Sunday, 6 December 2020
Unfortunately there have been cases of Avian Flu (Bird Flu) and at the beginning of November there was a governemtnt warning that chickens and other poultry would have to be shielded from wild birds who carry the virus. Their feed and water have to be kept under cover to prevent contamination by wild birds and other animals. This was not really a problem for us as we have always fed them under cover. There is always a drinker in the hen house but there was another drinker out in the field. We have now brought that under cover too.
There is now a new notification and all poultry has to be housed indoors. I should think there are some really big free ranging flocks who cannot possibly be brought in under cover. We have decided to move the hens to a large shelter (originally built for alpacas when we had a much bigger herd)
On Tuesday when we have help on the farm Mike and his merry men will be making the new hen house secure and the old hen house will return to being a field shelter for the alpacas. They will have to put up high fences around the area and roof in as much as possible. Defra have allowed up to the 14th December for poultry keepers to comply.
It is especially unfortunate for us because we only keep the hens as a hobby and the proceeds of egg sales go to a local charity so any money we spend is just lost.
I have nearly sold out of socks left over from the days when we had a farm shop selling alpaca products mainly - socks - hats - gloves etc: There are still some hats, mittens and gloves available - ideal Christmas presents !