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Bird flu, chicken lockdown, very boring!

(44 Posts)
CloudPerson Thu 22-Dec-16 22:51:24

Our chickens are being kept in their houses so there is no contact with wild birds, in line with DEFRA's recent ruling because of bird flu.

Where we live, we are the only people who have done this, literally everyone else who normally has chickens pecking around still has chickens pecking around, no effort has been made to keep them indoors.

So my poor chickens are leading a miserable existence, cooped up compared to their normal free ranging, but if other chickens in the area catch bird flu we'll lose our chickens as well as they are close by.

I've mentioned it to a few of the people I know, but they point out that so-and-so down the road hasn't locked their birds away, so there's no point.

Do I give up and let mine out? Do I shop all the others to defra?
Bloody irresponsible wankers angry

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 22-Dec-16 22:54:39

I think as bird flu spreads as sadly it probably will, more people will get the point.
I also don't think Defra will do anything.

CloudPerson Thu 22-Dec-16 22:58:22

No I don't think they will either.
I'm gutted as we had to cull some of our older (non laying) birds in order for them to fit comfortably in their houses, but now all the other chickens are at greater risk because of inconsiderate tossers!

user1471537877 Thu 22-Dec-16 23:20:27

Please continue to keep them in and thank you for doing the right thing

Our neighbours are not following defra and let theirs out still, it worries me immensely as I am immunodeficient and very susceptible to this type of virus and their chickens are 4 metres from my door

If the situation gets much worse I may contact defra for advice

PinkSwimGoggles Thu 22-Dec-16 23:22:47

shop them all. having seen the devastation an outbreak causes, it needs to be taken seriously.
it's cary stuff, not just for animal but potentially human health.

lougle Thu 22-Dec-16 23:27:21

Do your chickens usually free-range?

I haven't kept mine 'in' as such, because they have a hen house within an enclosure that is completely surrounded with fine-guage chicken wire (sides and roof) to protect from foxes, etc. So, rightly or wrongly, we decided the risk was reduced to wild birds flying overhead who happened to produce droppings as they flew over the top of the enclosure, which then fell between the fine-guage chicken wire. We're the only people in our locality who keep chickens.

CloudPerson Thu 22-Dec-16 23:32:46

We have a field, they've always had free run of it.

MaryMargaret Thu 22-Dec-16 23:36:29

I was kind of hoping that by keeping mine in they would be safer but of course as you say they will be culled if there is an outbreak nearby.

We had to spend about £140 on some temporary housing (only 4 birds luckily, personal use as if were) and some of my neighbours might find the cash hard to find. So I kind of understand in those sort of circumstances. Also, I wouldn't even have known except for an acquaintance asking what we were doing with ours blush

However saying that, i think the nearest poultry keeping neighbour, who has ducks, has got them indoors too.

Without a clear idea of how much difference it makes its hard to know what the 'right' thing to do is re shopping or not. My oh thinks there's a difference between the risk with 10 and 10000 but I'd want to look at the science of transmission and susceptibility before deciding whether to shop. But I'd go on keeping them in, that way you wouldn't have it on your conscience if the worst happened

Lunar1 Thu 22-Dec-16 23:39:58

Mine are in a covered run now. They are miserable, have stopped laying and it cost me a bloody fortune. I had to buy eggs today to top it all off!

CloudPerson Thu 22-Dec-16 23:45:10

I think though that even if a flock of 10 contracted the flu, there would still be a three mile (?) culling zone, although I'm happy to,be corrected on that one!

The chickens I see out are all in places where they have coops with runs or stables/barns available.

Lunar, we have mostly pure breeds and haven't had eggs for weeks, lazy lot that they are!

PickAChew Thu 22-Dec-16 23:46:16

The first I heard of this was through a thread in active conversations on here, the other week.

Do they know there was a suspected outbreak in Lincolnshire, at the weekend? Those who have heard of it might simply think it'll never happen to them and not put 2 and 2 together and understand that it's to reduce the risk of transmission from wild birds (I stood outside my own garden gate for a minute, this afternoon, until a jackdaw buggered off because I knew it would be bound to shit on me if I stood under it fumbling for my keys). I think ignorance is as much to blame as not being able to afford extra shelter (which I'm sure would suddenly become a bigger priority if foxes appeared locally)

PickAChew Thu 22-Dec-16 23:48:55

user<somenumbers> it's wild birds which are the biggest risk to you, if that's the case.

UrethaFranklin Thu 22-Dec-16 23:51:43

One of my colleagues refuses to keep hers in as well. They are battery hens that were rescued and she basically said that they re-homed them do that they could have freedom, not so that they could be locked up 24/7 confused

gamerchick Thu 22-Dec-16 23:54:29

Well a good pandemic is what the world needs. A good cull.

Batter on.

CloudPerson Thu 22-Dec-16 23:59:38

Is the chance of mutation to humans (being able to catch it) higher when there's a large number of birds in a small area?

Owllady Fri 23-Dec-16 00:03:05

I'm keeping mine in the house/run, that is on isn't it?

AmpersandreamingOfAWhiteXmas Fri 23-Dec-16 00:05:36

Honestly, I wouldn't hesitate to report them. Not sure if Defra or local council will do anything, but it'd make me feel better!
My hens are in a stable and are happy enough for the time being.

There's a risk even if you've got 1 bird, and it's risking all the birds in the locality if you don't follow the rules. I've got a foot dip in use too to minimise the risk of transferring anything on my boots.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Fri 23-Dec-16 00:06:26

Please keep your chickens in. My dad is one of the very few organic free range chicken farmers in Scotland. I'm not sure if he has insurance to cover a batch being culled, but it would be much better if it didn't happen.

Pigeonpost Fri 23-Dec-16 00:21:45

Ours have got tarps cover

Pigeonpost Fri 23-Dec-16 00:23:25

Ours have got tarps covering the run now but three of the little buggers keep escaping. Need to sit and watch them and work out where as it's not obvious at the moment. We've got 12, really don't want to have to cull them sad

AmpersandreamingOfAWhiteXmas Fri 23-Dec-16 00:24:21

cloud I would imagine the risk is if you've got flu and come into contact with a bird with avian flu, it would only take one bird iyswim.
I believe the chances of a jump to humans is minimal.

AmpersandreamingOfAWhiteXmas Fri 23-Dec-16 00:26:47

I'm thinking of keeping my in until the spring, regardless. They're in a large stable and seem pretty content; are laying well, have plenty of enrichment and little fighting between them. Even my two cockerels are getting on!

Yambabe Fri 23-Dec-16 00:28:10

I'm with lougle. Ours are in a coop with mesh enclosed run that runs the length of our garden fence. We are still letting them in the run. Wild birds might be able to crap on them but they can't get in - hoping this will be enough.

We are also (afaik) the only chicken keepers locally. There are a lot of foxes around here, everyone else who has tried to keep chickens or ducks has lost theirs sad

AmpersandreamingOfAWhiteXmas Fri 23-Dec-16 13:51:49

yambabe it's transmitted via poo. Do you have any tarp you could put over the top?

TimeIhadaNameChange Fri 23-Dec-16 13:59:35

Ours are in a poltunnel, and, as far as I can tell, most people nearby have done similar. They'll probably stay there til the spring, as DP wants to redo that part of the garden.

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