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Michigan loses more than 2 million more hens to avian flu

The presence of the virus has been confirmed in two Ionia County flocks in April.

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Another commercial table egg operation in Ionia County, Michigan, was struck by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported.

According to APHIS, the presence of the H5N1 virus was confirmed on the premises on April 9, and 2,147,500 birds were affected.

This case follows an earlier instance where an Ionia County egg operation was struck by HPAI. In that case, which was confirmed on April 3, 1,928,500 birds were affected, bringing the state’s total HPAI losses in 2024 beyond 4 million hens.

Prior to these detections, the last time HPAI had been confirmed in a commercial poultry flock in Michigan was December 2023, when two commercial meat turkey flocks in Muskegon County were infected.

These cases serve as a reminder for strong biosecurity practices, said Dr. Tim Boring, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

"This is a virus that can easily be moved unknowingly on everything from farm equipment to shoes to delivery or service vehicles and the list goes on, " said Boring. "Our farmers and those who deliver services to farm operations must act now to heighten and tighten biosecurity measures to contain the spread of HPAI in Michigan. As wild birds continue their spring migration, it's going to take a team effort to protect the health of our domestic animals."

H5N1 also affecting Michigan dairy cattle

MDARD reported that not only are laying hens being affected by H5N1, but also dairy cattle.

The presence of the virus was first confirmed in Michigan dairies on March 29, and on April 11, three more positive detections were confirmed.

Four counties, including the county where H5N1 was confirmed in laying flocks, have had H5N1 infections in cattle. Those are: Ionia, Isabella, Ottawa and Montcalm.

To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States, Mexico and Canada, see an interactive map on 

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation

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