HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — The bird flu is confirmed in our region, and while it’s not a threat to humans, it’s already had a big impact on one local farm.

Bob Marsala runs Marsala Family Farm with his wife in Hilton. After discovering dead birds kept increasing on the land, he says officials euthanized all fowl due to the level of contagiousness among animals.

“So it started the weekend before on Friday evening, I went out and I noticed I had six dead chickens and I thought something had attacked them,” Marsala said.

The farmer said he put the rest of his flock in a pen that night, but by the time he woke up the next morning, there were seven more dead chickens. That problem persisted.

“When I got up Sunday morning there were 40 dead birds then I kind of realized something bigger was going on here and tried to notify someone in the state and finally got through Monday morning,” he said.

Marsala had first tried to cover his run to protect the rest of the flock, one of the first things a farmer should do if they see a sick chicken. He says someone came out from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test the flock by Monday afternoon; at that point 90 birds had died and one goose.

“We were notified on Tuesday late afternoon that our flock had tested positive for avian influenza,” Marsala said. “The type ours tested positive for was HPAI which is a highly pathogenic version as opposed to LPAI which isn’t nearly as deadly to birds.”

While most of his chickens had died at that point, the remaining fowl on the farm had to be put down.

“So because it’s such a deadly virus, I did try to argue it but the federal and state decided that the only choice was euthanization of the rest of the flock to prevent the spread through the community because it is a public health risk,” Marsala said.

“We were involved in assessing the risk to human health and so we were in contact with that individual, and that individual took all the necessary precautions and then some to keep him and his family safe, but in general the risk to the public is exceedingly low,” says Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner.

The farm is now under quarantine and they can’t have birds for 150 days. The timing of this ordeal, Marsala tells News 8, is unfortunate as the spring is when the chickens would be laying eggs.

“The big part of our business was the chickens and we also did like pastured meat chickens, Cornish crosses where we’d put them on new grass every day and we can’t do that either this year,” he said.

Marsala Family Farm will still sell garlic and fresh-cut flowers this season and Marsala says the farming community has been incredibly supportive.