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Rare one

not good news

Breaking news:

I've been looking for updates but despite the cases found it looks as if the countrywide prevention zone stlll ends on Jan 6th.

Can't find anything that says any different

The efforts from Defra have been so pathetic, they'll probably extend it at the last minute. That's if they remember.
I registered as a poultry keeper years ago and they still haven't got around to sending me any official notification as to what I should or shouldn't be doing with my poultry. Its a shambles.

You would think that they would at least have sent something to everyone who has a holding number

I suppose it was bound to happen.

Two more months of lock down.

To be honest, I never really understood what good the one month thingy would be in the first place - but I do recall reading a snippet that said the 30 days was for keepers to get longer term plans ready - pity that wasn't it big letters because I can't find it now.... and I confess I ignored it but it's been playing on my mind.

The lack of information is astounding to be honest - small/backyard keepers finding out was a bit hit and miss - some people I spoke to thought it was for the big boys only, they failed to see the protection of their own birds as a priority.

Just had an Email from DEFRA. There has been a new case of bird flu in Settle, North Yorkshire.
This one in a "back yard flock" of 17 chickens and ducks.
The birds have all been put down.

Yes, I saw that.

I have just spent a couple of hours out in the misty drizzle covering another section of our run to give the girls more space. We had confined them to a smaller area because it was easier to cover for the short term but they had started picking on each other.

I came in to read quite a lengthy thread on FB discussing the 'madness' of it all. I have lots of opinionated thoughts on what was being said but I never engage in these discussions on social media.

My primary concern is my small flock and protecting them as best I can. I shall  not be a happy bunny if the virus is found anywhere near me in an unprotected flock, even if they have only a couple of hens.
Rick & Carol

I'm glad I was able to finish my turkeys & have no table birds at present to worry about. The trouble is it's all very good getting our knickers in a knot about it being found in backyard flocks but they are not spreading it, it's the wild birds isn't it. I have a large shed on standby for my layers to keep them safe but  to be honest that's all it is, I'm not kidding myself that in any way i'll be arresting the spread. If an unprotected flock gets it, it's just a yardstick for the spread not a facilitator.

I think backyard flocks can help it to spread, simply because they have contact with wild birds.

I don't think it's just about a backyard flock getting it from wild birds - if wild birds visit an infected flock they can pick it up. So if an infected flock have been pooping all over someones land...

This report is  quite close to us at around 50 miles away.

I'm keeping a watchful eye on my own poultry but rightly or wrongly I'm not too perturbed. I'm pretty sure that this disease has been visiting our shores for a number of years and the fact that its one's and twos that are being found with the disease and not thousands is also reassuring.

Is this one anywhere near you?

(Rubbish at Geography and never been to Wales   )

A long way away but Conway is much closer.

Powderham on the Exe is approx. 40 miles away, a confirmed case found there on Friday. Other open waters for migratory wildfowl are almost on the doorstep.

I think we've a long way to go before restrictions are lifted.

Once the flu is here, which it obviously is, then come the spring, I can't see it simply disappearing with the migrating birds. I fear that its here now and that we've got to get used to it.

Which poses lots of problems re free range status for one thing.

Personally, I'm already beginning to question whether we should be keeping chickens at all.
Dave C

All of the wild bird cases have been very isolated,
surely this proves that the wild bird population have built up some kind of immunity to the flu, otherwise there would be deaths in there thousands.

Would it not be better to let it run its course and allow poultry to build up some kind of resistance.

I think that's what will have to happen Dave.

The sheds were getting very messy with the hens being shut in full time.
So this week I have worked my way round them all, one a day, and let the hens out mid afternoon and mucked the shed out whilst the hens were in their run.
They were soon back in as it went dark and their food and drink is inside so not really contravening the restriction order and they are now on clean bedding.
The only problem was the next day, as they wanted to be out again.  
Dave C

Watch Winterwatch on BBC 2

Would this not be the Wright time for the BBC to discuss Bird Flu?

Missed it.

There's a piece in this weeks Shooting Times.

Can anyone explain to me why we should expect bird flu to disappear with the migrating birds in the springtime? As a layman, I'd say that once its in the country, then surely its here to stay, in just the same way that human flu is always here.
Unless the move towards keeping laying flocks on free range is to come to grinding halt and  battery and cage farming aren't to make a return, then the country has surely got to come to terms with living with avian flu.
I don't know the answers but I do have a few random questions.

If the current strain of avian flu is so lethal, then why aren't we hearing of thousands of dead wild birds?

Why do most of the cases reported in domestic flocks seem to involve turkeys? Is it something to do with the species or is it the conditions they're being kept in?

I agree, mainly Turkeys and mainly intensively farmed flocks of thousands which are notorious for being susceptible to out breaks of disease.
I think, to a degree, that us keeping our birds shut in 24/7 is replicating
those conditions.
My two main sheds have over 40 birds in each, they were unhappy and not looking good.
Small wild birds like Robins and Wrens can get in and out and
I cant keep my chickens in and muck them out so I have decided to go to the DEFRA advice of letting the birds free range but keeping the food and water inside (which where it is always sited).
I let them out yesterday and they all came out and started dust bathing (they don't have lice or fleas) and scratching around.  ie doing what comes naturally.      
I am keeping my small breeding flocks inside as they have much more space and seem happier.
I don't know if I am doing the right thing but the welfare of my chickens must come first.  

I drove past a local turkey farm on the way home and there was an awful lot of activity outside, a lot more than usual. I got home to find that the farm has had an outbreak of bird flu. Really feel for those involved.


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