The City of Greater Geraldton is looking for a caring home for 12 chickens for 12 months as part of the Sentinel Chicken Testing Program.
If you live on the urban fringe near a river and can care for the chooks, you get to keep the eggs - and the chickens - after the 12 month testing program ceases; however staff from the City’s Health Department will need access to the flock to take blood samples every fortnight.
The program is used across Australia and internationally to monitor potentially serious mosquito-borne viruses which can be spread to humans.
Testing of chicken serum samples provides early warning of increased Murray Valley Encephalitis virus and Kunjin virus activity in the Geraldton area.
Chickens are used in this program as mosquitos are attracted to them however they do not get ill from the virus and cannot pass it on to humans or other chickens.
The Aborvirus Surveillance and Research Laboratory at the University of WA will provide the 6-9 week old chicks and they will be looking for their new home on October 9.
A fox proof fence with easy human access and separation from other chooks is all that is needed and if you think you could help, contact Viraj Ballanthuda Achchige at the City on 9956 6933.