The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: Backinwellies on December 20, 2016, 02:05:45 pm

Title: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on December 20, 2016, 02:05:45 pm
I see they have at last stopped gatherings of poultry  .... can still transport them all over the country though!   With transmission far more likely from poultry to poultry rather than from wild birds (other than wetland birds) this seems daft!.... or am I missing something?!
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Bramham Wiltshire Horns on December 20, 2016, 02:25:25 pm
yes too many grey areas
either stop movement or dont!
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: pgkevet on December 20, 2016, 02:30:07 pm
..it's the holiday season so even more birds need to be moved. Short term economic motives always trump logic.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 20, 2016, 02:45:33 pm
The last case of this strain of avian flu was two years ago and it prompted measures around that outbreak. Those restrictions were lifted just over a month later. This time, presumably, because of the number of cases in Europe, the reaction had been much wider restrictions.


Most of us are only dealing with a few birds. Spare a thought for those people who are having to house hundreds of birds and whose livelihoods are at risk.


There aren't many poultry sales at this time of year but I assume there needs to be some transport of birds to keep the poultry industry going but it isn't through open markets anyway.

Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on December 20, 2016, 02:51:15 pm

There aren't many poultry sales at this time of year but I assume there needs to be some transport of birds to keep the poultry industry going but it isn't through open markets anyway.

The Bernard Matthews outbreak was though to be via just one of these business transports ... will be interesting to see if they discover the cause this time
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: hexhammeasure on December 20, 2016, 04:21:43 pm
has pigeon racing ended for the year?

Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Eve on December 20, 2016, 04:43:16 pm
..it's the holiday season so even more birds need to be moved. Short term economic motives always trump logic.


The christmas birds have all been processed already, that started weeks ago. Not a turkey, goose or duck left to do.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Daisys Mum on December 20, 2016, 05:11:21 pm
has pigeon racing ended for the year?


Apparently pigeons don't pose a great risk  ???
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Penninehillbilly on December 20, 2016, 06:24:36 pm
has pigeon racing ended for the year?


Apparently pigeons don't pose a great risk  ???
??????
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Daisys Mum on December 20, 2016, 06:32:10 pm
"The ban on gatherings does not apply to pigeons or aviary birds which are at much lower risk of passing the disease to domestic poultry"
[/size]As taken from gov. Press release. Perhaps they don't poop as they fly over your chicken runs[/color] ::)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: macgro7 on December 21, 2016, 07:47:17 am
What gatherings do you mean?
Went to the melton cattle market yesterday.  There were a lot less birds than normal but it was running! Chickens, pigeons, ducks, geese and turkeys have been sold there
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 21, 2016, 10:15:06 am

There aren't many poultry sales at this time of year but I assume there needs to be some transport of birds to keep the poultry industry going but it isn't through open markets anyway.

The Bernard Matthews outbreak was though to be via just one of these business transports ... will be interesting to see if they discover the cause this time


There have always been movement restrictions in the outbreak and surveillance zones, has there not?


Also, is part of the problem in any disease outbreak, that by the time people know there is a problem and report it movements will have already taken place? With the large producers there is a record of the movements and part of the investigation is to trace all the movements.


It seems to me that when there is a case, in this country, looking at the information provided by the government, they are generally isolated and remain contained, which must say something for the measures put in place and the management of bio security in these places.


All the incidents seem to blame wild birds as the source.

Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 21, 2016, 10:16:39 am
What gatherings do you mean?
Went to the melton cattle market yesterday.  There were a lot less birds than normal but it was running! Chickens, pigeons, ducks, geese and turkeys have been sold there


Chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys should not have been sold there yesterday.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 21, 2016, 12:01:47 pm

There have always been movement restrictions in the outbreak and surveillance zones, has there not?

Well, if you read the DEFRA document for the affected farm in Lincolnshire:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/578789/ai-pz-lincolnshire-161216.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/578789/ai-pz-lincolnshire-161216.pdf)

The surveillance zone only requires records of the movements to be kept as soon as possible after the event - it seems the movements are not in any way restricted.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 21, 2016, 12:37:13 pm
All the incidents seem to blame wild birds as the source.
As with all wars, truth is an early casualty. It seems there are strong arguments both ways. see:-
http://www.nabu-buchholz.de/app/download/6686478163/Steiof+et+al+2015.pdf?t=1480584163 (http://www.nabu-buchholz.de/app/download/6686478163/Steiof+et+al+2015.pdf?t=1480584163)

And then:-

http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_031116b.html (http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_031116b.html)

They can't both be right.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 21, 2016, 01:11:17 pm

There have always been movement restrictions in the outbreak and surveillance zones, has there not?

