Wednesday 7 December 2016

Bird Flu!!!

Quick one here. I know I have been away from posting for a while though I have been reading other blogs.
Still incredibly busy here, though it should slack off a bit soon now that  the Civic Society's public consultation is over, with the assessment of results nearly complete.
The big news today is BIRD FLU!
It is the first time that we have been asked to keep our free-range birds in for 30days because of bird flu on the continent. This request (on the news) was really quite robust when in the past it has been more of a suggestion. So today before I let the girls out of their 3 sleeping/laying/fox proof homes, I gathered various pallets, string etc so that I could secure them away from wild birds.
As someone who prides herself on the freedom my girls have, I am saddened that they will not have their lovely lives for a month. Not as upset as the girls you understand, as they are seriously p****d off!
The 6 almost-pullets in the goose house are now restricted to that house and the small run attached. The goathouse crew (new cockerel, a couple of broodys and grown chicks) are now shut in the goathouse. Later today I shall combine these two groups into the goathouse as they will have more space there. The main flock are excluded from the orchard and are in the first run before the orchard where we usually feed them. This run is netted above so should exclude all but the smallest birds, who access this run from all sorts of entry points!

Here are some of the orchard hens. This enclosed area is four times the bit you can see here, The little old house you can see is left there as a place to shelter, with some nice dry soil underneath for bathing. Behind me is a hen house that opens onto this run too, at the moment  no one is using it, though it is available if they want it. Further through the run is the entrance to the main chicken house and through the fencing is the orchard.

Here is a pic of the hens in the orchard (on the other side of the part of the fence you can see above) a while ago, they are crossing the pond that will certainly miss now that they are "locked in"
And here is the empty orchard this morning! A  rather sad sight.
I guess I will be using some of the stores I put by ( to keep them interested in the winter) sooner than I expected.
All for now, hoping to blog again soon.


  1. Just finishing doing prevention tasks here, the main run of the chickens is already netted with bird netting but the smaller run adjoining wasn't so I have netted that with fruit cage netting, disinfectant mats in place at the farm entrance, and foot bath in place, there is only the doves to confine but I cant do that until they roost tonight.

  2. I remember the last time, what a worry, we had over 100 hens who were free range and had to move them inside where they were rather squashed, which seemed really cruel. I did my only 5 minutes of fame thing on local TV explaining about what we had to do.
    I bet there won't be a frozen turkey to be had in the shops as everyone will panic about getting a fresh one for Christmas!
    Hope it's resolved soon but its a nasty strain this time.

  3. We only have about a dozen very old hens, so I am not sure whether the farmer intends to keep them in or not.

  4. The last time it happened here, my hens had just been killed by next-door's dogs, so I was able to ignore the rulings.

  5. It seems harsh for us with only a few hens, but I suppose if DEFRA dictates so be it, can see my hens going mad in the next month though.

  6. I remember back in the 90's when there was an outbreak of Newcastle's all the hens had to be in housed for over a month, not much fun for them or us as we had 1400 birds at the time. But all producers complied and the outbreak was contained.

  7. I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited.Thank you.