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Nick

Put your birds inside

On the off chance any here still has livestock.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38231416
tim_and_nicky

The sparrows fly in and eat the chicken food, hard to exclude them without just shutting the birds up completely. I am not sorry about the foie gras tho, it is cruel and the sooner it is stopped the better.
yummersetter

Quote:
The British Poultry Council said eggs ( . . from confined birds in sheds) could still be sold as free range because the measures were compulsory.


but . . but . . if the eggs are not actually laid by free-ranging chickens then that's a fib.

People are suggesting keeping small numbers of chickens in polytunnels but I'd have to start trying to catch our flighty five at lunchtime in order to get them back into their sturdy house in the orchard by sunset.

December . . just when the orchards have so many thousands of visiting birds cleaning up the fallen fruit that you have to shout to be heard above the racket.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Last time I heard of precautions taken in the east riding, it was thought acceptable for small producers to have outdoor pens with netted tops, with the key aims being to deter wild birds from perching and pooping near food and water supplies. This sounds more feasible than shutting anything right up, I reckon?
Bodger

I've just been reading this with horror. I'm really going to struggle to comply now that these measures have been implemented in Wales.
I have numerous ducks and hens which have the complete run of our smallholding during the daytime. I let them out in the morning and they free range until I lock them up at night. They are then in what are quite small but cosy sheds. I definitely couldn't lock them up in those 24/7 for a 30 day period, I'm going to have to do some serious thinking.

I keep geese and ducks and I've been told that a guy came on the TV this morning who apparently said that for welfare reasons, geese and ducks might not have to be put under cover as long as they have their food and water placed under cover away from wild birds. I've just spent half the day getting outbuildings sorted for mine but I'd be more than happy not to have to keep them indoors for the next thirty days.

As of a short while ago, I'm in a position now to get all my chickens away from wild birds but as I've just said, its my geese that I'm concerned about.
IMO they're far more dependent on being free range than my chickens. I say this because the original chickens in the wild, were birds of the jungle floor, so by nature, they're not so dependent on the wide open spaces. Ducks and geese, however most definitely are.. We could do with some definitive guidance as to what restrictions we need to implement when it comes to webbed poultry. My geese are currently eating lots of grass and receive a small amount of grain morning and night. They're grazers and they can't do much grazing if they're on concrete.
dpack

hope you can all find a way to "comply" that covers the practical and necessary without harming the flocks or you.

i made tt book a flu jab for the morning ,which was moderately tricky but as her asthma and flu do not mix well it seemed worth the grumbling. not as tricky as housing a bunch of wanderers at short notice.

i spose the free range turkey and other seasonal fowl trade will probably bring slaughter forward by a week or so and chill em a bit longer?. if they cant it could wipe em out economically to have to slaughter too soon and virtually give them away . how long does a turkey or goose last if chilled? . i recon a week tops is enough for fowl but i think some go cold for longer but it does not seem like 3 weeks in a fridge would be ok?
Bodger

OK see what you think of this.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

From what I can see, it looks as though my geese can remain on free range as long as I make sure that their food and water is placed under cover and out of reach of wild birds but what about my ducks? What constitutes it being impractical to keep them locked up for the next 30 days? Currently every night I herd fifteen ducks into a 10x 10 pig sty to keep them safe from the fox. They're let out every morning into our fields to forage and I don't think its practical to keep them in there any longer than I do already. I have nowhere else to put them? What do you think?
Green Rosie

It has now been announced that poultry in Normandy must be kept inside. Luckily my bird numbers are at a minimum - turkeys already slaughtered, ducks just 3 and 14 layers. I was thinking about putting the hens in the polytunnel but doubt it is fox proof - but I could put the ducks in there and then shut them in a dog cage in there at night. I can probably put the hens in the barn next to the pigs but I will need to rig up a door as the last one broke and maybe add extra fencing to stop them getting through to the pigs ... all of this should be doable if blommin' inconvenient. I really feel for you, Bodger with no easy solution.

