Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza strain H5N8
With far more activity of wild birds becoming obvious it is important to create a disinfectant bath outside your henhouse and run – you can take the infected wild bird poo in on your boots.
6 Jan 2017 Yorkshire – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-flu-confirmed-in-backyard-flock-in-yorkshire
4 Jan 2017 – Slimbridge incident – 4 dead birds but no cull – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-38511845
4 Jan 2017 wild birds found with H5N8 in Merseyside but little other information http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/merseyside-warning-over-bird-flu-12398298
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. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-flu-prevention-zone-extended
if anyone needs help or advice, we are happy to help.
OFC17: Potential bird flu threat due to backyard poultry keepers failing to follow safety rules – Farming UK News
3 Jan 2017 – Bird flu in domestic birds in Wales – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-38500195
23 Dec 2016 – Bird of prey with H5N8 likely from eating infected migratory bird – Dumfries and Galloway – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-38421831
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/infectious-disease-topics/avian-influenza-bird-flu#news
Government news status – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#latest-situation
If a flock of birds are infected then the healthy birds of that flock will also be culled
There is then further movement restrictions locally in the area.
You should have a container by your poultry house to be able to dunk your wellies in as you go in and out – use a disinfectant like Virkon from your vets – it comes in sachets.
If anyone wants housing please get in touch – we are extending our 10% December offer for another month www.kintaline.co.uk/hen-houses
For folk in Argyll we have a small number of ex display houses in stock at a further discount for collection only
Entertaining birds in confinement
- Growing sprouting seeds can be useful to entertain and feed your birds – alfalfa is a very good feed, but also just wheat too
- Soaking Grass pellets (and alfalfa pellets)
- hang up fruit and veggies – some cut up and some whole
- use different kinds of feeders so there is choice and variety
- use layers meal – this takes longer to eat
- Give them bales of hay and straw to clamber on, and to hide behind .. poles across them to use for activity
- Give ducks and geese enough water to be able to immerse their heads – kids sand pits are ideal
- treats like meal worms and Henblox (we have both in stock for sale)
- hang reflective discs – like the old computer CD’s we used to get sent !
- DON’T use wild bird foods like sunflower seeds, or peanuts, or suet balls etc – all these are for birds with high energy demands and eating them can seriously damage the liver of productive birds.
- keep the ground clean beneath the birds with sawdust from mills, shavings, bark, and leaves from woodland.
- (weeds from your garden they love but there is a risk
Covering a run area – and remember the run does nto have to be TALL .. just high enough for the birds to be comfortable
Options that people are using –
- marquees and gazebos with netting sides
- using sheds / livestock trailers / barns and buildings
- fruit cages with plastic over the top
- use fence posts to make an extra big run, bird netting and thin plastic
- You can do netting – do a double layer and trap thin plastic between them.
- run panels – http://www.kintaline.co.uk/hen-houses/hurdles.html
Putting feed and water away is NOT enough to save your birds nor to comply.
AND .. this is likely to happen again next winter as it takes time for these HP AI viruses to go away and so it is worth investing time and effort into making space for your birds.
There are plenty of places who sell fence posts .. and with wire and string across the top with netting / plastic / netting sandwich it is pssible to give birds some decent areas.
Use shavings / sawdust / bark / leaves to cover muddy areas
For those who do not believe domestic birds need protecting please check the incidences in Mainland Europe as over there it is MAINLY backyard birds who are being infected.
The restrictions will likely be lifted as the migratory birds go north and east BUT .. we need plan ahead over the summer as this is VERY likely to come back again next season. That is the pattern in the past.
This is a particularly virulent virus – and for us, is carried in migratory waterfowl in the main.
It is vitally important we do not let this virus get established into the domestic flocks and wild bird populations in this country – Highly Pathogentic Avian Influenza H5N8 does not, as it exists currently, pose any problems to the human population but HPAI strains that are allowed to get established are far more likely to mutate into a strain that COULD THEN create a pandemic human flu virus ! .. as well as having this virus in amongst our wild birds would constantly compromise our domestic and commercial birds. So – please make all the efforts necessary to protect your birds and so to protect our flocks in the future.
Highly Pathogenic AI does not easiy become endemic in the population because of the deaths of other birds when in contact with any infection. These extreme measures are aimed at helping to keep the virus at bay.
The weather has not helped us – the mild November did not move the migratory birds on from feeding grounds in Europe, and then the December gales kept birds away – the January extension of the lockdown suggests that the experts are expecting significant numbers of migratory wild fowl to come in to the UK yet. . and there is so much of the virus in the western seaboard of continental Europe that the risk is high.
This virus has travelled from China – through Russia (and through a southern route via Asia) into the northern parts of Continental Europe with migratory birds. It has taken several years and it can take several years before this particular strain peters out. So we need to be prepared to set up better pens to do the same thing next year.
If you see birds left outside and you want to report them you need to contact your councils Senior Animal Health and Welfare Officer