Your Chickens - - Front Page - SI­MON McEWAN, Ed­i­tor

Th­ese are chal­leng­ing times for hen­keep­ers. All of us are di­rectly af­fected by the re­stric­tions im­posed by DE­FRA to try and halt the spread of bird flu. All do­mes­tic poul­try must be kept in­doors, or at least un­der cover. DE­FRA also rec­om­mends a range of other mea­sures to pre­vent do­mes­tic birds com­ing in con­tact with the wild birds, which carry the dis­ease. The mea­sures will be in place un­til at least Fe­bru­ary 28. Poul­try shows have also been sus­pended.

Some hen­keep­ers have adapted with­out too much dif­fi­culty, by rig­ging up tem­po­rary cov­ers for their runs, or keep­ing their birds in sheds and garages, by en­sur­ing that feed and drink is kept well away from wild birds, and by im­prov­ing biose­cu­rity.

In a spe­cial five-page re­port, on pages 6-10, we talk to poul­try keep­ers across a wide spec­trum to find out how they are cop­ing. We also in­clude a DE­FRA fact­sheet on bird flu.

Let’s stay pos­i­tive and trust that, by spring, this will be over!

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