I was also thinking about a foot dip for my boots before going in to the poultry. Would a solution of bleach be OK or do I need to buy something specialist?
sean

Bleach will be fine. It's a virus innit.
Nick

If it lives thru bleach, we have bigger problems.
Green Rosie

Bleach it is then!
Green Rosie

What strength solution?
sean

Generous dollop in a washing-up bowl of water.
Green Rosie

Sounds good to me, thanks Sean thumbright
mousjoos

My hens stay in their pen now; the top is netted & they're fed morning & evening, & the food doesn't hang around long enough for other birds to shit on it...they said here a few months back that folks with chooks hd to declare them in order to pay a "tax" that would finance research & therefore better protection of poultry flocks....yeah right! that died a death pdq
wellington womble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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 Laughing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Chez

I think one of the points is that domestic poultry provide a contact with humans. So humans can then spread it. So if the chap who works at Bernard Matthews visits his aunty who has a few hens, who get it from wild birds and he drives through infected faeces in her drive and then goes to work in the same car and has it on his tyres, it spreads. I suppose the same goes for the wild bird feeding stations. I wonder what's happening at places like Slimbridge? Are they closing for the duration?
dpack

it isnt as much about spreading it as such but if a human with say an H1N1 (this years special offer ) strain also got the birdy version the virus can gene swap and potentially create a real monster.

the potential direct damage from a birdy strain is mostly to the birdy industry as in humans it usually isnt much worse than a very bad cold and does not easily transmit either bird to human (drinking blood is a bad idea) or human to human.
SteveP

If anyone wants to track the H5N8 cases, a link taken from http://recombinomics.co/ has it plotted on google maps.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=1aNOepBDPUd0zdRnQE1UbSW8djsk&ll=48.811159431015916%2C10.67871096875001&z=6

A long URL sorry.
Chez

Interesting, thank you.
Green Rosie

From a French site I am following it looks like there is a handful more cases n the SW of France plus one in the Alps but nothing, to date, anywhere else.
Treacodactyl

Poultry gatherings are now also suspended:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/poultry-gatherings-suspended-following-avian-flu-case
Green Rosie

A wild duck in S Wales has now been identified with bird flu.
Treacodactyl

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38405889
dpack

hope the keep em in precautions work for those who have.

the bbc might be right about transfer of "this strain" to humans but i think i remember some cases of bird based strains being transferred to humans among Asian poultry workers via the birds blood which some drink warm as a snack while working at slaughter time.

who linky about transfer of h5n1.

the current avian strain is h5n8 but that is no reason to get all vampiric with this years xmas dinner.
Bodger

There were cases of humans getting bird flu out in places like the far east but they were virtually living and sleeping in the same rooms as their birds.
dpack

linky to why good biosecurity makes sense even for a few birds.
efwellywoman

Has to be said that though I had expected it to be a complete and total pain, my birds are actually loving it in the polytunnels - mainly strawed down, but I'm digging a patch a day in each tunnel for them to scratch in & have been able to keep them in their normal groups (42+26+23) so not getting any social issues so far. They are so happy that I'm even beginning to think of doing the same thing again next winter - no mud, no torrents....I even sat in with my Welsummer flock this morning for a teabreak (yes I was properly footbathed....) Does anyone else over winter their birds in polytunnels? Any thoughts or experiences to share?
coffee2
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I know they're used in some permaculture places to clean up in between cropping periods. Don't see why overwintering inside would be a problem, given sufficient ventilation and predator security Smile I imagine the natural light would be good for them over winter?
Green Rosie

I was going to put my ducks in the polytunnel but for me it was to complicated - I'd need to fox proof the outside and clear a lot of thing out of there that would otherwise get pooped on. How do you deal with fox security efwellywoman?
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Extended to end Feb

https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html
chickenlady

Sad
efwellywoman

I was going to put my ducks in the polytunnel but for me it was to complicated - I'd need to fox proof the outside and clear a lot of thing out of there that would otherwise get pooped on. How do you deal with fox security efwellywoman?


