See below for the official Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Poultry Alert regarding Avian Influenza that was released this afternoon.
The gist of it is that there have been multiple confirmed cases of Avian Influenza in the west and midwest over the past few weeks, and it can be carried by wild birds (who happen to be migrating right now) so everyone should be on alert for symptoms of Avian Influenza in your flock.
IF you notice signs of illness in your flock, especially (though not always) respiratory diseases, please contact your vet and the MDAR and/or the Poultry Inspector for your area IMMEDIATELY. The only way to help keep it from spreading is to identify it early.
If you aren't sure you can also get in touch with me, though I'm not
able to do the testing necessary to diagnose the exact cause of the
By the way, the state of Massachusetts offers free testing for your flock, specifically to catch diseases like this before they can spread. Check out the Mass.gov Poultry Program website for more details (in the middle of that page is also a direct link to the official alert shown at the end of this post).
The MDAR Division of Animal Health can be reached at 617-626-1795.
The poultry inspector for the Boston area is Megan Megrath: 617-626-1798 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks everyone! Feel free to respond in the comments or on the Yardbirds Backyard Chickens facebook page if you have questions.