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NPIP Program

Thank you for your interest in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) program in Colorado.

The following information is intended to provide a basic background on what NPIP is and how certification works here in Colorado. Please note that NPIP certification is primarily intended for anyone selling birds or hatching eggs, moving birds outside of Colorado (for shows and other events), or running primary breeding programs.

NPIP background information

The main objective of the NPIP is to use new diagnostic technologies to effectively improve poultry and poultry products throughout the United States. The NPIP provides certification that poultry and poultry products destined for interstate and international shipments are free of certain diseases. The NPIP currently includes commercial poultry, turkeys, waterfowl, exhibition poultry, backyard poultry, and game birds.
The NPIP was founded in the 1930s in an effort to eliminate Salmonella pullorum, or Pullorum disease, and Salmonella gallinarum, or fowl typhoid, from the United States. 
Since then, Pullorum-Typhoid (PT) disease has been eradicated in U.S. commercial poultry flocks and hatcheries. However, it remains a reportable disease as chickens and turkeys are both natural hosts. Most states require a negative PT test within a specific time period (or Pullorum-Typhoid Clean flock certification status under NPIP) prior to the entrance of poultry or hatching eggs into their state.

For more information on the NPIP Program click here or go to

Nationally, the program also includes testing and monitoring for:

  • Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG)

  • Mycoplasma synoviae (MS)

  • Salmonella Enteritidis (SE)

  • Avian influenza virus (AIV)

NPIP disease monitoring in Colorado

The NPIP requirements for disease testing are dependent upon the flock classification system, or subpart in which they are placed. Each subpart participates in a different testing program which is determined by the purpose of the flock and number of birds in the flock. 

In Colorado, many of our registered NPIP participating flocks are Subpart E participants, which includes backyard flocks of hobbyist and exhibition poultry and waterfowl as well as game bird breeding flocks. Our certifications include testing for Pullorum-Typhoid and Avian Influenza. NPIP certification is primarily intended for anyone selling or moving birds (for shows, selling birds, etc.) outside of Colorado so that they meet requirements for movement of poultry across state lines. The majority of NPIP testing done nationally is geared toward these requirements so that breeders who are frequently shipping and moving birds/hatching eggs don't need to repeat testing each time they do so.

Certified Field Tester recruitment and training

Starting in 2018, CSU will be transitioning to using private NPIP Certified Field Testers (CFTs) to perform some of the yearly Pullorum-Typhoid (PT) testing. Colorado has utilized private field testers in the past, and several other states use this model for PT testing. We currently have a small team of state Inspectors (employees of Colorado State University and the Colorado Avian Health Program) who currently do all the testing for the state. State Inspectors will still continue to certify all new flocks, as well as conduct flock inspections at least every three years, collect Avian Influenza virus (AIV) surveillance samples, and conduct any PT reactor follow-up investigations for all certified flocks. Our goal in implementing this change is to have greater availability for certification testing throughout the year and to ensure that we are able to maintain everyone’s certification status even as the program grows.

We are recruiting NPIP flock owners who are interested in becoming CFTs, so please consider becoming involved.

If you are interested in being a CFT please call 970-297-1234 or email us at

Colorado NPIP Participation Requirements

Please note the primary owner of the flock must be over 18 years of age in order to participate in the NPIP.
  • Pullorum-Typhoid testing

    • Initial testing of a flock to gain certification will include the following:

      • Pullorum-Typhoid testing will be performed on poultry and game birds in each pen or coop, in a ratio of males to females proportionate to the pen or coop, up to 300 birds per premise depending on number of birds.

      • If there are 30 or fewer birds in the flock, all birds will be tested.

      • All birds to be tested must be over four months of age.

      • Tested birds will be marked with a tamper-resistant leg band.

    • Continued annual testing of up to 30 birds targeting newly acquired birds, breeder birds, birds used to brood babies, exhibition birds and other birds not previously tested.

    • To test for PT, the field tester will perform a rapid plate test. This involves taking a small amount of blood from the wing vein and mixing it on a plate with PT antigen. The tester will be looking for any agglutination (clumping) which could indicate a reactor.

  • Avian influenza testing

    • Birds can be any age. A maximum of 33 birds will be tested during each flock visit.

    • To test for AI, a mouth swab will be collected from the bird and the test, called AIV PCR, is performed at the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

    • Avian influenza testing is provided at no cost to the flock owner.

  • Premise inspection

    • Certified Field Testers will conduct annual Pullorum-Typhoid flock testing and site inspections. Colorado State Inspectors will conduct a site inspection of each NPIP Subpart E flock at least every three years.

    • Inspectors will certify that poultry equipment, poultry houses/pens and the land in the immediate vicinity of the poultry are in sanitary condition.

    • All flocks shall consist of healthy, normal individuals, characteristic of the breed, variety, cross or other combination, which they are stated to represent.

    • It is important that your birds do not have contact with wild birds and do not have access to ponds, lakes or marshy/swampy areas where wild ducks and geese reside. Avian Influenza virus can be carried by wild ducks and geese and can cause severe disease and death if spread to poultry.

    • None of your tested flock should have contact with other neighboring poultry (separation between your birds and other birds). If you cannot keep your birds separated from wild ducks and geese or other neighboring poultry, you will not pass inspection.

    • Your poultry should be separated from other livestock species. Your poultry must be separated from swine (pigs) since these two species can share influenza viruses between each other; and your poultry must be separated from other birds you may have who are not part of the NPIP program (doves, pigeons, parrots, other pet birds).

    • All poultry offered for sale shall be normal and typical of the breed, variety or cross. Hatching eggs shall be sound in the shell and typical for the breed, variety or cross.

