Preparing for bird flu

There  is a constant threat of a bird flu out break. But in the U.K it is more likely to break out in the winter since birds are migrating to England for winter. So we should always be careful and aware of avian influenza. Here are some tips to prevent your flock being affected by the flu…

  • Make sure that wild birds and waterfowl can’t get into contact with your flock. Wether this means keep in them in spacious ventilated sheds or even just making a temporary netted run to keep out wild birds.
  • Keeping the feeders and waters under cover and making them unecssesable by wild birds is vital.
  • If you can cover the area you keep your birds in with a roofing material such as tarpaulin to prevent birds droppings falling into your coop.
  • Keep your coop clean and use disinfectant.
  • Wash your foot wear and any and vehicles before entering the area you keep your birds.
  • Try not to Intergrate too many new birds from markets as markets are perfect places for bird flu to be distributed.
  • Contact your vet if any birds as seeming poorly even if you think it may not be th Flu.
  • Try to deter rodents.
  • Keep your birds entertained when kept enclosed ~ See Here on how to hentertain your flock.

Hopefully there will not be any out breaks this year but keep updated by DEFRA . 

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    Sum up Sunday 10/9/17

    What a week! We’ve rehomed birds and taken in some and managed to put together a play house. The play house was given to us and is perfect to keep the silkies warm on wet cold days so a lick of paint and some felt and it’s nearly ready to put them in, we just need a nest box and perches, a door and Windows and then they can move into “cluckingham palace”we also rehomed Ronnie and the four other roosters on Saturday. A short drive took us to the smallholding where the man took them to a barn with thirty or so pullets. He said on Tuesday he will take them to the market. We explained that we hatched them so he gave us a box of Orpington eggs and two young pullets that I picked out from a array of chicks. He said any roosters we hatch we can take them back. The two chicks exploring their run, he has no idea what they are I reckon the one on the right is a silver campine. When I returned home my mums friend had delivered her two chickens in their eglu go. She had to rehome them since their dog was frightened of them as they would chase him  inside 😂 one of thems a little; very hen pecked but hopefully her feathers will grow back.and finally I’ve been avertising the quail chicks for some time now and if I could rehome at least 7 I would hatch the eggs as I would be able to cope withso many birds! I didn’t think any one would want them and decided to crack the eggs, 4 were fertile and then soon after I found that bobtail orpingtons are quite rare and now some one wants all eleven quail. I should of kept them! Any way the quail will be going on Tuesday then I may hatch some more. 🐣

    Sum-up Sundays 25/06/17

    Recently I’ve been writing a lot of educational posts. When I first started theurbanhens it was really just to share experiences that we encounter with our chickens so I thought I’d bring back weekly updates in the form of sum-up Sundays where each Sunday I’ll summarise the weeks events and gossip from the coop. Wether it be a short catch up or a big essay I’ll be here each Sunday with the latest news from theurbanhens. As our first sum-up Sunday we have a rather sad thing to tell you. Today we lost one of our quail; this morning my mum found the quail Nick-named “funny eyes” (because of her eye deformity that didn’t get her down, she was one of our most craziest and likely  happiest quail) cowering in the corner of the run this afternoon she died peacefully- fly high little funny eyes you may of been tiny but you had a big  personality and will be very missed 🕊.

    Funny eyes with one of the other quail greeting me,as she did every morning.
    been a busy weekend aswell yesterday I moved the chicks into the run with the larger chickens, I also wrote a blog about it too https://theurbanhens.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/img_1212.jpg and so far theyve been alright but some times Autumn or Maia will give the chicks the odd peck so I created a safe area for them (I talk about this more in the blog) so they can go and relax without a bully harassing them. But this also has the beneficial factor that I can keep the birds feeds seperate. Since the chicks or should I say growers  have just been moved onto growers pellets mixed with the usual chick crumb (so they can get used to eating just the growers pellets) I can put their food in their safe area so the older chooks won’t be gobbling it down! I also found a worm in the omlet cube whilst cleaning it out, it’s the first time I’ve seen a worm in the chickens droppings. So now I’m going to mix 6 grams of flubevent domestic poultry wormer in 3kg of the adults feed and continue to do this for 7 days. Flubevent also has no egg withdraw meaning I can still eat the eggs. Once I cleaned out the coops I refreshed them with shavings and lavender; this herbs smell is relaxing for the hens and repels insects. I hope you enjoyed the first sum up Sunday if you did why not comment what you’ve been getting up to this week 🐓

    Integrating new flock members.

    Betty (who we now know is a boy) looking happy in his new pen.
    Chicken math hits you again, you’ve got a flock who get on as happy as Larry and now all hell breaks loose because you’ve added new members. The thought of sharing the coop with the newbies leaves your hens distraught. They have no other choice but to attack so here’s 6 steps to help your chooks become best friends…

    1. If you have brought them from a market or have any worries that your hens might be carting diseases quarantine them until you are sure they are fine (search a healthy hen in the blog post to know what a healthy hen looks like). 
    2. It’s always best to add birds that are the same age or the same size as you’re existing flock for instance a 4 week oldchick and a two year old hen might not go down well. 
    3. If you have birds that may be younger or smaller than your original chickens givethem a space only they can access for instance a shelter with a door only they can fit through, here they can relax and you can givethem food and water in this area incase they are scared to come out for the first day.
    4. Create a distraction such as hanging veg, giving them some chicken toys. (To find out more search hentertainment  for a blog on entertaining/distracting chickens).
    5. Add extra drinkers and feeders to the run so if the original chickens guard the food and water The newbies have a supply too.
    6. Some people suggest keeping them separate for a week in a run inside your original chickens run so they get used to each other although I’ve never tried this.

    Don’t worry (he says as he checks them every five muinets) a peck and a kick is normal and will establish a pecking order. But if any of the flock are being really bullied spray them with anti pecking spray or use beak bits with the bully. These can be found in most country stores or on good old eBay. I hope this helps as it can be a very stressful time mixing birds. Thanks for reading 😊