National Poultry Improvement Plan

What’s not to love about chickens?!?  (This handsome cockerel is an English Black Orpington.)

They are easy keepers, lay eggs, act as recyclers for all kitchen leftovers, and produce beautiful garden compost.

Plus you can show them in 4-H, win awards, practice public speaking skills, and earn some cash selling eggs.


Eggs can sit on your counter as long as they haven’t been washed. These eggs have been washed, so they must go in the refrigerator.  Washing temperature should be 140*F or by using a specific egg wash.  When the egg is laid, it has a natural anti-bacterial coating on it called the “bloom”.  Once washed, that is removed, and the egg is susceptible to invasion by pathogens (bad bugs).  Refrigeration prevents growth of harmful bacteria.

If you have chickens, or if you plan to purchase poultry of any type, it’s a good idea to be sure the flock is NPIP certified.  This is a free or low-cost plan run by each state agriculture agency.  A state certified veterinarian or veterinary technician will come to your home once a year and test a percentage of birds for Salmonella pullourm and Salmonella Typhoid.  These diseases can cause 80% of baby poultry to die if infected.

Many state agencies will test for other diseases as well.  Our birds also receive testing for avian influenza.  This is a monitoring program to prevent disease spread.

There are never any guarantees, but purchasing birds from NPIP certified flocks is always a great idea.  I am attaching a link to the NPIP website, if you would like to read further information about the program.

Link to NPIP Website

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