These two important points are significant in creating a stop gap for the possibility that our orders could be a vector of transmission.

After gathering this data, Metzer Farms is confident your poultry as well as ours will remain healthy through this arduous time. We will continue our biosecurity protocols to keep our birds healthy. Extra precaution and training has taken place to protect our Metzer Farms’ family of employees. We will continue shipping birds throughout the country to homes, feed stores, and farms.

We hope this information has, perhaps, calmed some of your nerves.