Avian influenza alert in Europe.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PaulaMc, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2016
    Bolton, England
    Hi all

    In England DEFRA have imposed a 30 day alert for this terrible disease so we all have to keep our hens inside. The 6th of January seems a long way off until they can free range again.

    Have you experienced this and have you any tips please for keeping hens that usually free range, happy?

    I only have 6 and have cobbled together two runs at either side of the coop so that the big ladies don't bully the little silkies.

    Any advice really welcome xx
     
  2. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ah! Keeping them happy, there are many posts here about "boredom busters", just search for it, and they are so simple! And mostly free or low-cost!

    Mine have a suet feeder that hangs and has suet in it now but greens are always good in winter!

    Build a simple frame, depending on weather, of 2x4 and hardware cloth and sprinkle mesclun or wheat seeds in there. Water daily. When it greens up, they will enjoy eating it without destroying it. It can go in the run.

    Hanging a cabbage tetherball, or a cucumber or other type of veggie, makes them work for their treats!

    Scatter a little scratch on the ground and make them exercise and dig for it! they love it!

    Give them a little training, with mealworms or BOSS to come when you call or jump for treats from your hand!

    Mine have a rubbermaid storage container in the run with peat moss and wood ash for dust bathing. They insist on having it!

    A used plastic water bottle with little holes punched in it that you put some scratch or birdseed in...they will roll it around to get the scratch out!

    these are just some of their favorite things! [​IMG]

    Swings and in-run roosts are optimum! As are small logs stood on end they can stand on! You can make all of these easily!

    Keep putting stuff on the run floor they can dig through and scatter ( I just recently added in some shredded paper to the "forest floor"). Hay bales (or best of all, alfalfa, which they will eat and it is good for them) just set in the run so they can dig through and spread it! Even fall leaves are great!

    hope this helps! they will be fine, just something to keep them busy and exploring! then they are less likely to pick
    on each other in a confined space.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm so sorry you all are having to deal with this. It was pretty devastating in the US.

    My understanding for the outbreak here anyway was waterfowl were the big carriers. I'd pay attention to any migrating birds and do my best to keep them away, even with your birds contained.

    I agree there are several threads on boredom busters, as mentioned above. Flakes of hay are great, pallets on cinder blocks moved every few days, a section of plywood just laid out on the floor of the run and flipped over every few days to expose the insects underneath. Anything that's going to provide scratching for food, or simply making things different to focus their little brains on the changes and not the fact the're confined.
     
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  4. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2016
    Bolton, England
    Hi

    Fantastic ideas many thanks.
     
  5. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2016
    Bolton, England
    Thanks for the tips.

    I am like a mad woman shooing out the birds ha ha. I feel so cruel as I usually feed them and don't want them to starve. I have put a feeder at the front of the house but they seem to prefer the back garden where the chickens are.

    Roll on 6th January when the restrictions will hopefully be lifted.
     
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    And so sorry there is an alert, I would feel the same way, that is maddening and scary! Jan 6, come on down!
     
  7. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2016
    Bolton, England
    I know love.

    Thanks for your concern
     
  8. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Update please? Can chickens go outside now? [​IMG] Here's hoping all is well and they are to be released into the wide world of the backyard!
     
  9. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2016
    Bolton, England
    Afraid not Mobius it has been extended to 28th February as several more cases have been found. It's moving up North nearer to me[​IMG]
     
  10. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]is all I can say! That is awful. But you are doing a great job keeping your birds safe!
     

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