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WitchHazel

All birds in England can go out from Thursday 13th April!!!!

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Huge clucks and sighs of relief here. I'm 500 yards or less inside the zone - so frustrating.

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I think there will be a lot of those cute contented noises they make when they are happy, when they feel the grass between their feet.

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Woo hoo. Although we've conveniently been exactly 2 miles outside of our high risk area for the duration!

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Good news indeed but a cautionary note: chickens when first let onto grass may gorge on it and the result will be impacted gizzards followed by death two weeks later. Unfortunately we've had this happen. The way to overcome the possibility is to make sure they all have full crops before being released. Also they should have had plenty of grit and the grass must be short.

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Good news indeed but a cautionary note: chickens when first let onto grass may gorge on it and the result will be impacted gizzards followed by death two weeks later. Unfortunately we've had this happen. The way to overcome the possibility is to make sure they all have full crops before being released. Also they should have had plenty of grit and the grass must be short.

 

Thank you for the warning.

We're utting our grass in preparation, and I'll be letting them out in the afternoon.

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Having read the most recent information on the Defra website, I'm more confused than ever. For instance, there is the line which states: “However, all keepers must still observe strict disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of contamination from the environment, where the virus can survive for several weeks in bird droppings."

So presumably that means we can't just let them out into the garden again - In my area we have many visiting wild birds (even though I have been strict about not feeding them) so the grass in our garden will have birds' droppings and other debris such as feathers on it, which Defra says we have to still keep our hens away from. I don't think it's very clear, and as I read it, it isn't a case of 'back into the garden'. The biosecurity rules still apply.

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Very confusing - they are playing politics - you never get a straight answer so they can cover themselves. Of course if we do allow freedom then biosecurity is ridiculous. As it is netting can be no larger than 5cms - which means droppings can drop through. Very ambiguous.

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Oh thank goodness for this news. Our two have just started ignoring the treats and devouring their eggs, despite me making every attempt to collect them as quickly as possible after laying. Hoping this horrible habit stops now. It is also a perfect time (Easter) to introduce our daughter to her pet hens. they have been locked up since she was born in November!

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Right. I'm going to put ours out: any tips on stopping impacted crops?

 

I cut the grass the other week, so it's no longer than about an inch or so. Does it need to be shorter? I don't want poorly chickens.

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Must admit am finding it a bit confusing, the website says we must still use foot baths before entering the run which seems a bit pointless if they are allowed out in the garden. Understand about not feeding wild birds and keeping the chickens food under cover. Now I am not sure whether to let them out or not.

Good advice thank you about grass.

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Well, let ours out and there was lots of grass munching going on. Within 5 minutes, they;s managed to escape and one of them was in the house trying to eat cat food. The cat was also trying to eat the cat food at the time. Hen 1, Cat 0.

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Since the netting has been moved I too have one escapee. Constantly. She doesn't like contact and I'm having to box her in to put her back over the net. She doesn't learn that every time she escapes I pick her up! I have the advance warning system in place - 2 jealous ratbags that don't know how she does it either. It's not the usual little pekin either - it's the young Pippin! I've looked, reinforced, think I've cracked it but there she goes again! How in the name of . . . Victor Meldrew quote coming up . . .

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You're all right, in that the information given by DEFRA seems to be designed to confuse :roll: I would apply a huge dollop of common sense... This is by no means a recommendation, just my personal opinion; do let them out, but be aware, as Beantree has said, of gorging. The migration is well over now, the most part of the risk is over, and there have been no reported outbreaks for ages. Mine have been out since the end of February.

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You're all right, in that the information given by DEFRA seems to be designed to confuse :roll: I would apply a huge dollop of common sense... This is by no means a recommendation, just my personal opinion; do let them out, but be aware, as Beantree has said, of gorging. The migration is well over now, the most part of the risk is over, and there have been no reported outbreaks for ages. Mine have been out since the end of February.

that's the civil service covering their backside just in case things go pair shaped which SOP for any ministry advice that isn't banning anything

mine have been getting the odd day out since early March if it hasn't been to windy I've got a couple that can get up on the fence if it's windy enough but aren't to clever at getting down or moving along the fence.it don't help that we've got a couple of aggressive lone male crows this season and my mob don't see the crow family as a threat only the wood pigeons

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I moved the perimeter netting so that we could get to garden, trim, prune and weed without the girls getting in the way - ever since they've been out Pippin escapes. When we think we've found the gap and she is stuck with the others quite safely for hours I go to give them tea and there she is by the back door! ARGHHH! I may use a double fence - Stalag 13 exercise area with a no-go area in between and machine gun tower at the corner. Meanwhile Private Schultz does his I hear nuzzing, I see nuzzing . . . and I do my Colonel Klink - you vill not escape again!

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I may use a double fence - Stalag 13 exercise area with a no-go area in between and machine gun tower at the corner.

I've had to do that before. A double fence so it's too broad for my two escapees to fly over, witha no-hens-land in the middle.

 

I was hoping that 5 months "in the cooler", with no outside access, would cure them.

 

Apparently not.

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We had vays of making zem stay put! We used another part of our netting and no more escaping! Hah! Little ratbag! I still don't know how she did it - neither does OH - we both ran our hands along the netting but couldn't see a gap. But she definitely hasn't been into the no-hens-land either . . . yet. :anxious:

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They just announced that all birds can go out in the Netherlands as well! :dance:

All measures are lifted, apart from hygiene rules for commercial farmers. Which only include that you need to sanitise when visiting a barn.

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