Is anyone locking down for Avian flu?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beth77, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Beth77

    Beth77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone, I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the avian flu situation in Europe. I live in Scotland and I'm on day 2 of a 30 day lockdown period, my girls aren't too happy to say the least.

    Is anyone else locking down? How are your hens coping?
     
  2. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I am-it's compulsory isn't it here in the UK? It's a nightmare but got to do it. Only problem is it's so dark in my chicken house. Also, I have holes in the door that vermin have got in so I am having to block that off every night to make sure nothing gets in at all-I'll be taking steps to get rid of any vermin that may be about outside the pen too.

    On the plus side-it gives the ground a bit of time to recover in the pen and thank goodness it isn't Summer-my birds were only out for a few hours anyway now the weather has changed. I don't have a roof to my pen so can't keep them out at all. It's really worrying but hopefully everything will be ok.

    Are you adding anything to reduce boredom? I have couple of chairs I thought of putting in the hen house but they were outside so I don't know if that would be a good idea...I have 4 chickens and 5 ducks. It's inconvenient to say the least.
     
  3. Beth77

    Beth77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it's compulsory - and for good reason too! We're only 30 miles away from the nearest case of it. It's a bit of a pain that you have vermin, luckily my shed is new (great timing as their old one was falling apart and would've been a nightmare right now!) so it has windows and is pretty airtight, although I'm going to put a vent in to let some fresh air in.

    As for entertainment, I've put some pecking treats in and broccoli and cabbage, but I'm going to get them some food dispensing toys. I have 8 chickens in a 6x4 shed and I'm going to do everything I can to get them through the remaining 28 days as stress-free as possible.

    I'm also upping my biosecurity and putting dispensable shoe covers on before entering the hen shed as Evian flu is also carried through feces and there will undoubtedly be some on my shoes.

    I really hope the majority of UK poultry keepers are locking up their birds, everyone has to pull together and do their bit to prevent it from spreading all over the country.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  4. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm worried about it. There have been two areas here in Israel with Avian flu outbreaks in poultry farms, one about 3 weeks ago and one last week. Our Ministry of Agriculture "recommends" keeping poultry indoors, but it is not compulsory (so far). My chicken run is open to the sky and we always have loads of sparrows in it - they are attracted by chicken feed spills. Sparrows are known to transmit Avian flu via their droppings and they "drop" a lot in and around the pen. On the other hand, I tried to keep my chickens in the coop and they just beat each other up. To make it worse, I have got an integration problem with a mother hen with chicks that is relatively new to the flock. The coop is too small to keep them all happily inside for days on end. So I let them out again and I noticed that other chicken keepers in the neighborhood also let their chickens roam outside still. I'll probably try a compromise and pull some tarp over part of the run and let the chickens only into that part, hopefully blocking out the sparrows and their potentially infectious droppings.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    @Beth77

    Quote:
    Hi Beth

    I'm still working on getting all of mine into lock down. I have 70+ in several flocks and pens but most free range so it's proving challenging but doing the best I can. I didn't think there had been any confirmed cases in the UK yet, but you seem to think you have one local to you which is worrying. What part of Scotland are you in? I'm in the north east of England (Co Durham) and was assuming any outbreaks in the UK would start down south with migrating birds coming across the channel. I'm now panicking if there is a case further north of me already.

    Good luck keeping your girls healthy and happy in their confinement!

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  6. Beth77

    Beth77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't panic, I mean the UK as a whole - it's 30 miles over the English Channel. There is no cases in the UK. I live in a rural area in central Scotland.

    If it does come to the UK we'll just have to tighten our biosecurity and do everything we can.

    Again, do not worry - there is no cases in the UK.

    Good luck! And please come back here if you have any questions or worries.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  7. Beth77

    Beth77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh dear. They should definitely make it compulsory to keep poultry completely seperate from wild birds, especially since there's been cases in your area. Be careful that you aren't dragging in any wild bird feces in to your chicken run from your shoes. I hope you get everything sorted out, it sound like a bit of a dilemma.

    Good luck!
     
  8. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds already get lots of treats but i might get even more for them so they can have some stuff to peck at inside the house. I'll see what else I can find/make for toys too. It's really worrying the cases are that close to the UK, but thank goodness not in the UK YET. I thought Bird flu was pretty much gone years ago after all that panic...now we have to worry about it again, ugh it's so depressing. All I wanted was a few birds as a hobby and to peck around my garden...now I have to worry about the spread of this disease? Sigh, nothing in life is ever simple or smooth sailing is it? I live right next to a wood so yes there are mice and rats around, always will be but they now won't be able to get into the hen house at least. I might have to put poison down too...I don't know how much they increase the risk of bird flu-but doing everything I can to get rid of them outside.

    I even took our bird bath down so as not to encourage wild birds into the garden. Is there a specific type of bird that carries it more than others? Someone mentioned sparrows? I don't think we get them much just a lot of crows and magpies mainly.
     
  9. Beth77

    Beth77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Making toys sounds like a good idea, I think I'll do that myself.

    I know, I'm the same. I just have them as pets and this is a bit of a pain. I also feel guilty for locking them up in their shed but needs must. I looked it up - all birds can carry it, I'd just be extremely wary of them all until this has all passed.

    Apparently vermin can carry some strains of Bird flu.

    I'll try and post some pictures soon of my current hen house set-up.

    Let me know of any boredom breaker toys you come up with.
     
  10. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps



    @Beth77 You're right. Unfortunately the wild birds can so far get into the run by themselves - I have to find a way to close it off. I also have removed a chicken watering bowl which I kept outside because I saw the sparrows getting at it. In order to protect my family as well and so that I don't carry wild bird or chicken feces into the house, I have bought a pair of rubber shoes which I keep outside the house and only use for going to the chicken coop. Also, I've taken to putting on disposable latex gloves for feeding and cleaning and I'm keeping my children away from the coop. The Avian flu strain that's here (H5N8) so far hasn't infected humans anywhere but the WHO estimates that it could easily mutate and start infecting people as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

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