  • Records audit

    • As a participant, you can ONLY purchase birds from other NPIP certified flocks and hatcheries. Documentation of purchase/trade should be saved and provided to state inspectors upon request for any new birds acquired during the year between inspections and testing. Any out-of-state birds added to the flock must also have copies of the official movement document (NPIP 9-3 movement form). 

    • If you bring in non-NPIP birds, these birds must be PT tested prior to being introduced to your flock. We offer this testing service at the Fort Collins Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

    • You can find current NPIP flocks in the National NPIP Directory at or by clicking here.

    • Participants are also required to sign official NPIP forms. These forms must be returned to our office.

  • NPIP forms

    • Completion of all official NPIP paperwork

    • Completion of the Colorado Poultry Health Board/NPIP participation form

    • Records of the NPIP 9-3 movement form (for both birds leaving and arriving on your property)

    • Participation in the online NPIP database

Fees for Testing

Starting in 2018, the Colorado Avian Health Program will be charging a Pullorum-Typhoid (PT) testing fee for NPIP certification testing. Due to increasing program costs, we are no longer able to provide free testing. This testing fee helps the NPIP program in Colorado continue to fulfill its mission of providing avian services for Subpart E participants throughout the state. 

Testing fees are as follows
  • Initial Flock Testing (new NPIP members):
    • 1-50 birds – $35
    • 51-100 birds – $50
    • 101-300 birds – $65
  • Annual recertification testing – $35 (current NPIP members):
    • Up to 30 birds – $35

What to Expect for Flock Testing

In order for us to complete testing and inspections for you as efficiently as possible, and with as little stress to your birds as possible, we ask that you have your birds contained safely when we arrive. Please be sure you have an area for us to handle and test the birds where they are at minimal risk of escape or injury. 

Depending on the number of birds in your flock, the testing process for an initial flock visit should take two to three hours, which will include Pullorum-Typhoid (PT) testing, avian influenza sample collection, and a premise inspection. For annual re-certification, PT testing and site inspection should take one to two hours. In some years, an additional visit for avian influenza sample collection and premise inspection by state inspectors will occur, and take approximately one hour. For all of these visits, all birds should be penned and easily accessible before the tester arrives on the premise. If the tester has to help catch birds before testing, this will result in a longer amount of time and a potentially a higher testing fee. If state inspectors perform the testing, a bill will be sent, after testing is complete, through the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. 

If Certified Field Testers (CFTs) perform the testing they may charge a fee for the service at the time of testing.


Starting in 2018, all chickens that are PT tested in NPIP flocks will be banded by state Inspectors or Certified Field Testers with official leg bands to facilitate identification of tested birds. Turkeys will only be banded if they are moving across state lines. Game birds will only be banded if they are exhibition birds. Waterfowl will only be banded if the flock consists of only waterfowl.

Interstate Movement Form Requirements

  • Certification of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) or an NPIP 9-3 movement form

    • Any hatching eggs or birds that you move or receive across state lines for any reason (interstate movement for sale, show, etc.) must be accompanied with an official movement document, such as a Certification of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) or an NPIP 9-3 Movement form. Regulations are determined by the importing state.

    • For NPIP members selling birds or hatching eggs across state lines, the NPIP VS 9-3 Form must be filled out and approved by the Colorado Avian Health Program staff prior to shipment. Please contact us when you plan to ship so that we can ensure proper documentation is complete. This process can be done electronically—contact us to get started with your online account. All NPIP related forms must be kept for three years. 

  • Every state has different requirements; it is your responsibility to determine what documentation and testing you need prior to shipping or selling birds outside Colorado (this includes live birds traveling to poultry shows and exhibitions).

  • You must contact the state of destination for their requirements first: click here or go to www.poultryimprovementorg and then click the link for "Official State Agencies of the National Poultry Improvement Plan" located on the left-hand menu.

What happens if I have a positive PT or AI test?

If a result for either of these tests is suspect or positive, there will be further testing that will require involvement from the owner of the flock. This may include additional sample collection such as blood draws. During the retest period, the owner will not be able to move, show or transport any birds from the flock off the premise. The retesting of suspect birds can often take up to 30 days or more and the suspect birds will need to remain quarantined on the premise during this period. It will be the flock owner’s responsibility to ensure that the birds are retested, which may require the owner to bring the birds to the CSU VDL in Fort Collins, CO.

More detailed information on these processes is available on the Colorado Avian Health Program website.


If all test results are negative, the flock owner will receive an NPIP participation number, access to use the NPIP logo, and a certificate of participation that will be renewed annually. Additionally, we will set up your online account so participants can access the online NPIP database for use of VS 9-3 shipping forms.

I have read everything and still want to sign up for the program!

Once we receive your completed participation form, we will follow up and determine if certification will be a good fit for your flock. Please note that we typically only test flocks during the warmer months (~May-November) and it can take up to 90 days or longer to get folks scheduled for testing. So please plan ahead! We have many participants in Colorado. 
You can contact the Colorado Avian Health Program with any additional questions at 970-297-4008 or email us at

Contact Us:

Fort Collins Diagnostic Laboratory

FedEx/UPS Shipping Address (physical address):
2450 Gillette Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80526

USPS Mailing Address:
200 West Lake Street
1644 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1644

(970) 297-1281

​(970) 297-0320

Rocky Ford Diagnostic Laboratory

27847 Road 21
Rocky Ford, CO 81067​

Phone: (719) 254-6382
Fax: (719) 254-6055​

Western Slope Diagnostic Laboratory

3164 B 1/2 Road
Western Slope, CO 81503

Phone: (970) 243-0673
Fax: (970) 242-0003​


For poultry health questions, please contact the Avian Health Hotline: (970) 297-4008 or email

For NPIP related questions, please contact Jenna Oxenhandler at (970) 297-5160. If Jenna is unavailable, contact Heather Reider at (970) 297-1234.​​