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sandrar

Defra Press Release

https://www.gov.uk/government/new...protect-poultry-against-avian-flu

The Government Chief Vet has declared a Prevention Zone introducing enhanced biosecurity requirements for poultry and captive birds, helping protect them from a strain of avian flu circulating in mainland Europe. The zone covers England and will remain in place for 30 days.

Keepers of poultry and other captive birds are now required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.
bodger

I've just been reading this with horror. I'm really going to struggle to comply if these measures are implemented in Wales.
I have numerous ducks and hens which have the complete run of our smallholding during the daytime. I let them out in the morning and they free range until I lock them up at night. They are then in what are quite small but cosy sheds.  I definitely couldn't lock them up in those 24/7 for a 30 day period, I'm going to have to do some serious thinking.
olde9856

I think it will be virtually impossible to comply with this, I defiantly can't do it and am just on the English side of the Welsh border, think I will become Welsh for the future. Seriously though I just can't see how to do this and keep the birds ethically.
bodger

One of the jobs for me today, is going to be killing some of my free range Light Sussex cocks and making room for them in the freezer.
sandrar

Guess what I'll be doing today !

Not quite sure how it's all going to work but for those I can't house indoors I'm setting up pens of heras fencing covered in netting to prevent wild birds from going through and sheeting the top. Not ideal, unhappy birds and a lot of extra work and expense but that's how it is.
olde9856

Well just spent all morning sorting out how to keep the ducks indoors and then my neighbour comes round and says hes just been listening to a  radio 4 interview with the governments bloke and he actually said that they werent that bothered about the small backyard keepers and actually there is nothing they can do if you didn't bother!
brewer66

The guy on the TV this morning did say that they were "asking" all poultry keepers to comply with the restrictions, providing "it didn't compromise the bird's welfare, as would be the case with keeping geese indoors for instance".
It was said that at least all food and water should be inside the birds housing so reducing the risk of contact with wild birds.
My feeders were all inside and I have now moved all the drinkers inside.
I have kept all the birds that I can inside but where not practical, they have been let out. Like Bodger's my duck shed is fine for overnight but not for 30 days confinement.
We can only do what we can and keep the fingers crossed.  
bodger

Well I really do hope that's the case with the geese especially. I've just spent half a day putting wild bird proof netting over the front of an open fronted shed and converting a couple of pig sties.
bodger

OK see what you think of this.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

From what I can see, it looks as though my geese can remain on free range as long as I make sure that their food and water is placed under cover and out of reach of wild birds but what about my ducks? What constitutes it being impractical to keep them locked up for the next 30 days? Currently every night I herd fifteen ducks into a 10x 10 pig sty to keep them safe from the fox. They're let out every morning into our fields to forage and I don't think its practical to keep them in there any longer than I do already. I have nowhere else to put them? What do you think?
olde9856

From our point of view we can keep the ducks in but it would be detrimental to both their health and wellbeing, so we are going to leave ours as they always are, but remove any uneaten food so the wild birds don't get at it, but I'm afraid I can't keep the pond covered so that's it!
brewer66

My ducks are shut in their shed overnight then have free range over the orchard and paddock.
I feed them inside their small run each morning then they are free to roam.
Their water is outside in the run.
Even so I have to add fresh bedding to the shed each day because they make such a mess.
If they were shut in the shed 24hrs with food and water they would suffer an intolerable environment.
I intend to carry on as is.
Dave C

I'm the same as you guys, my chickens are in houses with secure runs, so when I lock them in at night they are safe from the fox and can still come out into there run first thing in the morning before I let them out.

Now these runs are not meant for permanent use as they just aren't big enough.
bodger

It absolutely poured down here last evening and all through the night, so this morning single handily I've got to catch up all my chickens and put them into the sheds and runs that I made or adapted yesterday. Oh great fun and its still raining too.

The geese are going back out again and I'll use their pen, which we converted for them yesterday, for some of the chickens instead.
bodger

I've had a few escapees this morning but I managed to catch most of them. I'll get the naughty ones this evening.  
brewer66

I had one chicken got out this morning.
It must have borrowed Usain Bolt's starting blocks as it was out of the door almost before I opened it.  

I managed to keep the rest in whilst I checked their food and water but they wern't happy with me not letting them out.
It is really strange to see all the chicken runs with out stock running about. It's almost as bad as when the pigs have gone to the abattoir and their paddock is empty.  
bodger

Apart from the incessant quacking of the ducks, who can't understand why they aren't out in the orchards, the place is as quiet as the  grave. I have four hens still at liberty, who'll be going to their prison cells with their fellow inmates this evening.
Dave C

Chucked it down all night & this morning.
Chicken runs are already a mud bath  
olde9856

We have 2 hens that sleep out in the conifers so high you can't get to them and are so quick in daylight there is no chance of catching them. Oh well guess they are wild birds and don't belong to me!
bodger

I've spoken to one of the vets at the WDA and she's told me that the welfare of the birds is paramount. By this, she meant my poultry. She said that it would be OK for me to let my ducks out for an hour or so per day just as long as their food and water was under cover.

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