Bird flu pre­cau­tions

Your Chickens - - Charlotte's Chickens -

I have moved all feed­ers and drinkers into my two sta­bles as this will dis­cour­age wild birds com­ing into the gar­den to eat the chick­ens’ feed. It is im­pos­si­ble to phys­i­cally pre­vent wild birds com­ing into the gar­den but this will take away the in­cen­tive. Luck­ily I haven’t bought any birds from the mar­ket for at least six months and my flock, de­spite some be­ing el­derly, are all look­ing healthy.

On De­cem­ber 6, DE­FRA de­clared a 30-day Preven­tion Zone in a bid to stop a vir­u­lent strain of bird flu from spread­ing to Bri­tain from the Con­ti­nent. This re­quired all poul­try keep­ers to keep their birds in­doors or at least un­der­cover. This is be­cause the dis­ease is spread by wild birds, and the ob­jec­tive has been to pre­vent wild birds or their drop­pings com­ing into con­tact with do­mes­tic fowl. DE­FRA has pro­duced a fact­sheet out­lin­ing the steps to take, in­clud­ing ad­vice on feed and drink, wel­fare and biose­cu­rity mea­sures. This is re­pro­duced on page 10.

The dis­ease did spread to Bri­tain, with­out out­breaks in Lin­colnshire, then do­mes­tic flocks in Car­ma­th­en­shire and York­shire, swans in Dorset, pheas­ants in Lan­cashire, and it has been iden­ti­fied in wild birds else­where. In early Jan­uary, DE­FRA ex­tended the Preven­tion Zone to Fe­bru­ary 28 and all poul­try gath­er­ings, such as shows, were can­celled.

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