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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14729
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 16 10:39 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Thanks to Monsieur Reynard and a Sunday roast, I have few birds at the moment, so they can stay in their covered runs (which they were in anyway thanks to Monsieur Reynard) The large fowl are in a weldmesh run, so they are fine. The bantams are in a covered eglu, but the mesh is slightly larger and a sparrow has taking to squeezing through and pinching the food. Not sure what I can do about that.

When I kept hens in my greenhouses, the foxes only tried to get into the one with the broken pane. I don't think they could smell the chickens in the enclosed one, and we had no losses. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it might not be as risky as you think. Any port in a storm and all.

I'm not hugely concerned. My flock is not a commercial one and gets eaten at the drop of a hat anyway. I'm not selling or moving any poultry, so I can't spread it. No one handles the birds but me, and I have specific clothing and boots I don't use for anything else. I suppose we could contract it, and then spread it further among wild birds, but it would be very limited given that there is only one sparrow that gets in! Obviously, I won't be letting children have contact with the birds, and I don't want them all to die, but it's hard to see how we could pose much of a risk to the industry, which is presumably DEFRAs main concern. I would think public health is more at risk, but as there's no restriction on movement, I'm guessing it's mainly protecting industry at present (I'm not ignoring the instructions or anything, I just feel it's aimed at preventing epidemics from damaging businesses financially rather than anything else)

Ducks and geese are going to have it hard, and I suppose they are most at risk if it's spreading by faeces, because of their indiscriminate grazing habits.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 16 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I read in a French report that actually the boffins see the greatest risk to the disease spreading is via back yard chickens as there are so many of them spread fairly evenly over a large area making the disease easy to spread via wild birds. Pretty much everyone in rural France has a few chickens. I do not know if my neighbour has shut her flock in (she does have a large barn) but I know others who have no suitable shelters.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33539
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 16 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This was also an issue ten years ago. People have had time to build shelters or other precautions.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13458

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 16 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In this country, keeping chickens has become the in thing to do very quickly and as a result, many poultry keepers are inexperienced and lack the facilities and or the practical knowledge to be able to implement what Defra are asking for.

I registered as a poultry keeper some years ago and the only information that I've received has come from what has been on the telly, or on certain forums and face book groups. I haven't had any letters or E-mails from Defra.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33539
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 16 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They're not great. I get letters from DEFRA about my chickens, which I never told them I had, because it was a million years ago, and there were only two of them.

And my cows. They still demand I have my TB test annually, and threaten to fine me when I don't bother. I think it's a waste of time, and just ignore it.

I'm sure TB is a major issue for beef farmers, but as my only cows are in the deep freeze, and have been for nearly two years, I'm not convinced they are either a risk, or that the test will work.

gythagirl



Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 1404
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our 8 chooks are now in the polytunnel - with their coop and within netting to ensure they don't peck the sides - and the electrified netting is around the tunnel. Can only do this because it's winter, of course, or roast chicken would be on the menu.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I didn't go for the polytunnel option in the end as it would mean a lot of work to sort out and risked a fox trying to tear in even if the ducks were safe in a dog cage. So ducks and hens are all together in a fairly large bit of the barn. Wild birds could still fly through the grill gate at the front but if I covered it then the birds would be in almost darkness so I'll take that risk. To date we have no cases here in Normandy.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32493
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

"I'm sure TB is a major issue for beef farmers, but as my only cows are in the deep freeze, and have been for nearly two years, I'm not convinced they are either a risk, or that the test will work."

with a few discrete cameras set up ,the investment in a vet visit would be paid back by the almost certainly viral footage of the greeting, showing the defra letter, taking said vet to the herd opening the freezer and getting their response on hd

you might need your running boots until the vet saw the funny side of it but i recon most would find it hysterical.

defra might be a bit red faced though but they have set themselves up for it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32493
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

glad folk are finding practical solutions, plagues are a pest even if they do get tt to get her flu jab.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33539
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

To be honest, I'm half hoping they'll take me to court over it, so I can have my You've Been Framed 250.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35808
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've got the hens/bantams in covered runs but am having to keep the (three) waterfowl outside. I am keeping feed limited and under cover. I can't see how it's going to work, tbh. There are so many pheasants and wild birds it's bound to get in to the local population. If the big boys keep their birds inside and boot wash etc that should keep it out of their barns. But for small/freerange/backyard/waterfowl keepers it's a big worry.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14729
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Green Rosie wrote:
I read in a French report that actually the boffins see the greatest risk to the disease spreading is via back yard chickens as there are so many of them spread fairly evenly over a large area making the disease easy to spread via wild birds


I don't think that's really logical. Chickens are stationery birds with a limited range. They can't spread it outside their range, which is tiny. Much smaller than wild birds for most. Sure the birds would spread it equally quickly among themselves, as there are also so many of them spread over a wide area also? Unless it is their feed is attracting many wild birds to congregate and thus take infections to other flocks. In which case one would think all feeding stations would be a problem, not just chickens.

I'm not saying it's wrong, just that I don't understand the reasoning. I'm also complying. I just don't get the reasoning. It smacks of looking like you're doing something to me.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I view it like this:

The greatest risk at the moment is from migrating birds bringing the disease to new areas where they can potentially infect the wild bird population and any outdoor poultry (ducks/chickens etc). The wild birds can spread the disease amongst themselves and the risk of them infecting each other increases as they gather around poultry feeding stations/water ... and possibly even bird tables. Take the backyard poultry out of the equation and there are fewer points of contact for wild birds. So the wild birds are probably still the main vectors of the disease but small poultry flocks act as gathering points where infection can spread more easily in an otherwise more disparate wild population.

Does anyone know if there were any restrictions on feeding wild birds during the 2006 outbreak?

yummersetter



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 3191
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've hidden the chicken feeders and penned the hens in a covered run. It's irritated the rook and jackdaw raiders that were born and raised within a few metres of the chicken house immensely but I don't think the incoming wild birds and pheasants even notice, they're all fat, sozzled and shrieking with joy about the fallen apples from two acres of fruit trees.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14729
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 16 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I quite agree, GR. I would imagine that wild bird feeding stations encourage a greater variety and number of wild birds to congregate and are much more of a risk. I suspect chickens are neither her nor there. It's like blaming an old people's home for an epidemic, and ignoring pubs and shopping centres. Sure, the residents will get it, but they certainly won't be spreading it far, and they'll get it from people who go to other community gatherings.

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