Well, if you read the DEFRA document for the affected farm in Lincolnshire:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/578789/ai-pz-lincolnshire-161216.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/578789/ai-pz-lincolnshire-161216.pdf)

The surveillance zone only requires records of the movements to be kept as soon as possible after the event - it seems the movements are not in any way restricted.


That is not how I read it. There are licences and you have to apply for them, meet the requirements and keep records.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 21, 2016, 01:28:49 pm
All the incidents seem to blame wild birds as the source.
As with all wars, truth is an early casualty. It seems there are strong arguments both ways. see:-
http://www.nabu-buchholz.de/app/download/6686478163/Steiof+et+al+2015.pdf?t=1480584163 (http://www.nabu-buchholz.de/app/download/6686478163/Steiof+et+al+2015.pdf?t=1480584163)

And then:-

http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_031116b.html (http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_031116b.html)




They can't both be right.


I looked at the reports for the outbreaks here not around the world. It is generally accepted wild birds carry and pass on the virus and equally if you have movements of infected poultry from one place to another then yes, they will pass the virus on too. I assume that when one farmed bird catches the virus it then passes it to another and so on through the unit.


I am also sure that in some places in the world the trade in poultry may differ enormously in standards.


I am not sure what your point was about "truth" but what would be the point of saying the likely cause of an outbreak was wild birds if a unit had bought in birds from abroad and a link could be traced back to source.


Obviously, there is much said, printed and reported that is questionable and if we can't accept the reports on the outbreaks here why bother taking any notice of the guidelines either?
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Womble on December 21, 2016, 01:34:33 pm
I just had an email from APHA telling me about the restrictions on gatherings. It's nice to see they've improved their communication compared with a couple of weeks ago  :thumbsup:.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 21, 2016, 02:07:17 pm

I am not sure what your point was about "truth" but what would be the point of saying the likely cause of an outbreak was wild birds if a unit had bought in birds from abroad and a link could be traced back to source.

In the case of the Bernard Matthews case the EU commission rejected the Hungarian connection within a few days of the outbreak being confirmed at the plant and in this were (and as far as I know remain) at variance to DEFRA. To my mind the commission with its total commitment to free trade are going to have a considerable preference for the conclusion that wild birds are the vector.

You may think I'm just an old cynic but I was for 20 years a scientist in a 'backwater' subject that became central to the biggest political hot potato of the last 30 years so I have first-hand experience of how such things work.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 22, 2016, 02:24:35 pm
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but:-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38405889 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38405889)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Womble on December 22, 2016, 02:34:03 pm
OK, so what happens now?

I presume either this will pass in time, and we will eventually be declared 'flu free'..... OR it will become endemic in the wild (and presumably domestic) bird population; lots of birds will die, some will recover and have immunity (Would the pass that on to their offspring then, or not?).


What would that mean for poultry keepers and farmers in the UK? Does anybody know?




Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 22, 2016, 02:57:13 pm

I presume either this will pass in time, and we will eventually be declared 'flu free'..... OR it will become endemic in the wild (and presumably domestic) bird population; lots of birds will die, some will recover and have immunity (Would the pass that on to their offspring then, or not?).

http://www.fao.org/Ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_031116b.html (http://www.fao.org/Ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_031116b.html)

It says "There is no long term carrier of H5 avian influenza." - One can only hope this is right (I think I read a paper where wild species were infected with HPAI (nice aren't we?) and they either died or on recovery were not carriers of the virus)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 22, 2016, 03:32:12 pm
Hardly a surprise. If wild birds affect our domestic poultry there has got to be wild birds out there with it. Under normal circumstances who would have paid any attention to a dead duck?
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 22, 2016, 04:16:29 pm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/20/bird-show-ban-defra-crackdown-chicken-avian-flu-exclusion-zone/ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/20/bird-show-ban-defra-crackdown-chicken-avian-flu-exclusion-zone/)
 :eyelashes: :fc:
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 22, 2016, 06:02:20 pm
Under normal circumstances who would have paid any attention to a dead duck?

