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Avian Influenza Jan 5th 2017 Update – Extension to Housing Order

Joe Kirk – Senior Agricultural Officer (Poultry)
Poultry Unit |Directorate for Agriculture, Food & Rural Communities |P1 Spur, Saughton House |Broomhouse Drive |Edinburgh EH11 3XD |0300 2449857 |07917 052293

Avian Influenza Update – Extension to Housing Order – Please see details below
If you are not already signed up – I would encourage you to sign up to the APHA text/email alerts at

Dear Colleague

You may wish to note a Scottish Government press release notifying bird keepers that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone requiring all poultry and captive bird keepers to apply heightened biosecurity including keep their birds indoors, if possible, or otherwise separated from wild birds, will remain in force until 00:01 on 28 February 2017.


An AI Prevention Zone was first declared from 6 December 2016 until 17:00 on 6 January 2017. Since then, the risk level for Avian Influenza incursions into flocks in the UK has been raised to ‘low to medium’ for poultry or captive birds, and ‘high’ for wild birds. Cases of HPAI H5N8 have also been confirmed in poultry in Lincolnshire in England and Carmarthenshire in Wales, as well as wild birds across Great Britain (including a peregrine falcon found in Dumfries and Galloway).

In light of these confirmed cases across Great Britain and the increased risk levels, Scottish Ministers have decided that a further zone should be declared lasting until 28 February 2017. Zones in effect in England and Wales have also been renewed for the same period. The ban on gatherings of poultry, game birds and waterfowl also remains in force. Further information about the current situation, including a Q&A on the Prevention Zone, is available at

Bird keepers in Scotland are reminded of the importance of excellent biosecurity and anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Plant & Health Agency office. Contact details can be found at

You may wish to pass this alert on as appropriate.

Kind regards


Nadine Arber | Policy Officer
Exotic Diseases branch | Animal Health and Welfare Division (P Spur)
Directorate for Agriculture Food and Rural Communities | Scottish Government
Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD
Tel +44(0)300 244 9795
Fax +44(0)300 244 9797

Happy New Year from Kintaline – (and then there is bird flu)

hi and can we wish you all a Very Happy New Year.

I was hoping to be writing this with a clear week or so since the last avian influenza incidence in the UK .. instead it is with the news that we are all on lockdown until the 28th FEBRUARY !!!

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in place since 6 December will be extended until 28 February to help protect poultry and captive birds from avian flu, the Chief Veterinary Officer has announced.

The zone requires keepers of poultry and other captive birds to continue to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate practical steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

It covers England and similar declarations have been made in Scotland and Wales. There is also a GB-wide ban on poultry shows and gatherings.
We have still got layers meal in stock – and will try and get more for next week – this takes the birds longer to eaat so helps to keep them entertained.
We are feeding our birds grass pellets soaked up which they are enjoying – we could make up small bags if you are interested
We also have bags of meal worms – 250 g and 500g
For those of you concerned about birds being on the same ground we have bags of layers pellets with Vermex in – this is a natural wormer.
We have plenty of bedding – so you can cover ground with that as well as their houses ..

if you would like other ideas or need advice, do not hesitate to get in touch.
If you are needing any feeds I will be adding to the order today that comes in next week ..

The powers that be clearly consider we are at a real and present risk of more migratory birds coming into the UK from the continent where there is still significant outbreaks of bird flu. . this is not something they would do to us all lightly.

Some people have expressed concerns about neighbours not complying ..
the Person to report these things to is
David Kerr
Senior Animal Health and Welfare Officer
Argyll & Bute Council HQ
PA31 8RT
Tel: 01546604283
Mob: 07767795146

Bees : a lot to learn

We are very much at the beginning of our journey to learn more about bees : both the wild ones, and how to keep Honey bees here.
As we are in a big planting phase, it is important to keep in mind our future plans as we go, so we are learning lots.
Here are a few resources we have picked up so far.
Some of us are interested in Bees : wild ones, keeping for honey, as pollinators, and also planting for attracting. (personally I am at the beginning of the learning curve, so really hoping there are others with experience here to share)
Here are a few resources that can help us learn more. Scottish Native Honey Bee Society : new organisation to encourage the keeping of the Scottish Native Honey Bee Apis mellifera mellifera. (in early 1900’s most of these were decimated by a disease and to populate hives subspecies from Europe were brought in to the UK. There are increasing efforts to re-populate Scotland with the Native Honey bee, and local bee keepers are aiming to be in the forefront of this.
Other than the obvious attraction they are also usually more docile than other strains, and they are far hardier for our varied climate. Scottish Beekeepers Society
has lots of information, membership includes insurance for public liability etc, separate members area on website. Oban Beekeepers group
monthly meetings in the winter and summer activities for beginners and experienced. Secretary is Nigel Mitchell * Lochaber Beekeepers group – a course happening there starting in May

Identifying British Bumble bees Bombus spp



2015 Egg production figures

Farm Handbook makes interesting reading

Egg production figures for 2015

Total for UK 10,008,000,000  and still most in cages

type : 1965 : 2010 : 2015
Cage : 53% : 50% : 52%
Barn : 37% : 5% : 2%
Free R: 10% : 42% : 44%
Organic: – : 3% : 2%

If you seriously want to change things, and reduce the number of hens in cages – stop eating processed food, because that is where most is used – ready meals, biscuits, cakes, bread, you name it, you likely eat caged eggs sometime in the week.

We cannot produce Ten Thousand Million Eggs from free range birds in the UK – we do not have the land or the expertise.

Reducing the amount of processed food would also improve our nations health – double win.

Farm Management Handbook – Poultry

Avian Influenza H5N8 Lockdown ALL UK – 6 Dec for 30 days

LOCKDOWN OF ALL poultry – Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared in response to spread of H5N8 in Europe.…/avian-influenza-protection-measures
how to make things work –

Bird flu now only 30 miles from Britain

The Scottish Government and DEFRA has declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone requiring that all poultry and captive birds must be kept indoors, or otherwise kept separate from wild birds.
“We have declared a 30-day Prevention Zone as a precautionary measure to protect Scotland’s valuable poultry industry, particularly in the weeks before Christmas. It is important to stress that there has been no cases of this strain detected in the UK” 0 this is the same in England too

One of our feathered farm friends

This wee fella follows us around as we work.. quite the model 🙂

He loves the Robin Mix feed we put out for the wild birds here. .
(and sell too – 2 kg and 12.75 kg bags) High in protein rich Sunflower Hearts and Mealworms with two types of high energy Suet, perfect for feeding all year round.


Black Rock pullets for sale

Free range raised pullets for excellent hardy laying hens – the Muirfield Black Rock is the best bird for our climate. Raising them outside gets them fit, well feathered, and ready to lay lots of good brown eggs. Being good rangers the hens take best advantage of their surroundings to improve the flavour and quality of the eggs.
Black Rock; Brown Rock; Grey Rock; Light Sussex