VJP Poultry is proud of the fact that it is a Minnesota state inspected chicken hatchery. But, what does that mean? How are hatcheries inspected and by whom? These are all great questions that I get asked regularly from my poultry customers.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is the official animal disease control and eradication agency for the state of Minnesota. In order to be a part of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) and to receive the Breeding Flock Facility Permit, you need to have your flock tested yearly for Pullorum and have a state veterinarian come out and physically inspect your property. This is set up through the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory located in Willmar, Minnesota.
A State Vet will call and set up a time for them to come out and inspect. Our state vet is Dr. Susan McClanahan. She is wonderful. She arrived in her full biosecurity uniform taking every precaution to make sure that poultry diseases are not spread from one farm to another.
We took a tour of VJP Poultry while she observed, asked questions and completed her form. First stop was the chick room/brooder area. She inspected for cleanliness and asked me questions about sales records.
Then we went down to the incubation and hatching area. We discussed egg collection, egg identification and sanitation. We also talked a little about the Avian Flu and where it was popping up this year. Minnesota is very much on top of things when it comes to bird flu. They take disease very seriously and appreciate the fact that small hatcheries like ours are willing to be a part of the inspection program.
We then went outside and Dr. Sue inspected the breeding flocks and asked questions about pest control, bird disposal and biosecurity measures we take. She had some great signs for us to put up that drew attention to bio – secure areas.
VJP Poultry once again passed and received our Breeding Flock Facility Permit. This permit allows us to sell chicks under 5 months old, sell hatching eggs and sell at poultry swaps. Since we have completed the tests for pullorum, 4-Hers do not need to have their birds retested before they show at a fair.
State inspections are professional, informative and enjoyable. I look forward to mine every year at VJP Poultry. I always come away with new information to help improve the health of my flock.