Thursday, 23 February 2017

Jobs to Do Before the Avian Flu Restrictions are Relaxed

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the Avian Flu restrictions are going to be relaxed after the 28th February then you are probably excited to see your chickens out and about once more. However before you let them run free, there are a few jobs you need to take in hand.

Firstly (and most importantly) are you able to let your hens out or are you still within one of the remaining prevention zones? Check the interactive DEFRA map to see if, come February 28th, your hens are allowed out and what remaining restrictions may apply.

Avian Flu Restrictions & DEFRA
Silver Spangled Hamburg
However, there are still jobs to be done around the hen house, especially after all of our hens have been cooped up for just over two months.

  1. Kill Vermin - With all our hens having been contained for so long the chances of rats and mice being attracted to feeders and spilt feed around your run may have increased. The best solution is to get rid of them. Properly positioned lockable bait boxes are the way forward, keeping wild birds, pets and children safe while disposing of rats and mice. Equally tidying up any loose feed and around feeders (where hens can make a mess) will help deter any further vermin problems. 
  2. Treat the Ground - Even in covered runs the ground is possibly beginning to look "fowl sick" after such an intensive couple of months. If letting your hens out into a wider area remove any obvious signs of possible contaminant, then treat the ground with a Ground Sanitising Powder or Virkon-S Disinfectant. This will not only safely guard against Avian Flu, but also aid in more common poultry problems, such as worms. 
  3. Cleaning the Hen House - Similar to treating your poultry run or outside area, your chicken coop will need some maintenance and a thorough deep clean. It is easy when the hens are contained to allow the hen house to get into a bit of a state, but liquid cleaners and Flyte Coop and Run Sanitising Powder should be used to make sure that every nook and cranny of your hen house is clean and hygienic for your hens. 
  4. Feeders & Drinkers - You hens may be heading back outside, however, their feeders and drinkers need to remain covered and out of the way of attracting wild birds. Putting them inside a shelter or under a covered area within a run will help prevent contamination from wild bird faeces or direct contact. 
The last point is to double, triple and quadruple check the interactive map regarding what restrictions may be being lifted, or remaining in place, in your area. Some areas will still have the Avian Flu restrictions in place, so make sure you understand what your hens are allowed to do. The fines for not following the rules remain in place.

If you are and your chickens are still restricted by the regulations then read our previous blog entry, 6 Top Tips for Surviving Bird Flu, to help you and your hens until the restrictions are lifted. 

If you have any questions why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team. 

Thanks for Reading

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