More than you might think:-
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/434264/pub-survrep-w0115.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/434264/pub-survrep-w0115.pdf)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on December 23, 2016, 08:04:30 am
Thanks for link colins that is really interesting.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: ColinS on December 23, 2016, 02:56:50 pm
Here is a link to the most recent WDSP reports:-
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wildlife-disease-surveillance-reports-2016 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wildlife-disease-surveillance-reports-2016)

All credit to the charities and voluntary organisations like the WWT for doing the 'heavy lifting' and less than savoury work needed for these surveys. I'm impressed with the volume and detail of the work done.

Been trying to do our bit by checking over our patch rather more carefully than normal - so far all we have seen is one rabbit with possible myxomatosis. I hope that's all we see.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: doganjo on December 23, 2016, 05:21:53 pm
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but:-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38405889 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38405889)
Just found this too :( Guess incarceration will be for a lot longer than the beginning of next year.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-confirmed-in-wild-birds-in-england-and-scotland (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-confirmed-in-wild-birds-in-england-and-scotland)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Victorian Farmer on December 25, 2016, 12:03:47 am
The pheasants will be the big problem and birds found dead means its been about 2 weeks. You will find if it stops mild it will spread like Wield fire. I see lots of pens for sale culling lots of stock. I got rid of all the ducks and geese. With out the sales I don't see the point of hatching eggs. It could go on till spring.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: doganjo on January 03, 2017, 04:35:14 pm
I've just registered for alerts on Bird flu so I know exactly when I can let my birds out.

http://animalhealth.system-message.co.uk/AH_subscribe_index.php (http://animalhealth.system-message.co.uk/AH_subscribe_index.php)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on January 03, 2017, 05:39:44 pm
Just confirmed a case in domestic flock in Carmarthenshire :(   think we can forget the 6th!! 
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: thesuffolksmallholding on March 30, 2017, 07:47:56 pm
The guidelines are typical DEFRA, blurry and unclear!
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: New Riverside Farm 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!
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Fleecewife 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.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: New Riverside Farm 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.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Fleecewife 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.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Sherbatious border 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.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Rupert the bear on December 11, 2019, 08:49:14 am
Just a heads up.

Bird flu confirmed in Suffolk
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/11/bird-flu-cases-confirmed-chicken-farm-suffolk/ (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/11/bird-flu-cases-confirmed-chicken-farm-suffolk/)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on December 11, 2019, 04:23:18 pm
And here's the risk map for it https://defra.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=8cb1883eda5547c6b91b5d5e6aeba90d&fbclid=IwAR17GKBE1nmrtk2u9C9FasGQppGfq1zfpFkTY2CZ6bs__jvquEjqjMCIK-o
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: doganjo on December 11, 2019, 09:45:21 pm
Wow, quite a wide splash area - even up here in central Scotland. I was going to put my young quail outside in their new shed this weekend, think I'll maybe wait a bit
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on December 11, 2019, 10:13:58 pm
Wow, quite a wide splash area - even up here in central Scotland. I was going to put my young quail outside in their new shed this weekend, think I'll maybe wait a bit

Suspect the higher risk areas are less to do with the current outbreak and more to do with the normal pattern of landings for migrating geese.  Some inland locations look to be specifically related to lakes and wetlands so I suspect they're looking at the possibility of sick geese flying over these areas and contaminating land used by domestic fowl.   Always good to keep an eye out for sick or dead birds at this time of year and bag anything suspicious for postmortem.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on December 12, 2019, 08:11:07 am
Praying we don't get another 2017 .. already far too muddy here to keep birds in pen and to be honest when you live close to a pheasant shoot what is the point!
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: mart6 on February 10, 2020, 12:27:36 pm
Urgent warning as bird flu case confirmed on Scottish farm
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/urgent-warning-as-bird-flu-case-confirmed-on-scottish-farm/ar-BBZPUkt?ocid=spartandhp (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/urgent-warning-as-bird-flu-case-confirmed-on-scottish-farm/ar-BBZPUkt?ocid=spartandhp)
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on November 12, 2020, 08:26:30 am
It's back .....  suffolk, cheshire, Devon, Gloucestershire ......   be ready to lock up your birds again!
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Fleecewife on November 12, 2020, 10:17:04 am
The Scottish Gov advice is to 'increase your biosecurity'. I expect bird lockdown will follow at some point.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on November 12, 2020, 10:18:23 am
It's back .....  suffolk, cheshire, Devon, Gloucestershire ......   be ready to lock up your birds again!

