ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Jonathan Groff has about 100 pastured chickens at Thousand Hills Farms.

Since his birds have easy access to the outdoors, the bird flu is always on his mind.

“We always look for sick birds,” Groff told ABC27 News.

Since the dreaded avian influenza has been found in four states, most of which are in the south, the fear is that birds like ducks and geese will carry the strain north as they migrate and pass it along to birds in the Midstate.

“We keep the feeders inside and undercover and try to prevent wild birds from being attracted to the place,” Groff said.

Dr. Gregory Martin, a poultry educator with Penn State Extension, said farmers are being told to keep their birds inside.

However, Martin said at a time when free range chickens are in demand, the advice is easier said than done.

“The main thing is to make sure we practice good biosecurity for the time period we have now and hope for the best; that we don’t have the flu appear in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Martin said the current strain of avian flu doesn’t have an impact on food safety-related issues.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.