Cackle Hatchery® and Cackle’s Chicken Breeder Farms are members of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). But exactly what is NPIP?
What is NPIP?
The National Poultry Improvement Plan is a nationwide collaboration between state and federal departments of agriculture. Its purpose is to monitor member flocks and hatcheries and certify them as being free of the following serious infectious diseases:
• Avian influenza — a potentially serious viral infection of chickens that can also infect humans
• Chronic respiratory disease — and other infections caused by pathogenic species of mycoplasma bacteria
• Fowl typhoid — an egg-transmitted bacterial disease that kills both baby chicks and mature chickens
• Pullorum — an egg-transmitted bacterial disease that kills baby chicks, as well as hatchlings of many other poultry species
• Salmonella enterica — an egg-transmitted bacterial disease of poultry that can affect humans who eat contaminated eggs
Inception of NPIP
The National Poultry Improvement Plan began in the early 1930s. Its initial purpose was to eliminate pullorum disease caused by Salmonella pullorum. At the time this disease was rampant in poultry flocks, causing as much as 80% mortality in chicks. The Plan now includes other devastating poultry diseases.
NPIP defines poultry as domestic fowl, including chickens, turkeys, ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, waterfowl, and game birds (except doves and pigeons) that mainly produce eggs and meat. The Plan involves three types of participants — independent flocks, hatcheries, and dealers — and includes commercial poultry, exhibition poultry, and backyard poultry.
Membership is voluntary and encompasses several individual programs. For example, the “U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean” program allows shipments into those states that require all entering poultry to be free of pullorum-typhoid. The “U.S. MG Clean” allows shipment of turkeys into states that require incoming turkeys to be free of mycoplasma bacteria.
How NPIP Works
Poultry flocks enrolled in NPIP are tested and recertified annually, at the owner’s expense. The exact tests involved depend on both bird species and which program(s) the member enrolls in. The grounds are also inspected to ensure they are clean and conducive to maintaining healthy birds.
NPIP also involves a periodic biosecurity audit. The NPIP member must create a written report of all the specific management practices employed to protect flock health. The report must also explain how these practices are implemented and enforced.
NPIP certification is conducted by each state’s department of agriculture. Cackle Hatchery is NPIP member #43-105 with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. When you purchase poultry or hatching eggs from Cackle Hatchery you can be sure they are NPIP certified.
And that’s today’s news from the Cackle Coop.
Gail Damerow is author of The Chicken Health Handbook.