Simple biosecurity measures to help prevent disease occurring in your flock are outlined below. Owners of birds can minimise the risk of introducing disease and infection by implementing some simple and practical biosecurity principles.


A judge will handle many birds, from different properties and owners, at any show they are asked to adjudicate for. In this situation, viral diseases, infections or infestations, if present, could spread rapidly from one bird to the next. Judges should take care to keep their clothing and equipment clean, and disinfect hands before and after handling the birds. We recommend that judges wash their hands regularly during a show and particularly when judging waterfowl and then other poultry.


  • All waterers, equipment and permanent carrying containers should be cleaned and disinfected before and after a show.
  • Restrict contact between cage birds, poultry, waterfowl and wild birds.
  • Prevent faecal contamination of food or water by birds, rodents or native pests.
  • Practise good hygiene when attending bird shows and do not handle birds that are not your own unless you have thoroughly washed your hands before and after.
  • All birds returning home after a show, should always undergo a period of quarantine before re-introduction to your flock. All new birds should be isolated from your flock and quarantined for 30 days before introducing them to your flock.
  • Most importantly, do not take any birds to a show if there are signs of illness in your flock.

Know Signs of Disease

  • Swollen head
  • Dullness
  • Drop in egg production
  • Respiratory distress (gasping, coughing, sneezing)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden death of several or more birds.
  • Reluctance to move, eat or drink
  • Droopy or ‘fluffed-up’ appearance
  • Inability to walk or stand
  • Unusual head and neck posture

If you need expert advice regarding any unusual symptoms in your birds or if you find a number of them have died within a short period of time, be on the safe side and report it to your local veterinarian, Department of Primary Industries or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. 

The Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have put out a Biosecurity Guideline for Exhibition Poultry including a log book. For further information refer to the DAFF Biosecurity Manual.