As this issue goes to press, we have to report the depressing news that, following recent outbreaks in both Germany and the Netherlands, avian influenza has returned to the UK.
Defra has stated that an outbreak of the highly-pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has been confirmed on a duck farm near Driffield, in Yorkshire.
Although this strain presents very low risk to public health, and no risk to the food chain, humane culling of 6,000 ducks was carried out at the affected farm. In addition, a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have been established around the site, in which a variety of different control measures are being employed to prevent the spread of disease.
These include restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure. Poultry keepers in both zones can now apply for movement licences for some specific movements. There are also restrictions on bird gatherings, such as shows, and the release of game birds.
Defra’s robust action in this case indicates its on-going determination to control AI outbreaks, wherever they may occur. All this should serve as a reminder to us all that continued vigilance is required, regardless of how many or how few chickens we keep.
With the cold, wet weather upon us, now’s the time to be thinking about the condition of your chicken run, especially in cases where waterlogging is a problem.
New on the Flyte so Fancy website is Chicken Coop and Run Sanitising Powder, which is supplied in 2 and 5kg, re-sealable plastic tubs for £8.99 and £17.99 respectively.
It’s a new generation ground sanitiser and super-absorbent powder. It contains natural ingredients like Yucca to combat ammonia, seaweed and essential oils for anti-mite properties, with the addition of halamid which is a Defra-approved disinfectant powder for killing germs.
It’s claimed that the product will absorb at least 1.5 litres of water per kg of powder, and that this forms into dry clumps which are then easy to remove.
This can aid the fight against the coccidia growth (which leads to coccidiosis), as well as reducing humidity in the hen house to minimise the risk of respiratory infections.
Chicken Coop and Run Sanitising Powder is suitable for use with all animals and birds, doesn’t contain phosphates and can be ordered online at: www.flytesofancy.co.uk or by calling 01300 345229
The East of England Poultry Club held its show at the usual venue, Stanhope Hall, Horncastle on November 2nd.
As always, the event was well attended, with a very good entry of superbly presented birds. Judges for the day were RE Clarke and Louise Carpenter, who chose as their Best in Show, Valentina Terentjeva’s black Orpington female. Tom Hollands’ a Naked Neck bantam won the Reserve Best in Show award.
The prize for Best Junior Exhibit went to William Boden and his gold Sebright. What’s more, William, who is still only 11 year old, has just passed his first Poultry Club of Great Britain Judging Test.
In my opinion, this event really does represent a poultry show at its best, with club members working very hard in the kitchen to supply excellent meals and snacks, plus some of the best, home-made cakes I’ve ever tasted!
Chickens: history, art, breeds (Roodbont Publishers B.V., ISBN-13: 978-9087401627) is the latest book by well-known, Dutch poultry fancier Sir Hans Schippers, with help from Piet Simons and Peter Borst. Most importantly for UK readers, the book has been translated into English by David Bland.
It represents is a wonderful work and was launched successfully in Holland last May. The book not only deals with breeds of poultry but has superb chapters on the history and art of poultry, outlining just how breeds have developed through history, becoming the most important and widespread birds in the world today.
Some of the unique images date back 4,000 years, and the reader is able to trace how our birds have become so successful having being kept as useful, domestic animals for centuries.
Prospective readers should not be misled by the title of Chickens which, in this case, is the translation of the Dutch word ‘Kippen’. The book covers the whole subject of poultry in a way that’ll appeal to fanciers as well as anyone with an interest in birds.
If you’re in the market for some new fence posts for a chicken enclosure, then you should consider the range available from Kidderminster-based M&M Timber.
The latest Agricised™ fencing posts are proving so popular that the company is set to double output to cope with demand. These posts carry a no-quibble, 15-year warranty with a unique online registration for customer’s absolute peace of mind. What’s more, plans are in place for an even higher, long-term warranty option to be announced soon.
M&M Timber’s peeled and pointed or machine-rounded AgriPost continues to offer a standard, low-cost option for traditional fencing solutions, as do the higher quality DuraPost Redwood timbers, which offer a guaranteed service life of 15 years.