Received yesterday... we're not in lockdown yet, but it's coming!

Dear Stakeholder
Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) declared 11 November 2020
In response to the heightened risk of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared in England, Scotland and Wales. It introduces additional biosecurity measures for all poultry and captive bird keepers to protect them from the risk from wild birds. The measures apply to all poultry keepers (including game) whether you keep birds commercially or as pets.
Further details, including the measures that apply in the AIPZ, can be found at GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared, (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared,) GOV.SCOT: https://www.gov.scot/news/avian-influenza-protection-measures-1/ (https://www.gov.scot/news/avian-influenza-protection-measures-1/) and GOV.WALES: https://gov.wales/all-wales-prevention-zone-declared-protect-poultry-avian-flu-0 (https://gov.wales/all-wales-prevention-zone-declared-protect-poultry-avian-flu-0)
APHA
Level H1 County Hall
Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose.
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known viruses whilst within APHA systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems.
Communications on APHA computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.
The message send was initiated by Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Contact apha.corporatecommunications@apha.gov.uk for more information.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: DippyEgg on November 14, 2020, 10:33:06 pm
Oh no! But thanks for the update.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: doganjo on December 01, 2020, 10:13:32 am
Further outbreaks in England announced by APHA a couple of days ago, but all areas in UK are now recommended to conduct bio security
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: doganjo on December 03, 2020, 06:32:06 pm
Just got this from APHA

   GOV.UK

   Animal & Plant Health Agency


Dear Stakeholder

Due to the risk of avian influenza, new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds will come into force on 14 December in England, Scotland and Wales. It will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures. More at GOV.?UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared, (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared,) GOV.SCOT: https://www.gov.scot/news/new-housing-measures-to-protect-poultry-and-captive-birds-against-avian-flu/ (https://www.gov.scot/news/new-housing-measures-to-protect-poultry-and-captive-birds-against-avian-flu/) and GOV.WALES: https://gov.wales/new-housing-measures-protect-poultry-and-captive-birds-against-avian-flu (https://gov.wales/new-housing-measures-protect-poultry-and-captive-birds-against-avian-flu)

APHA
Level H1 County Hall
Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP

Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose.
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known viruses whilst within APHA systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems.
Communications on APHA computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.
The message send was initiated by Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Contact apha.corporatecommunications@apha.gov.uk for more information
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Backinwellies on December 04, 2020, 04:26:47 pm
as predicted ..... 2020 still delivering!!!   :gloomy:
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Kiran on December 07, 2020, 06:42:02 am
I'm relatively new to poultry keeping (8 ducks and 5 chickens). At the moment I can comply by the fact that the birds already have a fully netted run but I imagine they've become quite used to having the space of roaming withings 100m of poultry netting. Appreciate it's a bit of a "how long's a piece of string" question, but any ideas how long the birds are likely to be locked down? I may be able to rig up something with pigeon netting, posts and wire rope but I dont have any real inside space to keep them at the moment and I'm just thinking about what would be best for them. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: harmony on December 07, 2020, 08:55:18 am
I'm relatively new to poultry keeping (8 ducks and 5 chickens). At the moment I can comply by the fact that the birds already have a fully netted run but I imagine they've become quite used to having the space of roaming withings 100m of poultry netting. Appreciate it's a bit of a "how long's a piece of string" question, but any ideas how long the birds are likely to be locked down? I may be able to rig up something with pigeon netting, posts and wire rope but I dont have any real inside space to keep them at the moment and I'm just thinking about what would be best for them. Any thoughts?

