Bird flu responsible for death of 700,000 turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving, price hikes expected

Nov 16, 2022, 6:00 PM

Turkey farms litter the Sanpete Valley.  They are especially prominent in Ephraim area. The Utah De...

Turkey farms litter the Sanpete Valley. They are especially prominent in Ephraim area. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food says 700,000 turkeys have been effect by the bird flu. Photo/Keith Johnson

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Avian influenza colloquially known as bird flu, is wreaking havoc across 18 Utah poultry farms.

“We have seen an impact [of] about 700,000 turkeys in the state of Utah,” the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s spokesperson, Bailee Woolstenhulme told KSL NewsRadio.

She says all cases are in central Utah in the Sanpete County area.

“It’s absolutely devastating to these farmers, this is their livelihood and obviously a busy time for them to be selling turkeys,” Woolstenhulme said. “We [Utah Department of Agriculture and Food] have actually deployed the United States Department of Agriculture team and they have been in Utah since August. Their role is to be on the farms helping with depopulation and decontamination” 

The poultry industry produces three million turkeys a year in Utah but is already facing issues with inflated prices.

Bird flu will cause prices to increase

Woolstenhulme is warning consumers that further price hikes ahead of thanksgiving are to be expected.

“We are seeing up to 6% price increases over the entire Thanksgiving dinner, most of those increases are due to the turkey price. We don’t expect to see a lot of shortages come this time; those will be expected in the next couple of months.”

According to the department’s website, the spread is as a result of seasonal migration of waterfowl.

Local producers and bird owners are being urged to monitor their flocks for high mortality rates, nasal discharge, loss of coordination as well as loss of appetite.

If these symptoms are observed, they are being asked to contact the state veterinarian immediately

Bird flu has not shown to be a threat to humans, but it can be transmitted from people to birds.

According to Woolstenhulme, the department is working with producers to create farm biosecurity plans. The department is also reminding the public to maintain hygiene around poultry flocks.

Read more:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

EVERETT WALMART, EVERETT, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - 2023/04/19: An empty cart is seen near an emp...

Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

The real reasons stores such as Walmart and Starbucks are closing in big cities

Several forces are pushing Walmart and Starbucks out of some city centers: a glut of stores, people working from home, online shopping, exorbitant rents, crime and public safety concerns, and difficulty hiring workers.

7 months ago

graduates are pictured, the us is offering some student loan debt forgiveness...

Associated Press

The US has approved $42 billion in loan forgiveness for public service workers. Here’s what to know

The program is separate from U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether that plan can go ahead.

7 months ago

people at restaurant eating on mother's day pictured...

Alexandra Peers, CNN

Why Mother’s Day is the most hated day in the restaurant industry

The National Retail Federation forecasts that Mother's Day spending will reach $35.7 billion this year, with a record $5.6 billion spent on a meal or outing.

7 months ago


Curt Gresseth

Ticktock: US steps closer to debt default

Robert Spendlove, senior vice president and economic and public policy officer at Zions Bank, joins the show to discuss what would happen if the federal government defaults on its debt.

7 months ago

close up of a peleton bike pictured, a recall has been issued for some...

Associated Press

Peloton recalling more than 2M exercise bikes because the seat post assembly can break during use

The recall includes approximately 2.2 million of the Peloton Bikes Model PL01. The bikes were sold from January 2018 through May 2023 for about $1,400.

7 months ago

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic National Committee winter meeting on February...

Arlette Saenz, CNN

Biden takes debt ceiling pitch on road amid standoff with Republicans

The president said he believes the country can avoid default because an "overwhelming number of members of ... Congress know it would be a disaster."

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Bird flu responsible for death of 700,000 turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving, price hikes expected