Farmstead closing temporarily to protect animals, visitors

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead will be closed starting at 3 p.m. today, and all day tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 6, after the deaths of five birds at the facility were believed to have been caused by avian flu.

Animal care specialists discovered a sudden death of four geese in the Farmstead’s flock, and one wild duck earlier this week. Initial testing results returned a presumed positive for the H5 virus, the avian flu.

Staff immediately quarantined the other birds in the same enclosure, which are being euthanized today. No other birds at the Farmstead have been in contact with the sick birds.

All of the Farmstead’s birds are now quarantined in their enclosures. This week’s closures are for mitigation measures. Staff will be draining and cleaning ponds, and other animal care areas will be cleaned and disinfected.

When the Farmstead reopens, bird and fowl enclosures will not be open for public access. Observation from a significant distance may be available for some birds.

“The health and well-being of Farmstead visitors, staff and animals is our top priority,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jermel Stevenson. “We are working to ensure that when the Farmstead reopens, we are minimizing the risk to the rest of the animals. 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 Farmstead’s animal care team will continue to monitor the health of Farmstead birds regularly.

About the avian flu

Avian influenza, commonly called the “bird flu,” is a viral infection that occurs naturally in birds. Wild birds can carry the virus, but usually do not get sick from it. Some domesticated birds, such as chickens, ducks, and turkeys, can become infected, often fatally. 

Avian flu does not pose a threat to humans. Additional information is available on the CDC website.

About the Farmstead

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is one of the top family attractions in the Kansas City area.

More than 450,000 visitors each year learn about Kansas farm life in the early 1900s each season. Small shops representing commerce in a rural town include a general store, a bank, a barber shop, an ice cream parlor, and a one-room country schoolhouse.

The Farmstead is home to over 250 animals that would be found on a Kansas farm, or are native to the state of Kansas.


Meg Ralph Communications and Media Relations Manager City Manager’s Office 913-895-6160