The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: Richmond on November 24, 2021, 04:45:26 pm

Title: Lockdown is here
Post by: Richmond on November 24, 2021, 04:45:26 pm
Just had notification from APHA - lockdown for all poultry as from Monday 29th November. :(
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Fleecewife on November 24, 2021, 04:59:06 pm
Me too!  I thought judging by last year that we had another couple of weeks....
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Rosemary on November 24, 2021, 05:30:02 pm
Just looked back the diary and we housed ours on 12th December last year. I have heard from a reliable and knowledgeable source that there was an outbreak in the summer, whihc was not publicised. I wonder if this is becoming endemic.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: twizzel on November 24, 2021, 05:31:11 pm
Nice that theyíve given plenty of notice. A week would have been enough. Iíll not get my hens covered by Monday especially with the forecast storm coming at the weekend.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Richmond on November 24, 2021, 06:14:05 pm
I expect there will be yearly lockdowns from now on.  :(   Do we reduce numbers to the point where everything can be housed easily if need be (realistically probably less than 10 hens) or spend a fortune building barns and other undercover areas if we want to keep larger numbers/types of poultry? I for one can't afford the latter. It just seems all wrong somehow. The majority of smallholders' poultry which is allowed to free range as nature intended is far healthier than the commercial flocks in barns (interestingly the majority of bird flu outbreaks are in commercial flocks) but we are told to shut up our birds  just like the commercial ones, therefore stressing our birds and making them more likely to succumb to illness.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: twizzel on November 24, 2021, 06:58:52 pm
I expect there will be yearly lockdowns from now on.  :(   Do we reduce numbers to the point where everything can be housed easily if need be (realistically probably less than 10 hens) or spend a fortune building barns and other undercover areas if we want to keep larger numbers/types of poultry? I for one can't afford the latter. It just seems all wrong somehow. The majority of smallholders' poultry which is allowed to free range as nature intended is far healthier than the commercial flocks in barns (interestingly the majority of bird flu outbreaks are in commercial flocks) but we are told to shut up our birds  just like the commercial ones, therefore stressing our birds and making them more likely to succumb to illness.
If it was short term I could house everything undercover. But not at the expense of leaving my sheep to lamb outside  :roflanim: 
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: harmony on November 24, 2021, 10:28:32 pm
I might of said this last time so apologies if I am repeating myself.


The numbers in wild birds is tiny in comparison to the size of the wild bird population. The figures are on the gov.uk site if you google avian flu. Single figures generally with occasional double figure outbreaks. Usually where you have waterfowl on a particular stretch of water. I appreciate that some birds wont be found or not collected for testing but if wild birds were dying in great numbers I'm sure someone would notice eventually.


We are housing to protect commercial enterprises though outbreaks do occur in domestic settings and one outbreak is a rescue centre.


It seems to me that housing all poultry is unnecessary and anyway lots of people don't comply and the outbreaks stay fairly low. Often commercial sites spread it between their locations through poor bio security. The vast majority of commercial units are housed anyway but infection is still getting in and not from exposure to domestic flocks.


Another option would be to put zones around all commercial units. Annoying for those caught in the zone but better than a blanket housing order affecting many whose chance of getting it is very, very small.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Forestlens on November 24, 2021, 10:47:51 pm
I have a quandary about my rhea (N.B. spelling - not rear!). They graze with the sheep, only eat grass ( and nettles which is a bonus). Iím waiting a response from our ďbirdĒ vet but housing or confining them to a netted cage would rapidly become a welfare issue.
Anyone else mad enough to own them? Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Fleecewife on November 24, 2021, 11:17:52 pm
Ditto our geese - they only eat grass and they graze with the sheep.  During lockdown they are penned on grass - they cope, but it's far from ideal.
There used to be 3 rheas running feral on the estate across the valley, then 3 appeared at a farm in the village - I expect they are the same animals.  I haven't seen them since last lockdown, so perhaps they moved them on because of the same difficulty you have.
Sorry I don't have any advice other than to check with APHA but I suspect they will have to be confined somehow.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Womble on November 25, 2021, 12:23:00 am
Wahey! It's like having another annual festival, just for poultry keepers! #flockdown
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: harmony on November 25, 2021, 07:46:03 am
Wahey! It's like having another annual festival, just for poultry keepers! #flockdown


Or some might think of it as a #flock up!  :coat:
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Richmond on November 25, 2021, 08:31:08 am
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe ducks and geese can be outside, just not with access to water that wild birds use. Unless I hear otherwise that's what I'm doing with mine anyway. I currently have surplus ganders in my flock and if confined they will fight big time. The youngsters need to go in the freezer but currently there's no room due to having recently filled them up with our lamb and pork!
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Backinwellies on November 25, 2021, 08:32:41 am
Nice that theyíve given plenty of notice. A week would have been enough. Iíll not get my hens covered by Monday especially with the forecast storm coming at the weekend.

