Poultry Flock Programs


Poultry and game birds sold or moved within Wisconsin – whether for breeding, hatching, sale or show – have until now been required to be from flocks enrolled in or associated with the National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP). Now, small poultry and game bird producers in Wisconsin have an alternative if they want to sell or move live birds or eggs, or take live birds to fairs, swap meets and exhibitions. They can enroll with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as Wisconsin tested flocks or Wisconsin associate flocks.

Enrollment in Flock Programs 

To enroll a flock as a Wisconsin tested flock, the owner must test annually for Salmonella pullorum, fowl typhoid and, in the case of turkeys, Mycoplasma gallisepticum. A Wisconsin associate flock consists entirely of birds obtained from a Wisconsin tested flock. It's free to enroll in either program. Enrolled flocks can be tested by a certified poultry tester. Find a tester in your area​. 

Enrollment in these testing programs allows you to move birds or hatching eggs within Wisconsin. Poultry, game birds, or hatching eggs imported from other states must still be from NPIP flocks, or equivalent programs in the state where they originate. If you are sending birds or hatching eggs out of Wisconsin, you'll need to comply with the regulations of the destination state​.

​If you are raising birds only for your own use, or selling dressed poultry or eggs for eating, no testing is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is defined as poultry?

Poultry refers to domesticated fowl -- including chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl and other game birds, pea fowl and other fanciers, and waterfowl -- that are bred mainly for exhibiting or producing eggs or meat. It does not include ratites (ostriches, emus, rheas). For regulatory purposes, domesticated fowl other are considered to be sexually mature at 4 months. Turkeys are considered sexually mature at 6 months.


If a 4-H member has birds from multiple Wisconsin tested flocks, can he/she still have an associate flock, or must the flock be enrolled as a tested flock?

​If you purchase all your birds from certified sources (National Poultry Improvement Program, Wisconsin Tested Flock, Wisconsin Associate Flock) and there are no other birds on the premises, you can enroll as an associate flock. You need to send a photocopy of all purchase records and a written request for status based on purchase to DATCP-DAH, PO Box 8911, Madison, 53708-8911.


If birds are individually tested, the rule indicates they must be uniquely identified. Does that mean in the flock, or in the state?

​Birds individually tested need to be identified with either a leg or wing band, with unique number and color for that bird and flock. It may not be the only bird in the state with that number. It would be costly to require that individual identification be unique throughout the state.


Who qualifies as a “youth agricultural leader” who can certify poultry to go to the county fair without gaining an official status from the department?

​The youth agricultural leader can be the leader/organizer of the youth group (such as the 4-H group leader or the FFA coordinator) or may be the individual in charge of the fair or poultry exhibition (fair superintendent or poultry coordinator for the fair).


If you buy birds from a WTF or NPIP flock for showing at a fair or exhibition, and take them home where you do have untested birds, could they retain their status if you don’t commingle the certified and untested birds, and they have no contact?

​No, in order to retain their status no untested (or positive) birds can be on the premises.


If the birds are maintained separately, can two separate status flocks reside on one premises?

​No, because it’s impossible to enforce maintenance of the flocks with appropriate biosecurity to be separate flocks.


If I test five birds to be sold from an untested flock, and the test is valid for 90 days, can I keep those tested birds up to 90 days in the untested flock?

​Yes. You can not commingle tested with non-tested or certified with non-certified birds, except birds from the same flock. Therefore, if you have 30 untested birds and want to exhibit five of those, you test the five birds, individually identify them with a leg or wing band, put them back in the flock and show them during the next 90 days. The disease risk remains the same for these birds as long as they are not placed in a different flock.


If I test a bird and sell it to my neighbor within 90 days, can he/she take the bird to the fair before the 90 days is over without another test?

No, the individual test is valid for 90 days and multiple shows within those 90 days, but if someone else buys the bird, it needs to be retested for showing. This is to keep the traceability of the animal movements intact.


Why would I want to test my whole flock and apply for Wisconsin Test Flock status now (March) when it will expire on June 30 and I will need to retest and re-apply?

It won’t expire until June 30 of the following year, if you test your whole flock for initial enrollment in the WTF status program in the six months before June 30. This means if you test your whole flock on April 2, 2006, and receive WTF status, this status will be valid until June 30, 2007, at which time you would need to reapply for status and if granted, it would expire on June 30, 2008.


Bird sent directly to a slaughter plant don’t need to be tested. But if I sell birds to an individual for immediate slaughter, and that person slaughters the birds while still on my farm, do they need to be tested?

No. As long as the birds go directly to a slaughter facility, or are dead before they leave your property, they do not need to be tested. We do assume that any live birds leaving your property will be used for breeding purposes. So, if the person who buys them takes them somewhere other than a slaughter facility and kills them, they do need to be tested.


Can I move poultry to another state using a Wisconsin Tested Flock Status or a Wisconsin Associate Flock status?

You need to check the health requirements with the state of destination. Individual states establish their own criteria, and may choose to accept our status, but we cannot require another state to recognize our programs.


If I sell birds at an auction market, can I just put the auction name in the “sold to” column on the intrastate movement form, or do I need to include the name of the individual who bought the birds?

​You need to get from the market the names of the individual buyers and list them on the intrastate movement form.​