If you are not aware of this, you should be -- especially in this COVID age.
How to reduce risks
Ayala identified a number of practices that backyard chicken owners can implement to reduce the risk of pathogen emergence:
"As backyard chickens become more common, the interactions between wild birds and backyard chickens are also likely to increase," Ayala said. "Wild birds are attracted to food, water and shelter, and backyard chickens provide all three."
Of course this is why you should have a mesh roof on your pen!
But I don't.
I think some level of free ranging may be a good idea -- or a bad idea.
NOT HANDLING the birds is good practice. If you want a pet, get some sort of mammal.
Part of the problem with chickens is that they are seen in factory production mode when maybe heritage birds make more back yard sense.
In my experience Sacred Ibis can carry pathogens to chooks. And, ironically, on this issue, I suspect that layer mash may be preferable to mixed seed feeding as seeds do attract wild birds.
I was watching a thing on Landline some time ago where the farmer was saying that people want free range - honest free range. That was increasing the level of bird flu in flocks because the chooks were interacting with wild birds. I guess it's just a case of being sensible about the balancing act. My coup has a roof but that was built in truth to stop the buggers getting out and tearing up my gardens all the time. I note it doesn't stop the possum that learned to use a treadle feeder or the carpet snake that I had.