NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Bird Flu gatherings!  (Read 17495 times)

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2017, 05:39:44 pm »
Just confirmed a case in domestic flock in Carmarthenshire :(   think we can forget the 6th!! 
Linda

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thesuffolksmallholding

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2017, 07:47:56 pm »
The guidelines are typical DEFRA, blurry and unclear!

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2017, 03:12:38 pm »
I am somewhat new to chicken keeping - I've had them before but I've never had any during a bird flu incident.

If one should occur while I care for chickens, what precautions do keepers need to employ to not put down their birds?

Many thanks!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2017, 11:02:12 pm »
They need to be kept under cover, with wild birds kept out.  For us, the easy way was to keep them in the veg polytunnel, where they did very well, escaping the winter weather.  I know others found this didn't work.  This year we are being prepared and have bought a small cheap indoor house to go in the tunnel so they have somewhere to roost and lay.  We have mesh over the tunnel louvres so wild birds cannot get in.  Last winter many people had to make some very iffy shelters as they were taken by surprise.  It may well happen again this year, so be prepared and have somewhere with light and space for your hens lined up, before the restrictions come in.
In reality I don't think many people actually put their hens down, but some were kept in far from ideal conditions.
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New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2017, 10:38:46 am »
Well I have those rather large runs (2 of them - one is 4 by 6 meters, and the other is 4 x 3 meters) - so they are mesh all over, and inside them are coops which the chickens can lay and sleep. Generally in the mornings before we properly get up for the day or at night, we leave them in there only - and then let them out to roam field time during the day. But in case of bird flu - which is what I want to prepare for - would this be sufficient to keep them in those? It wouldn't be ideal for them but they'd be pretty happy to be in there than put to pasture permanently.

Now as for wild birds, I'd suspect the majority would have no access to the inside BUT could little birds get through the mess holes? Maybe? We're talking about mesh which was intended to be used on chicken runs (or small rodent) - so pretty small holes but not enough to keep a sparrow or wren...maybe not, they could if they saw good food available, get in. Also, I generally have one half covered with tarp in on one, the other has a pre-made tarp made to fit it on one half. So wild birds flying over top could have droppings?

Just trying to be prepared for such an occasion and whilst have chooks before, never had them during a bird flu.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2017, 11:49:23 am »
Sounds like you're halfway there.  Cover the whole runs with a tarp, well secured, just over the top to keep out migrating birds' droppings.  To prevent smaller birds getting in, keep the feed in a messless feeder so there's nothing to tempt them in.  Wrens wouldn't go for dropped feed anyway as they are insectivores, but sparrows and other seed eaters love hen feed.  Our hens loved having dry earth and scattered straw to scratch around in, with extra greens for interest and fresh vitamins - boredom in a small space for normally free ranging hens can be a problem so watch out for bullying.  I don't think you can realistically ensure that not a single sparrow dropping ends up in your pens, and it's the migrating birds coming across from Europe which are the major problem.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Sherbatious border

  • Joined Aug 2016
Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2017, 06:43:51 pm »
I know various species such as robins and blackbirds come here from the continent in winter (also fieldfares and redwings of course) but as I understand it, it's wildfowl such as ducks and geese they worry about most, hence the concern in coastal areas here in East Anglia. I have a mesh covered run partially covered with tarps, and can sling another tarp over the uncovered section quite easily to prevent any droppings falling in from passing birds. My hens live permanently in their covered run. When I had them in the open I was feeding half the jackdaws and magpies in the area and then I lost two lovely young hens to a predator, (my neighbours lost all 4 of their free range hens around the same time) so that was it, Fort Flox from then on.

 

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