OP’s Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead closes temporarily after reports of avian flu

Courtesy photo

The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park is closing temporarily after multiple bird died this week, potentially from avian flu.

The farmstead’s animal care team discovered that four geese and a wild duck died suddenly, the city announced Wednesday.

“We sent samples off for testing, because this is unusual,” the farm posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon. “While we’re still waiting on final confirmation, it’s believed the birds died of avian flu.”

In an effort to lessen the chance of spreading the avian flu to other birds, the farmstead is closed starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday through the end of the day Thursday.

This will give staff time to clean enclosures, quarantine birds and disinfect the grounds. The birds that were in the same enclosure as the birds that died are being euthanized, according to a city news release.

Once reopened, the bird and fowl enclosures will not immediately have public access again, though visitors may still be able to observe the birds from a distance.

“We are working to ensure that when the Farmstead reopens, we are minimizing the risk to the rest of the animals,” Overland Park Parks and Recreation Director Jermel Stevenson said in the release. “At the same time, we’re grieving the loss of the animals we work hard to care for, that help our community learn about life on a Kansas farm.”

The replica 1900s farm, known for being a family-friendly attraction, opened in 1978 and was later named for an Overland Park police officer killed in the line of duty. It’s home to more than 250 animals.