To be fair there has been so many outbreaks (2 or 3 a day for the past week)  this isnt really a suprise . 
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Bywaters on November 25, 2021, 09:50:06 am
This has been on the cards for a couple of weeks
If you get the Apha (?) updates it was always going to be when and not if, as the reports covered more and more of the UK

Not sure about ducks and geese being exempt - not read that anywhere and they are still poultry / birds
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Forestlens on November 25, 2021, 10:01:37 am
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe ducks and geese can be outside, just not with access to water that wild birds use. Unless I hear otherwise that's what I'm doing with mine anyway. I currently have surplus ganders in my flock and if confined they will fight big time. The youngsters need to go in the freezer but currently there's no room due to having recently filled them up with our lamb and pork!

I think they still have to be in a netted enclosure. Extract below:

Biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts in poultry and captive birds
Advice for all captive bird and poultry keepers (including game birds, waterfowl, and pet birds)
03 November 2021

Domestic ducks and geese
If housing is a government requirement and you keep small numbers of ducks and geese, it may be possible to house them. If this measure is not possible, ducks and geese should be kept in fully netted areas or temporary netted structures, where practical. All feeding and watering should take place under cover. You should consider using wild bird deterrents to prevent contact with wild birds. Where possible, avoid keeping ducks and geese with other poultry species as they often donít show any signs of disease but can still pass it on to chickens, turkeys or other poultry species. End.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Richmond on November 25, 2021, 10:51:05 am
Mmm yes it's the "where practical" bit I'm thinking about.  I don't trust my geese with netting - they will chew it. To provide large rigid structures of wood and weldmesh will cost a fortune.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Penninehillbilly on November 25, 2021, 11:55:06 am
I really can't imagine trying to keep my geese confined, their overnight pen is far too small, OK  just for overnight, fed in there at nights, I have a very small field below their hut, they will go in there, with a bucket of water. The frog pond will be covered over somehow.
We don't get migrating birds, apart from occasional flight of geese way up high.
Hens will be in. One trio lives in polytunnel since last year anyway, other trio plenty of space in their 4x6 shed with extra raised platform.
In some ways, it's good that it's over the worst part of the year weather wise. Not fit for them to be out anyway normally (Up here in the Pennines anyway)
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: doganjo on November 27, 2021, 01:03:45 pm
Nice that theyíve given plenty of notice. A week would have been enough. Iíll not get my hens covered by Monday especially with the forecast storm coming at the weekend.
I had got mine in and under over but teh gales last night have devastated my orchard and the tarpaulin is hanging by a thread, literally.  No one to help me put it back on for a few days so I'm glad I've only 4 hens.  They are inside a weldmesh run so nothing except teeny birds can get in anyway, but I hope one of my kids comes over tomorrow
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: Fleecewife on November 27, 2021, 05:01:30 pm
Nice that theyíve given plenty of notice. A week would have been enough. Iíll not get my hens covered by Monday especially with the forecast storm coming at the weekend.
I had got mine in and under over but teh gales last night have devastated my orchard and the tarpaulin is hanging by a thread, literally.  No one to help me put it back on for a few days so I'm glad I've only 4 hens.  They are inside a weldmesh run so nothing except teeny birds can get in anyway, but I hope one of my kids comes over tomorrow


Oh no, that's a bummer. What happened to your fruit trees?  Our windbreak fence which is one side of the goose enclosure snapped off all the deer posts in the wind - they had been there for 25 years so it was perhaps inevitable.  One tree down, and a roundy tin ex-pig now sheep shelter (big and very heavy) was flipped right over a fence, mashing it as it did so. Not much compared to others, but a nuisance just before lockdown.  I think there will be a few folk in your situation doganjo.
Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: lord flynn on November 28, 2021, 07:31:17 am
I am glad that I have cut back on ducks but itís still a pain. The Muscovy are pretty laid back and donít seem to mind much, the crested will hate it though. the hens I keep in during the winter under lights anyway, they do much better like that.


I work a lot with commercial egg units, some of the largest and the smaller free range organic ones-their biosecurity is very good actually, as with all these things it gets harder at scale and free range units are the hardest. This is the third avian lockdown in what, 5 years? Seems likely that it will become an annual event and people should be prepared for it.



Title: Re: Lockdown is here
Post by: doganjo on November 28, 2021, 10:28:40 am
Quote
What happened to your fruit trees? 
  They're fine, Juliet - they are still only a couple of years old and most are dwarf variety - my kids and my cousin thought ahead of time that as I get older and shorter I wouldn't be able to reach the fruit on the upper branches. :roflanim:  The stakes they put in are well planted a couple of feet in.
The grass was totally flattened though.(maybe a good thing  :innocent:); and the  rhododendron and elder trees had a good pounding

The orchard is on the side of the house so was protected to an extent, the back garden is at the top of the property so took all the force of the wind.  My back fence, which was already about 20 years old, took a hit and is wobbly, but my friend Roy who did my renovations came up yesterday and propped it up.  He'll replace the rotten posts in the summer.  My neighbour behind me returned from London yesterday afternoon to find they had no fence left at all.  So I've been lucky.  Just need to replace my very useful little plastic greenhouse and my pond plants