I've netted around the tunnels (that really was a complete pain!) and close up all ventilator flaps at suppertime. The tunnels themselves are made of the reinforced material that has a pretty heavy mesh in rather than just straight plastic (chosen because even good quality thermoplas gets shredded by the wind very quickly here) so thats a bit of an advantage tho I'm still checking every morning for any signs of fox attempts. If I had any money, my first choice would have been to use electric netting....but I don't , so I've just had to work with what I'd got. I did have to clear everything out of the tunnels and now have piles of pots, staging and the like to store somewhere else, but I have some very rare birds that would be devastating to lose, so have just had to accept the chaos. I'm also doing the footbath thing in and out of the tunnel area too which another complete pain Rolling Eyes
efwellywoman

Extended to end Feb

https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html

Hey ho, I guess we were all expecting it.
What does really worry me is what on earth I'm going to do if this is still going on when the weather warms up. Even if I make fine mesh doors for both tunnel ends to max the airflow I think it will still get too warm for the birds in the spring. I guess I could try green house shading....hmmm. Really hoping this will come to an end before I have to deal with that one... scratch
gythagirl

Our 7 hens are in our tunnel, with the electric net round the outside. They're enclosed within, tho not the whole area as we have strawberries in a couple of beds, and although bored, (I imagine!) it's nice to have them protected from the winter weather.

However, OH has been counting the days til we can let them out as omg there is a thick layer of dust over EVERYTHING - from the interior walls to the stored dinghy and every nook and cranny. OH thinks he'll have to power wash the walls. Also we've had an attack of red mite AND now have rats in the tunnel, despite the bait box that has had to be introduced.

I do think the main problem is going to be the rising temps though - so we'll have to be sorting out a compromise solution soon...
dpack

having had a quick look solar power fans are available and might be a lot cheaper than building a new defra approved isolation unit hen house.

a few quids worth of cheapo space blankets and some gaffer tape might work quite well but would restrict the primary use of growing veg quite a bit.

best hope is that the problem burns out before the weather warms up too much
Green Rosie

[quote="efwellywoman:1472035"]
I've netted around the tunnels (that really was a complete pain!) /quote]

Electric fencing would be my only option. It would be hard but not impossible to put up but getting electricity there would be nigh on impossible. Plus I will want to start using the tunnel soon so whilst ducks in the polytunnel sounds like a nice idea in theory I am not so sure about it in practice.
Bodger

Rosie, foxes will go through your poly to get at your ducks as though it wasn't there. I have a friend living up the road who lost the lot. dpack

if you use cardboard mulch and trimming to keep the weeds from earthing the fence a 12v battery and smallish pv panel will power quite a large distance of electric fence with no battery swapping Wink Woodburner

Extended to end Feb

https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html

Hey ho, I guess we were all expecting it.
What does really worry me is what on earth I'm going to do if this is still going on when the weather warms up. Even if I make fine mesh doors for both tunnel ends to max the airflow I think it will still get too warm for the birds in the spring. I guess I could try green house shading....hmmm. Really hoping this will come to an end before I have to deal with that one... scratch

Ironically, although I did spot it as BS, as yet another attempt to stop home/small scale food production, under the flimsy guise of . . . health and safety? (Is this one even supposed to be one of the 'more likely to mutate to lethal human' versions? I haven't heard anyone say so.) I thought it would be lifted once the AI passed. . . I guess not enough people have given up to increase agroindustry's share sufficiently, but seeing as they want 100% that's not really surprising.
Oh, I know, don't tell me . . . the AI hasn't passed yet. . .
Woodburner

if you use cardboard mulch and trimming to keep the weeds from earthing the fence a 12v battery and smallish pv panel will power quite a large distance of electric fence with no battery swapping Wink

Cardboard - The 'waste handling by licensed people only' has finally shut off my last supply of cardboard Mad

For this particular purpose, I can still get alternatives, but it's a lot trickier, and not biodegradeable which I did actually like, despite the fact it meant I had to keep replacing it.
dpack

re the waste handling thing a chap i know buys the "waste" as his raw material thus avoiding the problem for his compost / gardening business.

iirc a years worth of "waste" coffee grounds or mouldy veg cost a whole one new pence Wink

buying cardboard as electric fence insulation panels seems plausible, penny a mile might be a fair price Laughing
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