The order to shut Turkeys in or prevent contact with wild birds effects everyone from the commercial keeper to the pair of turkeys kept in a back garden. We all have the same responsibility to protect our birds from wild birds in particular waterfowl which apart from two cases seem to have been the ones being found with it. There are several ways different keepers are managing this…..
- replacing windows and doors with galvanised wire.
- where an enclosure is an issue I have heard of fruit cage netting, debris netting and green windbreak netting being used through to wooden framed enclosures with chicken wire and roofing.
- deep littering with a powder disinfectant.
- poly tunnels and green houses.
Sadly I have also recently heard of someone who have halved their flock to enable keeping them in sheds by culling. It is certainly a lot of work with birds shut in and most of us are finding ways to make it all work.
Lets all be sensible…. and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from fellow members, Trading Standards, DEFRA and PCGB.
A new fact sheet from DEFRA on protecting your birds
a useful link for knowing the outbreaks and risk factors.
This is certainly tough times for us all and keeping the large birds under cover is not something any of us enjoy doing. With the source of the outbreak being in wild birds it is unpredictable where it will strike next. There has only been two instances in ‘kept’ poultry to date but several places have cases of dead wild birds.
There are lots of conflicting reports and panic about this outbreak but in reality by keeping our own birds safe inside with good bio-security we should all get through and the turkeys will soon be out in the spring sun!
From trawling the internet and conversations there are various ways people are covering up from completely covering up a small house and run for chickens with tragic results to poly-tunnels, using debris netting, heavy duty gezebos.
REMEMBER -what ever you are using to protect your turkeys they need good airflow. Make sure the water and feed is by the entrance to eliminate entering the sheds and spreading the virus. Use foot baths, and give your birds treats such as fruits, cabbage. Try and clean the bedding as often as possible there are some good powder sanitizers that can be sprinkled over the litter to help eliminate the ammonia and bugs.
A new case of AI has been found in Wales this time in what has been identified as ‘A backyard’ keeper. Please can I urge everyone to comply with the DEFRA order to cover up birds to eliminate risks. More details will be released soon by DEFRA.