Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

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Marigold
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Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by Marigold » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:42 am

As from today, DEFRA requires all poultry to be kept indoors, or in covered runs which have no access for wild birds. See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new- ... -avian-flu
Also BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38231416
Interesting discussion started on Practical Poultry Forum about this issue http://www.practicalpoultry.co.uk/cgi-b ... 5327/13#13
What are you doing about your birds?
Icemaiden
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by Icemaiden » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:46 pm

Hi Marigold.
I can't see the PP discussion, as I'm not a member of the PP forum. What are people saying?
I was thinking that if I have to bring the girls indoors, I'll never get the TV remote or a place on the sofa ;)

(Sorry- flippancy probably isn't appropriate but I just wanted to lift the mood a bit...)
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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rick
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by rick » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:31 pm

Icemaiden wrote: I was thinking that if I have to bring the girls indoors, I'll never get the TV remote or a place on the sofa ;)
I can just see them huddled together, eating Doritoes and watching Countryfile!

Mine are under a roof but I'm going to be careful where I walk with the dog - there's a path in the park where the geese tend to gather so will try not to walk the mess back into the run.

But I was just wondering - separate shoes for going out into the run? If you was to use a foot-bath what do you put in it?
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by chickenfan » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:59 pm

Hi Rick, As you have the luxury of a roofed run, I would definitely have separate foot gear for going into it. I'm sure you will be pretty safe. I found these notes on poultry pages (sorry illustrations haven't come out):


What are "Appropriate Steps"?

The Government press release identifies the following bio-security measures to be implemented:
•minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and wild birds
•making sure that feed and water can’t be accessed by wild birds
•taking all reasonable precautions to avoid the transfer of contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of equipment, vehicles and footwear
•reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry or captive birds are kept
•implementing effective vermin control programmes around buildings where poultry or captive birds are kept
•thoroughly cleansing and disinfecting housing and equipment at the end of a production cycle
•keeping disinfectant at the right concentration at key points such as farm entrances and entrances to bird houses

In practice for a back garden keeper this would mean that if you have a big enough coop the easiest option would be to contain them within it. I know many have smaller coops that aren’t suitable for containment with food and water. In these circumstances you need to put a cover over your run or similar that will prevent wild birds coming into contact.

It needs to be remembered that migratory birds will fly over head and droppings can quickly pass contamination. As such ideally cover all sides of the run at upper levels and make sure the lower area is either covered or has such small mesh that no birds could come through. If you have a shed or other area you can contain your flock in this may be a good idea until the restrictions and risk has passed.

Keeping a clean coop and covered or enclosed run is more important that ever. Disinfect clothing and footwear before and after entering the coop or run, and keep contact to a minimum.










What if I don't have a Run?

What If I don't have a Run?

If you haven't got a run or a large enough coop to contain your birds for the 30 day period, then the cheapest option would be to create you own lean-to run. This would be my preferred option. With some wooden posts, weld mesh, and a length of tarp to cover, you could easily pop something together in a morning that would last for the period of the restrictions.

We've a number of articles on the site which can help you in building a quick run, or a more substantial and long-lasting one should you choose to:

Poultry Housing - The Chicken Run

Containable and Portable Poultry House & Run

Which Weld Mesh is Best for Poultry Runs?

The second option is to buy a run if you don't have the time to make your own.

Chicken Coops Direct have a number of budget ready made run options starting at £69, plus special run covers for £18.95. These can be viewed and purchased in the Extra Chicken Runs section - Chicken Coops Direct

Omlet also have a number of run options which can be viewed and purchased here - Omlet Chicken Runs











Signs of Avian Flu

It is important to keep a close eye on your flock during this time. The Government advises that:

Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although these vary between species of bird.

And further that:

If poultry keepers or the general public find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, they should report them to the Defra helpline by calling 03459 33 55 77.





Government Press Release

The full Government guidance can be found here - Avian Flu Guidance.

We've also set up a forum thread for anyone with questions on what to do with their flock and how to best protect them until the outbreak has passed - Avian Flu Forum Thread

I hope you all have a good Christmas, and that your flock isn;t too unhappy with their temporary housing arrangements.
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by chrismahon » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:51 am

Not sure what is happening over here? The news said that the spread of outbreaks in the Southwest were caused by a feed delivery lorry which visited an infected duck farm first! Apart from a chicken farm around the La Rochelle region there are no reports of anything other than Geese and Ducks being affected. Problem here is no-one has the facilities to contain their birds- they all run around the open fields as part of the process. Free range small farm production is what the customers want in France. Looks like things may have to change.

From our point we have most of ours in covered runs, but the sparrow population is causing potential problems as they are small enough to get through the mesh. Changing the mesh on 40 run panels isn't an option, so we will just have to keep a close eye on our chickens and keep frightening the sparrows away.

We won't be accepting any visitors and don't know now if we will be able to visit the farm to collect our Christmas Turkey because they also have free ranging chickens? They have a 10Km containment zone around infections, so no movements. They have a 3Km slaughter zone around infections so all neighbouring same species are killed (if I have translated the news item correctly).
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rick
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by rick » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:48 am

Thanks Chickenfan.

Sounds like they know exactly how it started Chris so best chance of nipping it out I hope. Everything crossed for you.
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Marigold
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by Marigold » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:55 am

That's really helpful, Chickenfan, thank you. Geese and ducks are the main migratory species to carry bird flu, but any birds can catch it. The problem is greatest for people with large free range flocks, who, in giving their birds a decent quality of life, haven't the facilities to keep them indoors other than at roosting time. And of course, 2-3 weeks before Chistmas is an especially bad time, as the national poultry population is at its highest and just about due to be considerably reduced anyway within a week or so.
For those if us with a few pet birds, it does point up the advantages of having a big enough run to contain them comfortably, even if we sometimes let them out to trash the garden. Not only no need to panic about bird flu, but very much less risk of redmite or predators, and no muddy floor if the run is roofed. The Government vet was saying yesterday that there have been no outbreaks in the UK yet, and the aim is for us all to try to keep it that way. It's no use saying you only have a few birds, why bother, because if any if them should get it, not only your flock but everyone else's in the exclusion zone would be culled, commercial or otherwise. The risk is very small indeed at the moment - I suppose it's a case of us all trying our best to increase herd immunity.
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Marigold
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by Marigold » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:23 am

Could you post the link to the pages you quoted, Chickenfan, as it sounds as if they have further links to ideas about how to set up a temporary run etc.
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by Roisin » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:34 pm

I have two coops, each with a 6 foot run. Only 6 birds in total, so I will manage, but the younger birds HATE being confined. I will have to work hard to make their run more interesting, to prevent boredom/ feather pecking, etc. Any ideas, anyone?
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rick
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Re: Bird Flu Alert - keep poultry under cover, DEFRA.

Post by rick » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:35 pm

Roisin wrote:I have two coops, each with a 6 foot run. Only 6 birds in total, so I will manage, but the younger birds HATE being confined. I will have to work hard to make their run more interesting, to prevent boredom/ feather pecking, etc. Any ideas, anyone?
I have found this dispenser thing to be very good for dropping some scratch etc in the run during the day and keeping them on their toes. Its made of a cheap mains timer with a short length of drain pipe hot melt glued to the moving ring.
dispenser.JPG
dispenser.JPG (23.07 KiB) Viewed 2478 times
A free-standing screen or two are also useful as they make the space go a little further by blocking views across the run.
A plastic bottle with holes in and small treats inside.
Apart from a cabbage I'm struggling to think of anything else.
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