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Annabel

Avian Flu Update?

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The latest news from The Poultry Club of Great Britain which is represented on the DEFRA consultative group The Avian Influenza Stakeholder Group, is that the under cover order will NOT be lifted before 5th April. The risk level remains Very High for wild birds and High for Captive Birds and Medium where there is good biosecurity.   Stay calm and carry on! 

Edited by Patricia W
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Do you have any news of the result of the 10th March Defra meeting, mountainboardude?  I cannot find anything online, in fact there is a dearth of news about the AF lockdown on any sites including those for commercial poultry and the NFU.  One would have thought that Defra would be updating us all regularly.

It’s a good point, mountainboarddude, that the housing order needs to be lifted before the 4th April or poultry keepers will not be able to label their produce as ‘free-range’ any more.  One would hope that Defra don’t want that.

My little chooks are running up and down the wire trying to get out, which I don’t like to see.  

Patricia W, I had not seen your post, apologies.  So nothing before the 4th April.  I looked on The Poultry Club of Great Britain’s site and the only mention of Avian Flu was dated 8th December 2020; not exactly current.  Do you know of any formal announcement that I can research?  I’m finding it very frustrating that there is nothing on internet searches of recent date and certainly no clue as to when the housing order may be lifted.

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This is the link to a copy of a screen shot of the Poultry Club of Great Britain FB post about the advice.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/th3henhouse/permalink/768030197452957/

In 2017 we were bound by EU rules to change the designation of Free Range eggs etc.  It remains to be seen if Brexit gives more flexibility.   But the important aspect is the safety of poultry, whether commercial, or backyard chickens. 

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This has felt like an eternity.  I too am finding it frustrating that the information seems to be very sparce and feel like we are being kept in the dark.  It's nice to have an idea of a date to work towards as that seems more achievable and keeps up morale, rather than the bleak endless future without updates or announcements - especially when our chickens have endured a long lockdown and many of whom are used to daily free ranging.

Fingers crossed fro April!

I have to say though - my spring bulbs have actually made it up this year without being decapitated!

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On 3/16/2021 at 7:52 PM, Annabel said:

I have to say though - my spring bulbs have actually made it up this year without being decapitated!

I can just picture all your pretty flowers.

Fingers crossed that it won't be too long before all the chickens can run around outside again. 

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Hello, yes the date for current housing order restrictions being lifted is midnight on the 31st March. That means that chooks are able to free range from the 1st April, rather than the 31st March itself. There are slightly different rules and biosecurity measures that need to be taken if you have more than 500 birds but i doubt too many people would have that many on here!

Details from the APHA who govern the situation below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared

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There is a caveat.  You have to up your bio security AND sanitise the ground where they will go.  The risk is still Medium.  My reading is that this is a sop to commercial interests.   No way can I sanitise the ground I use.  Mine are staying in till the risk is zilch.  They are quite content.  And safe. 

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wow 2 days to go!  My chooks will be over the moon to say the least!!!  The egg quality has really gone down hill around 1 week after they were locked in.  Yolks were about the same colour as super market eggs - a pale yellow, not their usual almost orangey colour!  I look forward to a decent pached egg very soon!

 

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Worth mentioning is the risk of your chickens gorging on grass and getting digestive impaction, having been without it for so long. Three things to do to minimise the risk. Make sure they have had access to grit. Make sure the grass is very short. Don't let them out on an empty crop; make sure they have ALL had a morning feed first, so add feeders if necessary.

We've made these mistakes when we moved house and they went from earth runs to fresh grass runs; we lost birds as a result.

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Mine went 6 hrs early and went out a couple of hours before bed this evening.

I’ve taken the opportunity to fence them back into a fixed area rather than letting them range (and randomly destroy / eat / dig up / poo on) over the entire garden. They have a few meters of lawn and a massive shrubbery area. They spent a minute or two eating grass and then all went quiet as they realised how many creepy crawlies had recolonised the leaf litter under the shrubs and trees in their absence! Sorry invertebrates - the chickens are back 🙈

I will have to clip some wings tomorrow - Camilla flew out over the fence twice in 2 hours 🙄

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