Wednesday 7 December 2016

Avian Flu Warning

So this morning the UK Government has issued a warning about avian flu and recommended that all poultry and other domestic birds be kept inside for the next 30 days. It also goes on to say that if this isn't possible then measures should be taken to reduce poultry movement and to minimise direct and indirect contact between them and wild birds. 

Well there's no chance of keeping mine in as I tend to keep the coop quite small and give the birds a large run. As I get up early this seems to work well for my birds, but not great when something unpredictable like this happens. 

The alternative is to net the run to keep the wild birds out. This is easier said that done! Above is a video of what my chicken run looks like now - It resembles a third world shanty town but it should keep the wild birds out for the next 30 days. My other birds are also going to have a reshuffle, a few will be culled tonight and whilst the young chicks will have to stay in the broody ark for a while longer yet. 
I want to make a little movable ark to fit my new garden beds to include chickens in my garden rotation, so it looks like that project it get moved up the priority list a bit now. 

What measures have you had to take? Or are your birds already in enclosed runs? What about the wild bird droppings, would they be a problem as well?

I'm not sure disinfection foot baths are really going to work here as I think that's for more sterile environments than my muddy field, like commercial enterprises. 


  1. I've posted today about that which I have done. I too see little point in disinfectant mats. I'm taking the view that ducks geese and gulls in particular are the birds I am trying to keep away from my hens. There is no chance with the likes of robins, wrens etc.
    The problem is likely to be the smaller area getting badly soiled and I can't see me having the time or the energy to muck out the run everyday. I have just organised for some free chippings to be delivered and I reckon I will spread these about too to help keep the soil sweeter, at least in the short term.
    It's going to be along month Kev. I hope it is sufficient as my hens will be very unhappy, as will I, if it continues.
    Don't know about bird droppings and will watch your comments section with interest to learn more.
    Good Luck

    1. I've got a bale of straw I'm going to put down in the run tomorrow and spread about and I'll get a few more bales at the weekend, hopefully that should keep their feet a bit cleaner. It was muddy in their run anyway to be honest but I do put straw in a few times a week to give them something to scratch through as well as weeds from the garden.

  2. I have netted over the run with fruit cage netting, I have set up a drive over mat at the entrance to the drive, the drive way is right of access to two other smallholdings, also we have delivery lorries and tractors coming several times a week, at the week end when Martin is home we will see about getting some monoflex on the top of the run to keep out bird droppings, we can only do our bit, its concerning to see that some people are not doing anything.

  3. When I moved two years ago, there was an avian flu outbreak. I wasn't suppose to have my birds cross state lines (oops). Didn't lose any birds. I had read that the back yard flocks fared better against the disease than the commercial because they had a stronger immune system.

  4. Late to the comments here but we have moved all of ours bar the geese and ducks to the barn. It's a dirty nightmare (and not in the oo-err sense) and I can't wait for 6th Jan and hope to god they don't extend it!
    Keep smiling :)


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