Thanks


Nobody knows the answer to that. Bit like "when will the Covid crisis be over?". Plan on it lasting to Spring and hope it is gone before.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Richmond on December 07, 2020, 01:50:30 pm
As others on here have said, "inside" doesn't necessarily mean inside a building, just in an area covered in a way that wild birds cannot enter, eg a pen with netting or tarpaulin over the top. It's very frustrating not knowing when the lockdown will end but I would plan for the long haul. You don't have many birds - can you set up two pens or more that you can switch between over the weeks to prevent any one area getting too soiled? Presume your chickens are separate from your ducks anyway.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Fleecewife on December 07, 2020, 02:00:15 pm
The danger to much of the country comes from migrating birds, so once they've left in spring, our captive birds could be let loose again.


Another danger is from the import of livestock birds from the continent, so that risk may well not decline at the same time.


However, the last time we had to lock down our birds, it did end in spring so  :fc:


For deciding how best to work things for your hens, think of the 'five freedoms':

1)Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour


2)Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area


3)Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment


4)Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind


5)Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering

So you have to balance 3) against the other points, while ensuring you are also guarding against predators.
 
We found last time that our hens actually loved spending the winter in our large polytunnel, escaping from their usual battle with snow and rain. They didn't seem to miss the ranging at all.  We provide them with vitamin filled alternatives such as peck rings: 
https://www.chubbymealworms.co.uk/collections/chicken-treats-1/products/feathers-beaky-fruit-berry-mega-peck-it?variant=20245959737417 (https://www.chubbymealworms.co.uk/collections/chicken-treats-1/products/feathers-beaky-fruit-berry-mega-peck-it?variant=20245959737417)
and fresh veg and herbs (what's remaining growing in the tunnel) and sometimes a square of turf as even hens do like some grass.  Don't forget their dustbath!



Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: DippyEgg on December 07, 2020, 08:35:30 pm
Thinking I could mine in the green house for a bit, but I don't have perchea in there. Any ideas of how to easily to stand alone removeable perches?
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Womble on December 07, 2020, 10:51:42 pm
DippyEgg, just get some fallen branches from the wood and tie them up securely. No fuss, no cost.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Fleecewife on December 07, 2020, 11:43:53 pm
Thinking I could mine in the green house for a bit, but I don't have perchea in there. Any ideas of how to easily to stand alone removeable perches?

Cut a wooden triangle for each end with a slot to support the perch.  Nail the perch to these to hold them secure, the triangles stop them tipping.  Hens prefer square section perches to narrow round ones. We stand ours on the greenhouse benches.  Even in winter the temperature can get very hot inside a greenhouse, so ventilate and cover the roof for shade
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: DippyEgg on December 08, 2020, 09:35:23 pm
Thanks Womble and Fleecewife. The perches in the henhouse are actually removeable, perhaps .i could just hang them up in the greenhouse. We do have a run attached to the henhouse, but it gets quite muddy in there when they're in there all the time.
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Kiran on March 12, 2021, 12:31:29 am
So the ducks seem blissfully ignorant to the whole situation with the exception of when a pair of wild ducks visit "their" pond. They spend most of the day chilling in the sun or splashing about in their temporary plastic box pond. The chickens however seem to get a bit more put out so been trying to find ways to occupy them. Moved the stuff in the run about a few times, also chucked in the odd whole corn on the cob for them to demolish
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: wildandwooly on March 12, 2021, 11:15:51 am
We're the same here. My miniature Appleyard ducks are just carrying on regardless but with similar plastic big shallow trug to have a swim and happily splashing around as usual but are noticing the wild mallards seem to be using the pond! Gandalf the drake seems to be just as busy  ;)
Chickens are not so happy as they're usually completely free range like the ducks but queue up at the gate to their walk in run whenever I'm around hoping to be let out  :'(  I'm doing same moving things around in their run and tying up vegetable 'pinatas' for them to keep them busy and 'footballs' of various veggie kinds so they can have their own lockdown footie matches  :trophy:
I hope it's going to end soon poor things but haven't heard anything so far  :-\
Title: Re: Bird Flu gatherings!
Post by: Kiran on March 13, 2021, 01:00:27 am
I like the vegetable football idea, also saw a friend post about cutting a whole through a cabbage and hanging it so it spins when the chickens peck and pull the leaves off. The theory being it stays a bit fresh for longer I think.