The types of wildlife and the frequency of their visits to commercial chicken farms in Australia were assessed using infrared and motion-sensing camera traps. Cameras were set up on 14 free-range layer farms, three cage layer farms, two barn layer farms, five non-free-range meat chicken farms, and six free-range meat chicken farms in the Sydney basin region and South East Queensland. Wildlife visits were found on every farm type and were most frequent on cage layer farms (73%), followed by free-range layer farms (15%). The common mynah ( Acridotheres tristis) was the most frequent wildlife visitor in the study (23.9%), followed by corvids (22.9%) and Columbiformes (7.5%). Most wildlife visits occurred during the day from 6 am to 6 pm (85%). There were infrequent observations of direct contact between chickens and wildlife, suggesting the indirect route of pathogen transfer may be more significant. The level of biosecurity on the farm is suggested to impact the frequency of wildlife visits more so than the farm type.
Keywords: Australia; camera trap; commercial chickens; disease; wildlife.